Monday, October 10, 2011


Columbus day in the US (as well as my grandmother’s 80th birthday celebration in Gaŗezers), Thanksgiving in Canada and Cervolix in France. OK, it’s not an official holiday, but from what I had heard, the kite festival/air show is a once-a-year spectacle for the entire family. The last time I had been up on the Plateau de Gergovie I was about 5 weeks pregnant but didn’t know it yet. I hiked up with the IWC hiking club and Lauris on my back in the baby backpack and wondered, “can I really be this out of shape?” My lungs were burning and I was so very tired, yet somehow managed to finish the hike without embarrassing myself. Knowing that I have an additional 20 weeks of pregnant belly I was relieved that the festival is accessible by car; the event is actually free, and you can park your car right up on the plateau for only 5 euro.

I should also mention we have visitors! My parents-in-law arrived last Thursday evening, and although we’ve done some sightseeing in the city, the festival was our first venture out of Clermont-Ferrand. A wonderful dinner at Crêperie Le 1513 on Friday night, a visit to the Chamalières marchè on Saturday morning, then an afternoon spent downtown looking at the sidewalk sales. We had seen the braderie signs everywhere, and although I’m familiar with soldes, I had to look up this new word which I now know means clearance. It was a festive atmosphere, France had just beat England 19-12 in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup, there were vendors selling their wares from tents all along Bd François Mitterrand from the Jardin Lecoq to Place de Jaude, and many stores had tables outside with discounted items. Since the Cervolix festival is both Saturday and Sunday, we settled on Sunday to make the 20 minute drive to Gergovie, as neither the marchè nor the sales would be open.

After a morning visit to the marché aux puces we packed the car and headed south. It was only once we had parked that it started to sprinkle, and about an hour later this became a steady drizzle. We had packed a picnic, but as a majority of the kites had been lowered, the model airplanes grounded and no idea of when the rain would let up, we decided to head back to Clermont-Ferrand and spend a lazy Sunday indoors instead. Maybe next year we have better luck with the weather!

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry the rain messed up your plans. I've only been to a very small kite festival in the small town nearby, but even it was fun. I'm sure your son would have loved it. There's always next year.


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