A nice town in the middle of France
"Travel Diaries exhibition"
As some of you might know I use to make TRAVEL DIARIES of my trips, so I keep a nice memory of them while I enjoy painting watercolors on the road and kill the dead hours in hotels, bus stations... Surfing the internet I found out about a French Travel Diaries Biennal that took place every year in Clermont-Ferrand (France). In France Travel Diaries (Carnets de Voyage) are big business, there are professionals in this, many publishing houses and it is taken more seriously than in the rest of the world (in Spain ie. is practically inexistant). So... I wrote them a mail and there I was!
A total amateur in the middle of a big exhibition with more than 100 exhibitors, most of them with published books (several) about their "severalmonths" travels around all the world. I was lucky indeed to have that chance, as the Association invited me (with my little Peru Diary), payed me the hotel, meals and even transpotation and gave me the opportunity to take a look of this fantastic world that I (isolated in Spain) hardly knew...
Clermont happened to be a rather interesting middle-sized provincial town in the very middle of France. Terribly cold in winter (and it was november), with a charming city center of narrow old streets and a wonderful gothic cathedral. I only stayed there 2 days, but took a free afternoon in my "official" activities to take a good look around.
What I like most (more than the Cathedral perhaps) were those tiny little streets with the Boulangerie and the little cafés and the private houses with all those flowers and plants. Besides, it was really cold, not many people dared to walk around, so it was nice and silent. After a while walking I sat at a local cafe terrace (inside, of course) to enjoy a wonderful "Cafe-au-lait" with a croissant!