Day 22-23: What? Volcanoes in France!??! A Family Camping Road Trip in Central France in Pictures and Review of Camping de la Palle (Pontgibaud)

A chain of 80 extinct volcanoes that is, with the most visited one at Puy-de-Dome in the Auvergne region of (central) France! 😊 If you’re expecting to see something like Taal Volcano, Mount Fuji, Mount Etna or Eyjafjallajökull, well this aint it. 

The view at 1,465 above sea level is still impressive eventhough the sun was again shy on the day of our visit.  In fact it was downright crappy, cold and wet day with occasional blue sky magically piercing through the clouds.

Entering France from Switzerland confirms that there are NO coronavitus checkpoints.

Bit first… about the road.  Our border entry to France from Switzerland (via Geneva) confirmed that there were NO coronavitus checkpoints in place.  In fact, no actual border stops at all or guards to be seen.  Unlike our usual go-slow road trip on “FREE” roads, this time we decided to take paid TOLL roads through France to save some time.  And yup, it’s expensive (I’ll add how much the tolls cost later when at home.  We’re on the road. Excuse the typos(.

Pitching a tent, cooking and pretty much doing anything else in pouring rain takes twice as long and all else we could do was sing “Rain, rain go away.  Come again snother day!…”

There are two ways to get to Puy-de-Dome volcano (1) Walk the two trails about an hour and a half uphill (without kids, so you can imagine at least twice that long with kids), or (2) Take the train at Panoramique du Domes at a cost. Guess what we chose.

Panoramique du Domes. See that mountain in the background?  That’s where we’re heading.  For now, we take the train. Later, the kids can walk up to the top on their own.
It looks like volcanoes spewing smoke and steam.
That’s it!  That’s one of the volcanos!
Nope, that’s not it! But they sure love to climb.
And at last! One of the 80 extinct volcanos of the Auverne region of France.  What? Were you expecting Mount Fuji? Taal Volcano? Eyjafjallajökull?
And then the rain clouds rolled in just as quickly as it cleared.
“I want to walk in the sky!”, Kaj calls out.  The boys kept going… and climbing to that tower peak regardless of the westher.
Then, later… the sky cleared out.
Lambs to the slaughter. . . But not yet
The ruins of the Gallo-Roman temple of Mercury– god of trade, medicine and protector of traveler’s along the pilgrim’s road at the top of Puy-de-Dome.
There’s a bar, restaurant with a view and restroom once you get off the train, if you want to spend money for your convenience.  If you brought your own food (like us) there are benxhes and tables gor picnic.
View of the nearby big city of…
Yeah, this naked  dude-of-a-god was once worshipped here.
A monument to Eugene Renoit (ever heard of him!??) and Europe’s first long-distance flight from this peak to Paris ( or us it the other way aeound?!)
One of the two ways down. The boys wanted to walk down. The parentts had too much luggage.
The shelter from the unpredictable mountain weather with toilet that doubles up as an educational room to lesrn a bit avout STEM.
Enjoying 50-cent cocoa/coffee drinks from a maxhine at a mountain shelter at the top.
A mandatory family selfie atop Puy du Dome, France.  Yup it was quite cold up there eapecially since the sun was quite shy!

Now, a review of Camping de la Palle (Pontgibaud)

We’re on the road. We’ll add text later.

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