Friday, January 6, 2012

Super-Lioran and Murat

On their previous visit, we took Matīss and Indra on a whirlwind tour of the Gorges du Tarn, complete with château, boat ride, hike & getting lost, and tons of scenic overlooks and stops for pictures. Let’s just say, being 37 weeks pregnant is not conducive to any of the above. On the day after Christmas we did hop into the car for a much closer destination, Puy Mary. Roberts had been once with a couple of out of town guests, and although I very much wanted to climb to the top from which there supposedly is a superb view of the Auvergne, I was content to let our guests have this experience and sit this one out with a chocolat chaud in the café at the base.

So you know Pas de Peyrol, the highest mountain pass in the Massif Central? In December? Yeah, they have snow. And lots of it. The pass was closed, and so we were rerouted from Puy Mary to Super-Lioran and the cable car that runs up to the top of the highest peak in the Cantal range, Plomb du Cantal. Super-Lioran is a winter sports resort that was jam-packed with skiers, sledders and half the population of the Auvergne decked out in their winter gear. I parked myself in the local brasserie with a pizza and hot chocolate while the rest checked out the scene.

Well, as it turns out the cable car was not running due to high winds, so once again we changed our plans and instead continued down the Cère river valley to the Cascade de la Roucolle and a quick peek at the Château de Pesteils (a beautiful medieval castle overlooking the Cère and Polminhac).

On our trip back we stopped in Murat for a quick dash up Rocher de Bonnevie. The sides of the hill are composed of large basalt columns, and where there used to be a castle before Richelieu ordered it razed, now stands a statue of the Virgin Mary. We enjoyed a fabulous sunset, the view of Murat, the Alagnon valley and the Cantal mountains before the disappearing daylight urged us back down to the car.

The third of the twelve wrought iron crosses leading up to the Virgin Mary statue

We had been hoping to dine in Murat, but once again were foiled by the typical “dinner is only served starting at 8pm” and holiday closures, and so we returned to Clermont-Ferrand for a dinner in one of the restaurants on Place de Jaude.

I'm also proud to announce that I have officially been blogging for one year. I posted Happy New Year!!! exactly one year ago and although it seems like such a short time, when I think of all the places we've visited I'm glad that I've recorded some of it here. Will the next year bring as many adventures, that we have yet to find out, but here is to the new year and another year of blogging.


  1. Congratulations on the blogging Anniversary. I do hope you will be able to post, at least from time to time, once your second baby arrives.
    From the photos above looks like you experienced winter and autumn on the same day.

  2. Congratulations on one year!
    And happy new year to you :-)


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