the Heart of France
By André Gayot
For centuries, the mountains of the Central part of France stood like the ramparts of a remote fortress blocking invasions and intruders. This is where the Gauls fought the Roman invaders every inch of the way, this is where life under the sterile cones of the volcanoes is harsh, this is where the deep mountain lakes fill the water tower of France, this is where at the end of the freezing winters the broom bushes repaint in yellow the slopes of the eroded basaltic summits, this is Auvergne. A land of fierce warriors, hard working farmers and workers, the very and somewhat concealed heart of France.
Freeways, fast trains, airports pierce the relief but nature is still mostly pristine. The "Auvergnats" strive to retain some of their past. They are proud of their products, of their production and of their culture. Some of the best cheeses such as Saint Nectaire, Bleu d'Auvergne, Murol, Fourme d'Ambert are raised here.
(Updated: 07/02/08 HC)