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The Auvergne

 
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BG



Joined: 20 Jul 2006
Posts: 29
Location: Cambridge, MA (USA)

PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2007 3:24 pm    Post subject: The Auvergne Reply with quote

Can anyone suggest places to visit and things to do in the Auvergne, a region of France which interests me. I've been to Clermont-Ferrand and driven from there to Lyon ... beautiful countryside, remote and hilly ... ideal for a bicycle tour, if I could find a tour operator. Any ideas? I've done some basic Googling but I'm hoping someone can narrow down the search.

Perhaps I'm also somewhat under the spell of Canteloube's Songs of the Auvergne.

Thanks for any advice.
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gingerpale



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 1324

PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2007 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BG, there is a fellow who posted here for a short while (as "man-from-gard") who lives just south (I think) of where you want to be. He is an ex-pat from England. His blog http://alex-in-languedoc.blogspot.com/ is a good one, I read it pretty regularly. He might be of some help!
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charlsy



Joined: 08 Aug 2006
Posts: 136
Location: France, Bordeaux

PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2007 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can start by going to the top of the Puy de Dôme, the emblematic volcano near Clermont-Ferrand. There is a winding road that gets you there, where you'll find a TV relay, if I remember well, next to the ruins of a Mercury temple. If you pick a beautiful, clear day, you will have a wonderful view of the volcano chains around. If you are really brave, hop on a good byke and push on the pedals... The climb of the Puy de Dôme is one of the famous stages in the Tour de France !

Near Clermont, you have Vulcania, a really interesting theme park dedicated to volcanoes. Don't be afraid of the "theme park" word, it's rather scientific and very interesting.
Here you have the link to the tourism office for the region :
http://www.auvergne-tourisme.info/
and one dedicated to the castles :
http://www.route-chateaux-auvergne.org/

It all depends on what you would like to explore. The nature is usually spectacular, ranging from sharp mountains near Puy de Sancy, to rounded old volcanoes, mountain-top lakes, deep forests, gorges and rivers.

Auvergne is also on the pilgrim's road to Compostelle, and you can admire the Black Virgin in the cathedral of Le Puy en Velay, a small city nestled in a valley, dominated by a big red statue of the Virgin built on a volcanic chimney. Le Puy is also famous for its lentils, and its lace...

And that's just a small part of the treasures strewn everywhere in this beautiful region. And yes, I was born on the Southern border of Auvergne, so I do tend to sing its praises !!!
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BG



Joined: 20 Jul 2006
Posts: 29
Location: Cambridge, MA (USA)

PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks folks, good advice to get me going! I also suggested to our bicycle tour guide in Alsace that he might consider putting together a route in the Auvergne (he lives in a very small village in Alsace right up a hill from Gueberschwir and runs his business, "Bicyclette Go (http://www.bicyclettego.com/)" from there).
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

(i cannot resist) the Auvergne is "gorge-us"
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Griffin



Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 932
Location: England

PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I keep going into restaurants and asking the chef to do that... but I keep getting thrown out...!!
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