Clermont-Ferrand is one of the oldest cities in France and is formed of two towns united over the centuries – bicephalous. This is a new word for me but apparently it means it has two heads.
Below are some recommendations of things to do/see/avoid, crossed with some photo favourites from today’s wander from Clermont (Gothic/Renaissance/Medieval style) to Montferrand (fortified Medieval style) – and back. Continue reading
As Robert Louis Stevenson said in 1881:
“To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive..”
The journey can be its own reward – unless you’ve ever endured an overnight bus journey in Asia – and I admit, I was very much looking forward to today’s 11-hour multi-rail trip. Here was the route:
Bournville-Birmingham New Street-London Euston-St Pancras International-Paris Gard du Nord-Paris Bercy-Clermont-Ferrand.
I didn’t go by rail for any amazing views, though there were some to be had, but I badly needed the chance to watch the world go by for a few hours and just catch up on ‘stuff’. There is also something of the romance of travel in the variety of rail stations you pass through – something you don’t get with modern airports.
The other thing that fascinates about ground travel is that everything is looked at afresh, eagerly and vividly – from the continuous line of graffiti on the approach to Paris to patterns in the paving stones in historic Clermont. I didn’t manage to snap the unexpected tropical garden, complete with palm trees, beside the No 14 line from Gare de Lyon (update: got it on the return journey) but I snapped all else that caught my eye today.
Below is the story of the journey in pictures and there are more in the full set of lo-fi phone pics is on Flickr. Continue reading