The day started with continuous rain beating against the windshield, not a good omen as we headed to hopefully warmer and drier climes further south. This day was committed to less driving and the opportunity to visit the Puy de Dome, an area of recent but now extinct volcanos immediately west of the city of Clermont Ferrand. A road has been constructed to the top of Puy de Dome, from which excellent views of lesser volcanic cones can be seen when the clouds disappear (which they did!)
Our next night was to be in a Chambre d'Hote above the spa town of St. Nectaire but we had plenty of time to picnic high in the foothills flanking Mont Dore, another (older and larger) volcanic center. St. Nectaire once had popular thermal baths and has obviously seen better days, but our B&B was incredible - located high on the hillside with dramatic views of Mont Dore as well as the town below.