Tournemire / Pleaux


After two weeks in France, I finally decided to refer to the information that I had gathered, regarding places of interest in the region of our gite. We decided to head off to Tournemire.

Had I checked it out before visiting Salers on Monday, I would have realised that we could combine the two villages as part of one days touring.

Still, with another beautiful day promised we headed back out to the Cantal region and the village of Tournemire.

Tournemire village is situated 15km north of Aurillac, in the Massif Central, Auvergne region. The village is classified as one of the “most beautiful villages of France”.

While still a couple of kilometers out from the village you are treated to a view of the fortress sitting high up on the side of the valley.

Tournemire
Tournemire – Auvergne, France

Although the village is largely hidden from view by the trees. Joe Public cannot drive into the village but have to use the car park, a few hundred metres outside. Signs indicate that a ticket must be purchased from the Tourist Office.

However, it was closed, so we had to park illegally. There is always the concern that our car could be clamped or even towed away. We wondered if they would be so petty, especially since the fee for parking was one whole Euro, for the day.

Feeling quite guilty, we entered the village. Some of the houses are said to have been built on original Roman foundations. Once again the local volcanic rock dominates the construction and most houses are topped off with slate roofs. As previously mentioned the fortress, Chateau de Anjony, dominates the village and dates from the 15th century.

After exploring the village we felt it was time to recharge the batteries, so to speak. We headed back through the village to the Auberge that we had passed earlier in the day.

At the Auberge de Tournemire we enjoyed a simple but filling lunch comprising Truffade with an assortment of cold meats. Truffade is a local Auvergne speciality comprising potato and cheese. Washed down, of course, with a nice cold beer. Sorry but I’m at it again with the musical links. You only have to say the word Auberge and the Chris Rea tune pops into my head….. dah dah dah dah dah !!!

After lunch we left Tournemire to meander our way back to the gite. Referring to some local pamphlets we picked up in the Tourist Office, and having paid our one Euro parking fee, we decided to go via Pleaux.

Once again, many of the buildings in Pleaux are constructed using the grey volcanic rock and topped of with the grey slate.

We stopped to have a beer and watch the world go by for a while and also explored the “Land Art” on display in the square. There was some quite innovative use of bottle tops and coffee pods giving an almost oriental feel.

All to soon we had to continue our journey home to the gite.

 

 

 

Le Bicyclettes de Salers


Based on a recommendation from Florence, our landlady, we undertook a trip to Salers. It is famous for the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) cheeses Cantal and Salers. It is also known for the Salers breed of cattle that originated in this commune.

As for any journey originating from Serandon, the first few kilometers involves descending into, then climbing out of, the nearest gorge. Every now and again I find myself breaking into The Self Preservation Society and imagining driving one of those infamous mini’s round the dozens of hairpins.

Long before we reached the village we became aware of an association between the village and the cycling. Around every corner, on top of hedges, even in the tree tops there are bicycles. Mostly painted bright yellow, but on the odd occasion they are painted in various other colours.

salers
Bicycle – Salers, France

The primary reason for this is the Tour de France. This summer, Cantal will be the first mountain stage of the Tour. Some 216 km long, the riders will arrive in Anglards de Salers, Salers and the Col de Néronne, they then climb the Pas de Peyrol before returning to Murat and the final ascent to Le Lioran.

The nearer you get to Salers, the more bicycles there are. Nearly all my subsequent photographs have a bicycle present somewhere.

The village is very beautiful and there is plenty to keep ones interest. The historic buildings or the many cafes, restaurants and the artisan shops.

We had lunch here, at a pavement cafe, and Gerry finally managed to get her Croque Monsieur that she had been hankering for, since we arrived in France two weeks ago.

So, I’ll leave you with another musical link Le Bicyclettes de Salers

I wonder how many of you remember the tune and of those that do, how many have actually seen the film ?