Unlike many expats, we are spoiled by having a crowd of friends already in France and more returning each year. Unfortunately, they are about three hours away - too far for just a day trip and, with swim practice, kayaking and volleyball, it is hard to make a weekend of it. But last July (2013) we were able to go for a weekend to discover some of the sights of the countryside near Clermont-Ferrand. Our friends have an amazing house, with wonderful views and cows as neighbours, who could ask for anything more? Well, they also have great hiking all around including Puy de Sancy. It was a long steady climb but with five children under the age of 12, I was amazed how little complaining we heard - no "my legs are tired" from any of them. I not sure if it was the company or the landscape - probably a bit of both plus the reward of cable car trip down!
It was a wonderful day and a fantastic weekend since we also got to see some of our other (ex) expat friends.
It might have been July but there were still little piles of snow in protected areas.
View from the cable car on the way down.