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!!!


Aoj and The Lurchers said...

Sounds like a fun trip!

How you doing anyway? Everything OK I hope?

Anonymous said...

I don't know quite why, but Andy's home-video stylie announcement of the 'inside the volcano' scene made me chuckle.

Anonymous said...

P.S. Glad to see the presence of swimwear this time, even if they are tighties!

Phil said...

'Twas a fun but tiring trip!
I'm doing OK thanks, but still got the headaches ;'[ although they are a bit better since leaving my job.

Can't beat a home video :)
Yeah, I thought swimwear was needed this time, given the particularly public location... LOL @ "tighties" :0]

Linda Seid Frembes said...

As always, totally worth the wait for your next post. What a great trip (and I do fancy your swim trunks too).

Name said...

maybe if the hounds wore a beret...then he'd be more French.
France is lovely.

Anonymous said...

Great stuff!

Phil said...

Aw thank you Linda!!!
Hehe, I think a pair of Speedos should be a part of every mans' wardrobe :]

Hello and welcome!!!
Yes, a beret and a stripey top and maybe a string of garlic round his neck too :]
France is lovely indeed.

Cheers Stu - I reckon you'd like it in the Auvergne :]

Jeangenie said...

Wow! Great pics - looks like you had a terrific time.
*giggles at the 'piscine'*

Andre Veloux said...

Cool dude. The Auvergne is a great and much underrated part of France.

You know you can cycle up the Puy de Dôme don't you? It's a Tour de France classic.

Did you try the blue cheese from the region, tastes a lot better than it looks.

And the toilets, there are plenty worse in this country. The French have a definite toilet and toilet hygiene problem.

Jennifer said...


not sure what else to say. I live in the US and haven't ever been to any othe country, well besides Canada once.

These pictures are amazing!! :) I love them all. The towns don't even look real... they are so perfect and full of detail. :)

Thank you for sharing your pictures and part of your trip with everyone.

that train is totally awesome too!! I would love to do something like that one day.

I look forward to reading more on your blog...

I found you from Crystal's blog roll.

have a great day!

kat said...

The French dog and the shop sign made me laugh - but not the green spider - eeeek.

The climb looks and sounds fantastic - well done.

Great post.

b o o said...

Looks like you had fun (as usual)
LOL @ fanny peeling *ouchie*
Loved that little lizard
And that [speedo] shot *phew*

Hope you're feeling better from the nasty hayfever :x

Phil said...

Yeah, a fab time was had indeed!
Yes, we giggled somewhat at the piscine mistake :]

It's a lovely place indeed Andre - We didn't go up the Puy de Dome, but saw there was a road! :)
Yes, we tried all sorts of cheese including the local blue cheese and very nice it was indeed!
The toilets are hygienic if nothing else :0]

Hellooo and welcome!
You've got to get out more and explore Europe a bit :)
Glad you like the post and thanks for the compliments!!!
Drop by anytime :0]

Cheers Kat!
The green spider made me do that eeek thing too and I like spiders!!! :]

Hahaha, it's 'Fanny Feeling' I think... Not 'Fanny Peeling'; that sounds painful ;]
A fan of my speedos eh! No hetrosexual man is complete without a pair :0X

Rebecca said...

Hooray! It's nice looking at your photos, so many adventures. I'm disappointed I didn't get to comment on your choice of swimwear first however, I'll have to get in quicker next time!

Phil said...

Hehe, well you're welcome to be the second to comment :]
A man is not complete without Speedos!!!

Max said...

Welcome back!

The spider was Micrommata virescens

Aint the internet great!

Phil said...

Cheers dude!
Still not sure if the little critter is poisonous though? :[]

Crystal said...

Those pictures were SO AWESOME!!! I loved the toilet shot. Bet you just loved that and that green spider??? Yuck. The pic of the clouds was very beautiful as well. You should take up photography in your spare time;o) Thanks for sharing and glad your back!!

Anonymous said...

Brilliant post - I must say !! Do you ever do anything other than go on holiday? I am just wondering...

mellowlee said...

What fantastic photos of your most excellent French adventure :O)

That dog is very French looking, and really made me laugh!

Phil said...

Thanks Cystal!
I do like photography and quite a lot of it anyhow :]

Hehe, I just normally get invited along with various people and it would be rude to say no :0)

Cheers me dear!
That dog was ace - he was chased around the cafe by the owners afterwards, as I guess he shouldn't of been out :0]

Anonymous said...

wow great pics and fun trip

Anonymous said...

Great stuff!

Lord Hutton said...

So much to comment on:
1 Jealous
2 Foolish to pose without a proper pedestrian crossing: the French have pedestrian crossings marked on the road so the ambulances know where to stop, so you would have missed out
3 I would love to climb those volcanoes
4 You ought to consider taking the train from Clermont Ferrand south to Beziers or Nimes, stopping on the way eg at Mende or Rodez
5 mmmm La Belle France

Phil said...

Excellent sir - I agree espcecially with number 5 :]