On to Puy de Dome

So I told you about our day out on Saturday – now howsabout Sunday?

I was preaching on Sunday morning (yes, in French. No, it’s not that clever because my very good friend, Daniele, always checks my French for me and makes (loads of) corrections where necessary.) and T wanted to come. Mr D suggested he came down to Thiers, where church is and picked us up (Mr D doesn’t Do Church) Then we could go on to have a picnic at Puy de Dome. This was considered to be a Good Idea, so I asked Daniele & her husband Paul if they could give us a lift to church, explaining our plan. She obviously thought it was a Good Idea too, as on Sunday morning she picked us up, asking if they could join us for said picnic and walk. With pleasure, I replied.

So after church (preaching went fine. I mispronounced Israelites, apparently, but no other clangers) Mr D and Paul spent 10 minutes with a map planning where we were going to eat and how to get there. While T, D and I chatted with people coming out of church.*.

Off we went and reached our picnic destination. Mr D produced the perfectly fine picnic he’d packed: loaf, cheese, tomatoes, quiche, packet of biskits, fruit. Danielle then unpacked hers: tabboluleh, hard boiled eggs, bread, mayonnaise, cheese, wine, fruit crumble. We shared, and had a splendid time.

Then we set out on our walk. Daniele and I chose to do a flat work round the bottom of the Puy de Pariou, while Paul, T and Mr D went for the up version. IMG_0221 This is what they climbed (but seen from the other side and from above.) The line down the side is a flight of steps, built because of erosion – and the crater is indeed a volcanic crater.Daniele and I met them at the foot of the steps and strolled back to the car through the woods. We then drove to Puy de Dome – iconic peak of the Chaines des Puys – of which I don’t have a photo! However, here are some views from the top:

IMG_0228 IMG_0219 (this is Clermont Ferrand, where I work)

IMG_0220 Ha! I’ve done this from this very mountain top. Great fun, but… Remind me to tell you about it, sometime!

IMG_0218 This is the Temple of Mercury at the top of Puy de Dome. There is a rather ugly telecommunications tower behind it. As T said, as Mercury was the god of communication (was he?!) it seems rather apt that it is placed there!

After we got back home to St just Daniele and Paul came for a takeaway pizza from the restaurant next door. Another thoroughly splendid day.

* When I first came to France and was looking for a church, a good friend said he hoped I’d find a church that was “slow to empty”. I wasn’t quite sure I knew what he meant, but having found this church, I do now! Everyone is so friendly and you can’t sneak out very easily. There is much cheek kissing, both before and after the service, and wishing each other “Bonne dimanche, bonne semaine!”

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