summer came & went

When it came in late & after our almost a month long heatwave, the mistral breezed in & never left - summer is over. Although we didn't plan much of a getaway this year, we never pass up a chance to discover more of France's unbeaten tracks, void of pure tourists.

After a bit of Paris, the Cote d'Azur & the Pyrenees over the past years, the valleys of the Auvergne region (center-south) allured us for two reasons: 1) I wanted to see the great Viaduc de Millau & 2) Aurillac can only be reached by little roads (national & departmental) after Millau. The region is abundant of castles & typical little towns. It is the only region that has five official cheese. Again, France is truly one beautiful country with so much history.

The Viaduc de Millau, one of the world's megastructures & the highest bridge totalling to 336.4 meters high & 2.5 km long. Below, the cheese all over France in the Marché aux Fromages built in 1890.

Aurillac is a small town in the Cantal department of the region that goes back to the 9th century. The town is likewise known for it's Festival d'Eclat, theaters & street animations since 1986. It was my first time to explore this kind of festival & it was hard not to be hypnotized by the spirit of various arts, originality & expressions.

The living portrait, the semi-political Belge & my favorite, the groovy stickmen.

The trolls, the moving piano & the guy with a box, really funny!

There is so much to discover in this region that you can find car routes to visit one town to another. We had to pass the Route de Fromage (cheese trail) for lack of time but we took time to visit the little town built around a Benedictine Monastery in Conques, dating back to the 8th century. We also learned that the region is known for religious pilgrimages. It truly is one of France's greatest treasures & considered as a Grand Site.

The monastery surrounded by the town with its typical roof made of lauzes (think local slates made of rocks). The town only has one ATM macine, some shops don't have phones & it is still spared of commerce & extravagant tourist traps. It is well conserved in the middle of nowhere.

France, and the rest of Europe is a history & culture overdose. We have yet to take a peek in the east & north of France. Although we exploded our budget for this year's summer, it was all worth it & France has proven once again how they conserved a country that is definitely enthralling. And my appreciation of the beauty & France is growing everytime summer ends. If only I could replace all the pine trees by coconuts.

I am a crazy good samaritan

While I was busy blogging awhile ago, my neighbor infront knocked on our door. She was telling me that she left her other set of keys in the keyhole from the inside so she couldn't open it.

Me: Vous voulez telephoner quelq'un? (You want to call somebody?)

My neighbor: Tsk, sighs.

Me: Est-ce que vous avez laisser la porte de salle de bain ouverte? Comme ça on peut passer par la? (Did you leave your bathroom door open? So we can pass by the balcony.)

My neighbor: Eh, non. Tsk, sighs.

Me: Going to other side of the balcony. C'est dangereux par la et c'est loin de votre balcon. (It's dangerous here & it's far from your balcony.)

My neighbor: Tsk, sighs.

Me: Bon, d'accord. Est-ce que la porte de votre balcon est ouvert? (Fine, ok. Is your balcony door open?)

My neighbor: With a million dollar smile. Oui, c'est ouvert! (Yes, it's open!)

Me: Crazy in my head went. Je vais. (I go.) This is what I crossed over, pressed on the building wall, to help her open her door:

My neighbor: Mon Dieu, comment j'ai eu peur. Je vous embrasse. Merci beaucoup. (My God, how I was scared. I give you a kiss. Thank you so much.) Il faut pas dire a quelq'un quelque chose comme ça. Ca reste entre nous, hein? (We shouldn't tell anybody something like that. It's between you & me, huh?)

And instead of just sighing, she just couldn't tell me to do it. I smiled & when I closed our door, I was still shaking. Although we were just on the first floor, the idea of making a circus act still gave me cold feet. What the hell was I thinking?!


From Manila to Paris, then to Marseille & to the Côte d'Azur, now in Singapore, clinging to a map of three worlds, where everything becomes all relative.


  1. Hi Spiderwoman! At least you saved the old dame in distress, hehe. I'm glad you didn't fall off though. And, your neighbor offered you just a bisous as payment?! Daya. Hehehe.
    The festival looks really interesting. Do some of them participate in the avignon festival as well? or do they play specifically for the Aurillac festival?

  2. I know! My dame in distress didn't even cheered on my while I was doing my circus act! I'm really not sure if they're all just in Aurillac but I'm sure you'll find them in Avignon too. Is it really the same as in Avignon?

  3. Putsa Makis, you are one crazy girl! Don't ever do that again!!

  4. Oh no I can't imagine you crossing the terrace!!! You are one brave girl ;-) but next think twice before executing !

    Love the pics Makis. Have a happy weekend !

  5. Luv the photos, Makis. Wish I can go back and visit more of France soon. About your mad "Catwoman" skills, I hope you're not going to make it a habit climbing balconies and such. Not good at all ;-) Tsk, tsk, tsk...