Emmanuel Boitier - At the heart of France


The Cézallier is a wide plateau of volcanic origin in central Frane. It is an infinite landscape of grassy hills, planed by the glacial activity, that rises in 1200 m of height on average. Cézallier is a top-plateau of estive. Although of modest height, the life is rough there and the people, scattered in small hamlets, are there rare, about an inhabitant per km2. The pastoral tradition, which dates at least the prehistory, shaped landscapes: the feed won little by little on forests to the point that today the tree is very rare. For whom walk on the mounts of the Cézallier for the very first time, it is very often a feeling of space. An almost terrible sensation, an endless space which nothing or almost comes to bound: here, no cutting summit, nor even of reliable horizon, but old used volcanoes wrapped with an unusual silence. The glance gets lost there, the imagination raves and it’s all one geographical dream which is usually set up: wind (called here the “écir”) caressing the long herbs of meadows similar to the Mongolian steppes, the deep and secret lakes, as a Scottish loch, a river tumbling down on somber basalt columns, jumble, such an Icelandic waterfall, a valley ice-cold and numbed with cold, as a Norwegian peninsula, secret peat bogs, enclosed in an enclave of tortuous pines, as in Finnish taiga. It’s finally as if the space filled with a dreamlike. The Cézallier is really nothing of that kind, but doubtless just a little of quite at the same time, a space stretches at the heart of France, in one indifference. As a treasure.

Location: Auvergne, France

Tags: bog, cezallier, Emmanuel Boitier, france, mountain, summer

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