Awaken to Le Puy, France

Bonjour mes amis,

My apologies for being away a little too long. How I have missed you! I’ve been stuck in a cataclysmic episode of The Unexpected- hence ‘my french awakening’ absence has stung my heart and I’ve had to wait for that poignant moment of bliss when someone or something rips the stinger out as quickly as it came. The time has arrived and I sit happier than ever to be writing to you again. So, how are you?

My mind wonders as to when I have experienced The Unexpected before in such earth shattering doses and I instantly recall Le Puy.

Let me fill you in …

Le Puy en Velay is a wonderful French village smack bang in the very heart of the Auvergne region of central France and full of surprises. Firstly, it’s nestled amongst dramatic landform-hilly with high volcanic protrusions reaching to the skies. South of Lyon, (about a hundred and twenty km in fact) Le Puy is a pilgrimage site on the way to Santiago de Compostela, under the protection of Unesco World Heritage and The Virgin Mary (Notre Dame de France). It is she in all her bronzed regalia, made entirely from the melting of Russian canons of the Crimean War, which is the first sight you see when you encroach upon the village. She reigns in gigantic proportions from one of the highest pinnacles of volcanic rock.

There she is in the background…

On another, you will notice the unexpectedly small yet thoughtful tenth century chapel of St Michel’s perched on top.

The walk directly up the steep volcanic plug is not for the faint hearted nor anyone suffering acrophobia but the view at the summit is worth it…

Come inside St Michel’s for some quiet contemplation and steady those wobbly legs…

On your descent…

Mingle amongst the finest lace makers of France…

and the very friendly shop keepers…

Get lost in a maze of historic streets…

and relish in surprising sights of delightfully delicious Le Puy…

amongst hidden treasures like fabulous vintage book shops and card makers who have stood the test of time.

But the most unexpected thing of all is what happens inside the Cathedral of Notre Dame on Mount Corneille where the ancient statue of the Black Madonna is housed. Many pilgrims and ordinary folk have been cured throughout history here. Fascinating don’t you think?

Le Puy is old and experienced and miracles are worth believing in.

We can choose how to react when The Unexpected rears its ugly head in our lives from time to time. It can bring upset and change or you can choose to see something else entirely.

I choose joy. Visit Le Puy. It will prove me right.

Au revoir,

Best Wishes, Therese Waddell

copyright@2010 Therese Waddell


5 Responses to “Awaken to Le Puy, France”

  1. Absolutely stunning! And those cakes look scrumptious!

  2. hi Therese,
    I agree with Hope re cakes, though the lace making is also amazing!!

  3. I just stumbled upon your site and I have more of a question than a comment: would Le Puy be worth a day trip from Lyon? To put my question in context, i will only be in Lyon 3 days. I’m using a half-day to visit Perouge and my “free” day to visit Le Puy is Easter Sunday. I’m not too sure trekking out to Le Puy would be worth it if everything will be closed. However, it might be because everything in Lyon will likely be closed and wandering the alley of Le Puy might be way better than wandering the alleys of Vieux Lyon for a second time. Sorry to ramble but i wanted to be clear. Any advice would be really welcome. Thanks and I look forward to checking out your site more thouroughly. Regards,

    • Dear Gabriel,
      Le Puy has all sorts of things to see and do even if it is Easter Sunday when you arrive. I suggest walking around the old town and visit the Cathedral and the old part of town.Le Puy is more intimate than Lyon and has some very unique vantage points that you won’t find elsewhere. The view from St Michaels Chapel and volcanic plugs are beautiful well worth it and keeping fit is great whilst doing so! There is a favourite little pub of mine there in the centre which does a great lunch on Sunday. Check out details before you arrive and go to the calendar of events at:
      before you go.Let me know how it all goes when you have a fabulous time, Therese

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