Thursday, 27 August 2015

The Auvergne (1)

The next stage of our holidays was spent in the Auvergne, in the mountainous Massif Central, an old volcanic region We were staying in Chambon sur Lac, which was at an altitude of about 1000m , over 3000 feet. So the nights were quite cold - in fact, we had to buy an extra light throw because even putting on our hoodies in the middle of the night wasn't enough. But the days were mostly hot and sunny.
Most of the activity in Chambon sur Lac is centred along the lake, and the older village had suffered - there was a post office with minimal opening hours, the inevitable Marie (town hall), a bakery with a small but excellent range, and a rather defunct-looking dead hotel. Even in the more vibrant part down by the lake there were no grocery shops; we had to factor in a visit to one of the larger towns nearby each day to shop for dinner.

The round building in the graveyard was described on the noticeboard in the village as a 10th century baptistery, if I remember correctly. I thought I took a photo of the sign, but haven't yet managed to find it.

The architecture is designed to withstand the rigours of snowy winters; as well as being a popular summer destination, winter sports are popular too, and many of the towns and villages had "extra" winter facilities; Besse-en-Chandesse has SuperBesse, Chambon had Chambon- des- neiges.

1 comment :

  1. Round buildings are so intriguing. I love those slate roofs. I imagine they are very heavy so the building has to be pretty sturdy.