At some point, it occurred to us, that we hadn’t explored the local area surrounding La Calsade. So we decided to go off on a bit of a mystery tour, take a look at where the myriad narrow lanes would take us.
Before we set out we were treated to a pretty display of localised mists in the valleys south of the gite.
We chose to follow a road which took off at right angles to the main road through the village. This road was signposted Jou sous Monjou.
Jou sous Monjou turned out to be quite a pretty little village although the church, L’Eglise Notre Dame de L’Assomption, being built like a brick outhouse was very robust. More akin to a wartime blockhouse.
The church in Jou-sous-Monjou is a fine example of Romanesque architecture and offers an exceptional array of sculptural work that has survived the centuries. Typical of the area, the church is built in volcanic stone and has a stone slab roof and a comb bell tower.
While walking around Jou-sous-Monjou we had become aware of a loud buzzing, especially behind the church. The reason soon became apparent. Outside one of the houses, someone had placed two boxes of something sweet. There were hundreds, if not thousands, of bees. The noise was quite substantial.
The numbers of bees attracted to these two boxes was large enough to create quite a hazard to anyone wanting access to the house.
Continuing on our mystery tour, we stumbled across Chateau Cropieres
From the 13th to the 16th century, the castle was lived in by the Cropières and Montjou families. Today the castle looks very different from how it did when originally built, that is more military and feudal in design. The original fortress was completely transformed to make a main reception room. King Louis XIV had a very beautiful staircase at the front built for his loved one and this can still be admired today.
Our further perambulations brought us to the village of Saint-Martin-sous-Vigouroux. Here we explored the village and visited the church.
We had a pleasant, leisurely, lunch at the Hotel Restaurant de la Poste before heading out to further explore the region.
We arrived at Pierrefort but didn’t fancy walking around what appeared to be a fairly large town. So we decided to head back towards the gite, but not before taking a couple of photographs on the outskirts of town.
As we travelled towards the gite, I notice a sign indicating a view point. WE had to go and see what was worth a sign. And, after all, it was only a couple of kilometers …… up a very narrow road. So we made the detour to the viewpoint at Videche. Or should I say, BELVEDÈRE DE VIDÈCHE – SITE PANORAMIQUE
Panoramic view on the Valley of Brezons A bird’s eye view of the Valley of Brezons and the Monts du Cantal. 15 min. film about the fario trout swimming up to the head of the river in the Cirque of Grandval. Open from spring to autumn, depending on weather conditions. A 15 minutes video on the life of trouts in the Brezons river (english version).
This was a very “posh” viewpoint. At the end of the path sits a small cabin, with windows, curtains, air-con and a TV showing movies about the valley displayed below.
Stunning views. I can’t help feeling that such a beautiful viewpoint, if installed back in the UK, would have been trashed or even burnt to the ground.
And so it was back down and on to the bottom of the valley via some typically winding mountain roads. Thru Brezons, where we crossed the river and continued home to our gite.