Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Creuse - where we are

Creuse is one of the most central and rural departments in France, one of the three departments of the Limousin region of which the capital is Limoges. It's situated on the edge of the ancient volcanic region of the Massif Central, bordered on the west by the lower lying Haute Vienne department, and on the east by the generally higher altitude Auvergne region.

It's a very wooded (mainly deciduous), hilly area, with a large amount of granite rock, hot summers and cold winters - rather reminiscent of Wales except for the heat. It can get up to about 38°C in summer and down to –20C or less in winter, with quite a large amount of rainfall and small lakes around every corner (it's not called "vert et bleu" – green and blue, for nothing!). The Creuse is the first patch of high land you reach coming from the centre-west coast, and here, we're about the same height as the high points of the Peak District in England, at 600m.
Being very rocky, there is not much arable land, most is used for cattle or forestry.

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