How many English-speaking tourists have found their way to the Roof of France--in other words, the ancient Gévaudan, the romantic department of the Lozère? How many English--or for the matter of that French travellers either--have so much as heard of the Causses, those lofty tablelands of limestone, groups of a veritable archipelago, once an integral whole, now cleft asunder, forming the most picturesque gorges and magnificent defiles; offering contrasts of scenery as striking as they are sublime, and a phenomenon unique in geological history?
w-formed project, and penetrate into the solitudes of the Causses. However, I determined to try.
My journey begins at the ancient town of Le Puy, former capital of the Vivarais, chef-lieu of the department of the Haute Loire, and, it is unnecessary to say, one of the most curious towns in the world. We had journeyed thither by way of St. Étienne, and were bound for Mende, the little mountain-girt bishopric and capital of the Lozère.
We had to be up betimes, as our train for Langogne, corresponding with the Mende diligence, started at five in the morning. It might have been midnight when we quitted the Hôtel Gamier--would that I could say a single word in its favour!--so blue black the frosty heavens, so brilliant the stars, the keen September air biting sharply.
More fortunate than a friend whose pocket was lately picked of twenty- five pounds at the railway-station here, I waited whilst the terribly slow business of ticket-taking and registration was got over, thankfu