windmills ancient and modern

We finally made the trip over to the village of Ally for a walk today, something we’ve been meaning to do for ages. It’s a little village high up on a plateau at over 1000m of altitude, and it’s the site of both a modern wind farm (Parc Éolien d’Ally), and number of restored nineteenth century windmills.

On a clear day, we can just make out the wind turbines along the skyline in the far distance (there’s a photo of them silhouetted against the sunset in this post), so it was fascinating to see them at close quarters. I know that they’re very controversial, but they did look rather beautiful outlined against the blue sky, like dramatic modern sculptures.

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They’ve developed a long way from the windmills of the nineteenth century, although I suppose the basic principle of generating power from the wind using sails remains the same.

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The walk was a lovely one, with spectacular views most of the way. We were a little disconcerted towards the end to realise how far away we were from Ally, and that we had to drop down into a valley and climb back up again to reach it (see the larger photo below). It was very hot by then too.


Luckily, Ally has really good facilities for such a small place, so we were able to recover with a cold beer at the bar tabac before buying some fresh bread from the boulangerie, and finally heading home. All in all, a most satisfying day.

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One thought on “windmills ancient and modern

  1. Lovely! I wonder what Ally means … we have an Ally in Cantal too – on the far western border towards Rocamadour. No windmill too and a little less altitude though it does have the stunning Chateau de la Vignes 🙂

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