This museum, dedicated to steam engines and agriculture is unique in its style and displays some interesting specimen of steam powered machines, tractors, steamrollers, threshing machines, etc. . . It is located in an old industrial area near the train station, in an old factory building (a sawmill). The last time I was there with my camera it was...more
I visited this paper mill and museum 3-4 times, but without camera. . . Personal picture when I will update. . . . . This is the last working paper mill of Auvergne. They have also a museum displaying artefacts of local life in the past centuries: bedrooms, furniture, kitchen, etc; and of course there is a guided visit in the paper mill which is...more
The Dore river runs from the Craponne plateau down to the Allier and waters the western part of Ambert. This relatively small river is in places a roaring stream and in other places, a very quiet river. During hot sunny summer days it is quite refreshing and relaxing to walk along the shores of this river under thick foliage; walking tracks are...more
If there is one thing not to be missed in Ambert, it is the Musée de la Fourme, which is much more than the Fourme museum, it is a cheese museum, where you can learn how cheese is done, what sorts of cheese are elaborated world wide, how to serve cheese, well, everything you wanted to know about cheese and did not dare to ask! In this museum a lot...more
This church is not exactly an architectural beauty, a rather massive construction, of gothic style, from the 15-16th century, with a bell tower from the Renaissance. It is a custom to call it a cathedral, but it is not anymore; sometimes it is called the cathedral of Livradois and indeed, you can see it from almost everywhere in the surroundings...more
When you walk in the quiet streets of Ambert, open your eyes; not only you will see half timbering houses, but also old stone built houses, small arches with porches linking streets, the long circular street following the former defensive wall, see old carved doors, and of course lots of shops. Just have a walk. Look also at the street names; for...more
The old half timbering houses of Ambert are a bit special: I do not know one which has a right angle between the walls and which has really vertical walls: this is part of the charm of these houses, lots of which are painted in bright colours.Since a few years they are renovated and I think it is good to keep these houses as they were, and not to...more
City hallIn one of the novels of Jules Romains, one of the character writes to his friend wanting to visit him: “I will wait for you opposite the city hall, that day, that time”. Well, when you see this building, where is opposite. . . ?This building also called la mairie ronde is a former corn exchange building, erected in the 19th century and...more
Ambert by itself is worth a visit but in my opinion, the surroundings are so beautiful that you may spend years before you see every thing, but well, a few days will do it for beginning and if you fall in love with the area, nothing prevents to come back.A visit to the Tourist office in Ambert would be the best to begin with; AMBERT OFFICE DE...more
To get to Ambert, you can go by plane if you are rich (there is a small airfield for private small planes), by train (until Clermont-Ferrand or Vichy and then by bus) if you have. . . . lots of time , walking, biking, but the best is to go there by car. The nearest highway is about 50 km near Thiers, so you will have to drive scenic small or medium roads. If you arrive from north, I recommend you leave Clermont Ferrand and go with the D212 via Cournon and Billom, then follow the blue road on the map (picture1). You will go through picturesque villages like StDier d’Auvergne and St Amand Roche Savine , drive through two passes and then plunge down to Ambert. Coming from far, picture 2 shows an overview map to locate Ambert in France.
The train is a bit fastidious, and when during Summers my family was in our “den”, 15 km from Ambert, I came from Paris on week-ends by train, changed to a SNCF (French National Railway) bus in Vichy and this bus goes in every village before arriving in Ambert; it is a nice trip but very long and you need to be resistant to seasickness. . . .
And, as I wrote above is the plane. . . (picture3), just a pic of the landing track.
Ah and the cattle, the way to herd it, to grow it, is also disappearing for the sake of PROFITABILITY!! Veal and beef here have a real taste, the meat served in butcheries and restaurants is wonderful, has nothing to do with what I get in most of places in Paris, Pau, Houston or elsewhere. The animals live on meadows or fields, do not get food...more
I cannot resist writing again about this cheese; Originally the fourme was elaborated in the Hautes Chaumes areas (high meadows) in the Forez Mountains, East of Ambert, when the cattle was herded there, from May to October, before going down to the valleys when the weather became bad. The milk is first clabbered, them put in forms (very strict...more
When you walk around in Ambert or in the villages and countryside, you may notice that many houses are decorated with pear trees near the entrance. Generally, we see flower lianes or wine, but pears! Well, the trees provide fruit or sugar for winter, and they generally grow on the south exposed side of the houses. I find these trees quite...more
Many hiking trails or tracks lead to villages and small chapels. These chapels are sometimes very richly decorated and even are sometimes used when the priest comes in the area, generally not for good news. . . The chapels have generally a story (miraculous fountain nearby, social cement when they were built, built on a special event. . . ) and are...more
Hiking trails are everywhere in the hills around Ambert, and walking a few hours you can discover beautiful landscapes, visit tiny villages and their chapels, look at cattle, find mushrooms in the woods, cross small creeks; well, it is just relaxing to go out for a few hours. At the tourist office, they provide maps or folders to help you can...more