Well another week has come and gone – it’s hard to believe we’ve been here for four weeks already! This week we’ve tried to take some photos of things we’ve seen while driving past in the car – normal everyday stuff that goes on here in the centre of France. There’s lots of glimpses we wish we could have captured however, it’s not easy trying to quickly focus and take a photo while trying to stick to the speed limit as well. But it’s been fun trying! The first 6 photos are of things we’ve managed to catch.
We spent Wednesday in Clermont-Ferrand which is 90ks south of here. It’s a sizeable town, population 600,000, surrounded by extinct volcanoes. The highest, at 1500m, is called ‘Puy de Dome’ – it’s actually a lava dome -and the only way you can get to the top is on a recently installed train which winds its way up to the top. The views from the top are amazing – you can look down on many of the other volcanoes and across the city of Clermont. The other amazing thing at the top is what’s left of the ancient Temple of Mercury which was built in around 2AD!! How the builders managed such a feat is mind-boggling. There are plans to restore the Temple over the next few years. We’ve included 8 photos from Clermont- Ferrand. (I haven’t been able to work out how to display photos in groups rather than in one lot – will keep trying to figure that out!).
We’ve surreptitiously photographed people (well it felt a bit like stalking!) with the staple ingredient of all French meals, to put together a little ‘Spot the Baguette’ challenge for you. It’s one stereotype that is actually real as you will see in the last 11 photos.
I had a couple of good language experiences this week – we had to get our signatures witnessed by a ‘Notary Public’ so went to the local Notaire and managed to explain what the document was about, explain why we needed our signatures witnessed and explain why we particularly needed the Notaire’s signature. She was a very officious and slightly scary lady but we left with signed document in hand. We then had a doctor’s appointment to obtain medical certificates so we can enrol in Country Dance classes (lots of red tape for these things here – we have to provide medical certificates, 2 ID photos and 3 stamped self-addressed envelopes!! and, usually you’re expected to pay up front for the year but after a couple of emails back and forth, we have been granted a ‘rare and confidential exception’ and only need to pay up until January – we will then have to justify our absence for the remainder of the classes) anyway, I was able to get through my medical and get David through his as well! So that was all pretty satisfying.
Hope you have a great week. Look forward to hearing from you!
Chris and David