It was not far from Luxembourg city to the French border where we had the secondary roads to ourselves through the vast areas of corn and grain crops, woods and newly ploughed fields. France looked different with the many poplar trees dotting the landscape.
It was a crystal clear day which continued as we drove into France. The temperature went from a coolish 21degrees in Luxembourg to a humid and warm 33degrees by the time we reached Dijon.
We made a stop on the way in Toul in the Lorraine-Meurthe et Moselle region. It had a magnificent Town hall and cathedral and interesting back streets. The main square had an attractive roundabout with fishing huts and which was beautifully planted with a myriad of colourful flowers and banana trees.
Most of the villages we passed going south had very pretty roundabout centres and lovely potted displays along the roads.
We passed through Langres in the Champagne-Ardenne region which stood on a hilltop with immense town walls surrounding it.
By the time we got the campsite outside Dijon it was a hot and humid 32degrees.

On the way down to Nebouzat in the mountains of the Auvergne area we stopped at ‘Payal la Monial’ a lovely town on a canal with the usual enormous churches and town hall. The countryside changed from a dryer one to lush woods and grassy areas where white limousin cows grazed. Even the secondary roads in France are well serviced with ‘aires’ or picnic areas as opposed to Belgium and Holland where we found only one or two.

We made a stop in Vichy where it was a humid 34degrees and home of the famous Vichy water. The original building housing the water still stood. There were a lot of competitors staggering around the town having taken part in the ‘Iron Man’ competition and most looked absolutely thrashed. The road to Nebouzat near Clermont Ferrand climbed up through the mountains and it was still hot when we arrived in the early evening.

The helpful campsite staff recommended we take the train up to the ‘Puy de Dome’ a high peak overlooking the other peaks in the Auvergne.
A steam train used to do the trip to the peak from 1905-1925 but the service was later abandoned until 2011 when new trains were installed on the route. It only took 10minutes to get to the top. We had a wonderful view of the surrounding Auvergne Volcanic mountains and watched as many people did single or tandem paragliding jumps from the mountain.

Rocamadour in the Lot region of southwest France was the next stop. The castle sat on the top of a cliff and the town below was accessed by two lifts. We walked a way down to the first lift which took us to the old but rather touristy part of town and then we returned via the same lift and a further one to the castle. It is a spectacular looking town and although there were many tourists it was a very relaxed Sunday atmosphere.

Only half an hour away we stayed at ‘Le Foursou’ a lovely B&B run by a friend of Maurice’s cousin Brigid. It was a beautiful spot and very tranquil. Sharon has 4dogs,5goats,4horses and a cat which keep her busy as well as running the four bedroom B&B.
We spent a lovely couple of nights relaxing there, making friends with all the animals and taking the dogs for a walk with her partner Gerard.

Sharon recommended a couple of places to visit on the way down to Pampelonne. We drove through the beautiful ‘Vallee de Cele’ to ‘Saint Cirq Lapopie’ another stunning village perched on a clifftop overlooking a river. It was another hot day as we made our way to Najac a very old village built along the side of a ridge with a castle at the end of it.

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