Monday, 23 June 2008


Last month, a group of us decided to go on a lil' drive...
Well actually, a 12 hour 750 mile drive down the middle of France for a few days.

First port of call: the Euro Tunnel, to get us from England into France.

Look! A train you can drive into... a train you drive into!
How cool is that.

A slightly knackered looking me 20,000 leagues under the sea.

We then had a looooooong drive straight down the middle of France with very few navigational errors... remarkable!

We passed some interesting places along the way like the Somme, for any of you interested in World War 1 like me.
I was quite impressed anyhow :]

Eventually we reach the Auvergne region.

Our home for a week was a lovely traditional French town called La Bourboule.

The centre of La Bourboule.

The architecture was fab.

An old ornate bridge.

A little boulevard running up town.

All the buildings had so much character and history.
It was like looking at a movie set at times.

In an Abby Road stylee, my fab four companions! :]
Andy, Dave, John and Roy... NOT the Beatles

THIS, my friends, is the municipal campsite's toilets!
They were something to be desired, shall we say.
It took a bit of getting used to using these 'squatters' or 'stoopers'!!!

On the subject of none-desirable things, a few menu items raised an eye brow or two, like this tripe and chips! Mmm yummy.

One evening we spotted a fish restaurant, so went in and gave it a go, only to discover there wasn't much fish on the menu... The sign outside said "piscine" meaning swimming pool and not fish at all!

I found this hound at a cafe.
Could this dog look anymore French? :0)

First expedition was to see this local waterfall.

You could even walk behind it
...and there's only one thing to do on a warm day of course...

Now that was refreshing!
It felt like I was being beaten with cold stones, but it cooled me off :]

At the top of the falls, we looked over the next days adventure.


On the way back down from the falls we spotted a dry luge run, so we just had to give it a go.

Come with me on a virtual luge run!

Later on in town we spotted this most amusing 'Fanny Feeling' sign on a shop window!
Now what service were they offering here exactly?
Yes, I did enquired about any job vacancies :]


So the next day was to ascend France's highest mountain
(that's not part of the Alps)
The Puy de Sancy

The last snow-capped slog up to the 6,188 feet peak!

Once I got my breath back, the view was stunning

Our walk started out from the car at point A.
Some of us (not me) got a cable car up to the peak [see blue line] while others walked up.
We then followed a track along many other peaks and eventually back into town at point B, where some of us (not me) went to the bar instead leaving me and Andy to walk several miles back up to the car. Pffft :0]


The next day was out and about and looking for some of the old volcanoes

A few morning press-ups :]

Looking into the first volcano we found.
Currently inactive, but still worrying!

Andy's panorama clip from inside the volcano!!!

When we sat to eat lunch, a rather bright green spider was spotted climbing onto our bags.
I have no idea whether it's dangerous, but I stayed well clear :[]

Our second volcano to ascend

Looking out into another old volcano

A little lizard

The area's largest volcano, the Puy de Dome

Storms started to build quickly so we headed back to the car... Just in time too, as one of the most violent thunderstorms I've ever witnessed erupted soon after.

The last day was spent sight seeing some more local villages.

Driving back was a long haul and we drove between two storms and some evil looking clouds.


Today, I'm Most Angry About: Hayfever Grrr *snuffle*
Grrr-O-Meter Rating: 6.7/10

Today's Top Tip: Daily Mail editors: Underline important words in your headlines just to make sure that your readers are clear about what it is you want them to think!!!