Richard Alexander

473 Flips | 3 Magazines | 36 Likes | 59 Following | 53 Followers | @RichardAlex5pbf | Writing and photography about everything related to central France -- travel, history, food, and culture of the Auvergne, the Limousin, the Centre, away from the beaten path followed by most tourists!  Find me at DeepHeartOfFrance.com

Belvès is officially one of France's "Most Beautiful Villages"

The 1st impression may not have been the best - then I discovered the charm of Belvès, officially one of the "most beautiful villages" in France.

Road Cycling

France’s Green Volcanoes Just Received UNESCO World Heritage Status

There are some places in France that everyone knows are worth a visit: the city of Paris, the lavender fields of Provence, the cliffs of the Cote …

France

Big News from UNESCO for the Deep Heart of France! - Deep Heart of France

There is only ONE natural site on mainland France that's been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, and it's the Chaîne des Puys!

France

A July 4th Memory from the Deep Heart of France - Deep Heart of France

The story of Lafayette is a reminder of how important the relationship between America and France has been through history. Lafayette's castle in …

France

At Les Eyzies

I’m bent over to half my height, but it’s not enough to protect my head from a hard thump from a stone hanging in the dark reaches of the<i> cave at the</i> …

Sleeping Giants: Hiking the Auvergne Volcano Trail

Travel to the Auvergne region of France for stunning vistas, medieval villages, traditional gastronomy, and some of the country’s finest hiking …

5 Reasons to Visit Montferrand in the Deep Heart of France - Deep Heart of France

No identity crisis here!It would be easy to understand if the people of Montferrand carried some kind of grudge. Its name has all but disappeared as …

Monpazier is officially one of France's "Most Beautiful Villages"

Living in an anxious ageLots of French towns are surrounded by walls. Some of them look easy to breach; they were meant mostly to control access to …

5 Reasons to Make Sarlat-la-Canéda Your Vacation Headquarters

We’ve been to Sarlat-la-Canéda (most people just say “Sarlat”) several times, and each visit reveals more to love about this fine medieval town in …

4 Things We Learned at the Great Chateau at Polignac

Remembering our 1st weekend in FranceWhen I wrote my first post for this blog back in 2016, I focused on the choice we made for our very first …

The Top 10 Most Underrated Destinations in France

The Auvergne in Central France<p>If you're after underrated destinations, the whole of the Auvergne will qualify. It's a glorious mountainous area -- …

At La Madeleine

The culture of the cave dwellerWhen you hear the words “cave dweller”, your mind likely goes immediately to images of the sloping foreheads and …

Great Travel Destinations: Auvergne, France's Wild Child

<i>Auvergne is untamed and rugged – a region of forests, mountains, remote farmland and dormant volcanoes, but it also has urban sophistication and</i> …

Check out Saint-Léon-sur-Vézère, an official “Most Beautiful Village” in France

A seaport in a land-locked zone?I grew up in Oklahoma, a completely land-locked state where most of the “rivers” are spindly streams running only a …

The surprising secret at Saint Menoux – could it be a medieval cure for a modern problem?

The sound of history repeatingKaren and I will see <i>Hamilton</i> when we get to London in a couple of weeks, so I’ve been reading the Ron Chernow biography …

Is it a Church? A Cathedral? A Basilica? or something else altogether?

A question of naming choicesAlmost every town you visit in your travel around western Europe will have some kind of prominent religious building in …

You must see Le Puy en Velay – a Medieval Treasure on the Pilgrim’s Route to Compostella

Climbing to a chapel in the skyThe broad stone steps are still slippery from the rain as I start up the side of the rocky needle toward the Chapel of …

France

We’ve been nominated!

One of the principle pleasures of writing this blog is meeting readers and other bloggers all around the world who share a passion for the culture, …

8 Cool Things To Do This Spring in the Deep Heart of France - Deep Heart of France

Here are 8 springtime events to get you far from Paris and far from the beaten tourist paths to enjoy the season in the deep heart of France. From …

France

You need to see Beynac - a Castle Fortress that's also a "Most Beautiful Village" of France

Some castles in France are really palaces, some are small family homes - and some are seriously powerful fortresses created mainly for military …

Take a day trip from Paris to see this new expo at MuPop in Montlucon

The mysteries of the human voiceI know there's enormous competition for your time, attention and money when you're traveling in France. Even if …

France

Clermont-Ferrand: 8 Things to Know About One of France's "Best Places to Live"

A new survey by L’Express places Clermont-Ferrand at #4 among the “Best Places to Live in France “(outside Paris). Learn the top 8 reasons why this …

Before that Famous Tower, Gustav Eiffel Built These Amazing Structures in the Deep Heart of France

Gustav Eiffel is Back in the News (Sort Of)I just <i>ran across an article</i> from Canada's <i>Globe and Mail</i> about efforts to fund and build a major new work …

France

Paris Is Not France - 3 Great Reasons to Visit Central France

Just as knowing NYC doesn't tell you all there is to know about the U.S., visiting Paris does not get you close to the "real" France. Here are 3 …

Learn about Pradelles - one of France's "Most Beautiful Villages"

Pradelles is officially on the list of "Most Beautiful Villages of France" - not the richest in history, not the most spectacular landscape, but …

My Top 10 "Most Beautiful Villages" in the Deep Heart of France - Deep Heart of France

What makes a town one of the "most beautiful villages" in France? Here's a look at how they are chosen, along with my personal Top 10 list of …

A Must-See in Central France: The Tours de Merle, a "gated community" for medieval aristocrats

The Tours de Merle have everything I love most about traveling in the “deep heart of France”: castles, a little medieval mystery, and a challenging …

How to see the Puy de Dome

Visit the Puy de Dome in central France and get a rigorous hike, a taste of Gallo-Roman history, and a spectacular panoramic view of one of the most …

VOLVIC

The somber air of many towns in the Auvergne comes from a pervasively common building material: the pierre de Volvic – lava rock from the village of …

Is That a Rooster On Your Church?

In almost every French village you’ll find a church. And whether it’s old or new, Romanesque or Gothic, urban or rural, your eyes will be drawn up to …