A country hidden by a large dog - A country hidden by a large dog - CycleBlaze

A country hidden by a large dog

ALL RIGHT, it's an exaggeration. There are countries in Europe a lot smaller than Luxembourg. But it's a pretty small place,nevertheless, the sort of country that could be hidden if not by a dog then an inconveniently placed hill.

Why go there? Because it's there, I suppose, cliché though that may be. Steph had never been and, while I'd been there, I'd driven from one side of the country to the other without even changing gear.

The plan, therefore, is to go from here, about halfway between Bordeaux and Toulouse, to a village called Le Caylar, over in the east and not far from the world's tallest bridge at Millau. There, as in other years,we will revel in the lightly hippie aspect of the festival of travelling slowly that takes over the place for a week every summer.

That will mean dropping the four kilometres into the valley above which our house stands, then up the other side before finally rolling downhill for 10km to our nearest train station at Valence d'Agen. Two trains to reach Béziers, on the Mediterranean, a night in the town and then an all-station stopper a little north to get within striking distance of the festival.

If you don't know the festival, and there's probably little reason why you should, it has many aspects such as bird-watching walks, calligraphy courses, yoga and the like, and bands and food in the street. But the main attraction is the films of journeys that have one thing in common: that they were conducted slowly. Go by bike, by foot, with a donkey, however you like, and you'll have your place at Le Caylar.

But first, we have to get there.

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