Visiting an entirely new area is always exciting, if knowledge of the area is also quite limited this only adds to the anticipation of a possible adventure.
The Aveyron region, in the Midi-Pyrénées of the South of France is one such area for me, although aware of the major cities such as Toulouse and Montauban the majority of the region was relatively unknown to me.
The itinerary I had been provided with certainly sounded exciting with caving, hiking, climbing, via-ferrata, canoeing, bungee jumping and parapenting included in the progamme. The schedule was an adrenalin junkies dream but the region has so much more to offer; history, culture, art, medieval castles and modern architectural wonders such as the Millau Viaduct are just a few options available to the traveller that wants a full on and varied experience.
It is an extremely beautiful region filled with picturesque towns, steep sided mountain gorges, lush green woodland through which clear highland streams and rivers flow. It is also the South of France so the weather is generally very good, which is likely to be another good reason to make a visit for most of us.
The people are friendly and welcoming, offering a genuine smile which is probably slightly sympathetic as they will remain long after you leave! It is useful to have at least a smattering of French, but it is definitely possible to get by without. I even made a point of sticking resolutely to English when making anything other than small talk to test how it worked out.
There seems to be a great deal going on in almost every village and town. Everywhere I visited appeared to have a festival of some sort taking place. Jazz, dance, medieval and food tasting events were among just a few that were attracting locals and tourists alike, in fact there is enough going on to keep the average traveller happy for several summer seasons.
There will be greater detail of the trip in future posts but initially I thought that a photo essay would be a good start, letting the images do most of the talking. Hopefully it will whet your appetite, leave you hungry for more and looking out for more posts about the Midi-Pyrénées region. Enjoy reading and browsing the images, it may even lead you to visit this lovely part of Southern France yourself.
Oh and just in case you are wondering the wining and dining is of course exceptional but showing you that would just be unfair. All will be divulged in good time.