A late spring in France's Patagonia

As it did nearly everywhere in Europe this year, spring arrived late in this region, the Cantal. We enjoyed a brief stop-over there this June and it was as if spring had just started.

Violets in the Cantal
Narcissi in the Cantal

We stayed north-west of Aurillac and were lucky to have three days of exceptionally fine weather, arriving when the meadows and high pastures were full of newly-bloomed wild flowers.

Valleys nestled in the high Cantal
Valleys nestled in the high Cantal

We were advised to visit le plateau du Cézallier and were told it resembled parts of Patagonia. It wasn’t a bad comparison. What the plateau lacked by way of trees, it made up for with pastures full of wild flowers – particularly narcissi – and cows, thousands of them.

Allanche, the Cantal
In the Cantal

It is not difficult to imagine that life in the high Cantal in winter must be hard, and the spring and summer seasons there would be short at best. These verdant plateaus support an interesting variety of cattle, the centre of a vibrant culture of transhumance.

Le plateau du Cézallier
Le plateau du Cézallier
Le plateau du Cézallier


45° 5' 10.2732" N, 2° 53' 20.58" E