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To the north, Gorges de la Truyere

Home -> Europe -> France -> Travelogue France -> 15 June 2006

Thursday 15 June, to the north, Gorges de la Truyere

In the course of the morning, after a quiet breakfast, we get ourselves going again and get into the car. First we have a look at the castle nearby that we have seen a few times, near the town of Boyne.
Castle at BoyneA narrow, steep road brings us to the village and we are glad that we do not encounter oncoming traffic. The ruins are built on the rock so that you can not distinguish the castle from the rock. In the 13th century people started to build it, but in 1633 it was destroyed by orders of cardinal and statesman Richelieu.
The Tarn riverWe do not enter the castle (we have seen enough castles), but drive through the Gorges du Tarn to the north and from this direction it looks different than when we arrived and drove to the south. The sun is also different now and that makes a lot of difference in the colors and hues of the landscape.
The Tarn river The Tarn riverThis gap is really the most impressive of all the gorges we have seen in this area and that is also what many other tourists, mainly Dutch people, think. Without tourists, probably only the postman and some freight transporters would drive through, but now it is really busy on the road.
Les Vignes The Tarn at La MalèneHalfway through the gorge, in Les Vignes we stop to take a few photos of the river and the village and we take a cup of coffee on a terrace. It has become increasingly hot in recent days and we notice that when we sit in the sun. An area like this looks the best in the sun, so you do not hear us complaining about the heat, we love it!
Causse the Sauveterre Causse the SauveterreFrom Les Vignes we drive via the D995 to the west, in the direction of the highway and now we come through an area with more mountainous landscape than we expect. When we are on the highway you notice less of it even though we see the signs along the road that indicate that we are constantly going down and rising. We drive north to St. Flour.
St. FlourThe old city lies on a 100 meter high basalt rock and we look around for a short time. First we wanted to go to the Monts du Cantal, an old volcano chain where we see the snowy peaks in the west, but we have already realized that we do not have enough time for that today. More bad planning, we could better had a view at this region when we were close to Clermont-Ferrand.
Gorges the la Truy&efgrave;re, Château d'AlleuzeThat is why we now drive back to the south, first through the Truyere valley, a river where several dams have been constructed. We also come across some nice little castles like the Chateau d'Alleuze on a lonely hilltop in the river valley.
Gorges the la Truyère This is very steep!The road is pretty nice and we see beautiful places, especially along the reservoirs, and the Gorges de la Truyere are definitely worth visiting. But it is very hot and we have to drive a long dinstance back to the campsite, actually a far too big distance for 1 day. And thus, we stop less often to take a picture or simply enjoy the scenery.
We return therefore quite late at the campsite; there is still so much to see in this area, but then we have to go camping in a more central location. We first were in the north of the Massif Central near Clermont-Ferrand and now in the south. Next time we should stay in the middle or we just have to explore smaller areas. Maybe we also want to see too much. On a map of France this area looks well-organized and possible 'to do', but France is large and this area is clearly quite big too. In addition, there is actually only a highway from north to south through and on the other roads you have to keep in mind that traveling costs a lot of time. Well, we let it go, take a beer on the terrace and off to bed, tomorrow we go to the next area!


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