On the border of Cantal and Haute-Loire, 30 minutes from Brioude, a vast plateau extends: Ally-Mercoeur and its land caressed by the wind. There, it is also possible to visit old windmills and even to sleep there; to build kites; to discover the secret of wind turbines. But not only… At Ally, the Action Ally 2000 association invites you to descend towards the center of the earth, in the ancient mines of La Rodde . A trip that will seduce lovers of geology, science and history...

Journey between heaven and the center of the earth to discover the secrets of Ally

Windmills, kings of the Ally plateau

Once upon a time, Ally had over 1000 residents and 10 windmills. Among them, 7 still persist on this large plateau perched at an altitude of 1.000 m. And if the first mills of Ally were medieval, those who live on site are still more recent, from the 1971th century. All restored or even transformed over the years, between 2009 and XNUMX.
Le Pargeat mill, emblem of the town, was the first restored mill, in 1971, before a new renovation in 2002-2003. Open to free or guided visits from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 14 p.m. to 18 p.m. from July 2, this is also where the Action Ally 2000 association offers a kite making . And for those who don't have the soul to tinker, "this year, we will also be offering them for hire", specifies Alban Désimeur, the director.

Le panoramic mill is aptly named. Glazed and perched high, it overlooks the village offering a breathtaking view of the Auvergne mountains and puys. It is also from there that the Action Ally 2000 association takes visitors on a discovery tour of the Ally-Mercoeur wind farm and its 26 wind turbines. These giants provide the electricity needed for a quarter of the Haute-Loire department! Retrace with the association, the history of the energy of the wind… Appointment on the spot from 14 to 18 pm every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from July 2nd.

Le Word mill is the last of the Ally mills to be shut down, in 1956. Formerly called the White House mill, it was transformed in 2009 into a chatterbox… All you have to do is approach it for it to comes to life and begins to tell its story, that of the former millers of the country and many other testimonies... A unique experience with a free and unguided visit throughout the year.

Go on an adventure in the bowels of the earth in the footsteps of the miners of yesteryear

Better not have back problems or be claustrophobic! Indeed, it is difficult to get comfortable in the ancient galleries of mines of La Rodde open to visit. Thanks to the Action Ally 2000 association, slip into the shoes of a miner and go back in time through more than 2 years of history and exploitation of the Ally mines. 000 meters of dark and humid underground passages through which one can only imagine the hard work of the men and children who worked there… Lead, silver, antimony… Can you recognize the good vein?

A visit that is both scientific and historical in a place which, although secure, remains authentic. Are you passionate about archaeology, geology and minerals? Good news ! The adventure then continues with a workshop of search for minerals with a specialist. All you have to do is arm yourself with a magnifying glass, a hammer, and practice!

New, more naturalistic workshops on the theme of biodiversity could also be tested this summer. Because today, it is spiders, bats and other amphibians that inhabit these kilometers of gallery… Nature always takes back its rights.

Theatre, hiking... Ally's summer activities to note in the diary!

Theater evenings on Friday 15 and Saturday 16 July from 21 pm at the Mine de la Rodde with the company l'Etoile Filante and their play “Nuit des étoiles”. A violin concert is also planned. A treasure hunt and several other activities will be organized in the afternoons. Refreshment on site.
The mill festival will take place on Sunday July 24 with a refreshment bar and several activities around the Ally mills in the afternoon.
Night hike followed by a hotpot on Friday August 5 from the multipurpose room at 20:30 p.m. Reservations required.

Two windmills transformed into lodgings for unusual nights.
In Ally, two mills have also been renovated into charming gites. What an unusual night to spend! Don't worry, sleeping in sacks of flour is out of the question! The small gîtes of around 20 m² were renovated in the early 2000s into comfortable and charismatic lodgings.
Le Moulin de Montrome, set in 300 m² of land with a view, is equipped, on the ground floor, with a small kitchen and a dining area, and upstairs with a bedroom, flanked by its bathroom. 'water. Ideally located, it allows you to reach the mines of La Rodde on foot.

Just 3 km away, the La Meunière mill, laid out in the same way as the first one, overlooks the valley, offering a beautiful view of the countryside and its wind turbines. In addition, the two cottages are about fifteen minutes drive from Lavoûte-Chilhac, its Cluniac priory, from the Allier, its swimming and white water sports areas.

With the Auberge Paysanne d'Ally, traditions are on the plate

At Ally, you can therefore spend original nights, but also eat good meals thanks to theAlly Country Inn and its cuisine that is both traditional and gourmet. An inn rich in history. Because it is the sole survivor, after many adventures, of the 13 café-restaurants that dotted the town in the XNUMXth century.

While after the war, the small town of Ally was dying... It was not until the 80s that 7 families of local farmers breathed new life into the village, by reopening the old inn... "And they were going to have a wild success, mainly thanks to word of mouth”, says Maryse Chaume, one of the three managers of the current inn. Such a success that the inn was quickly rebuilt, larger, on the site it occupies today in the town of Ally.

Then, in the 90s, the neighboring processing workshop was born, enabling the Auberge Paysanne d'Ally to market its own products: sausages, pâtés, terrines, tripous… and then fresh products. “That's when we started the markets: Brioude on Saturdays, Cournon on Sundays…”, which still persist today. “From now on, we also go two or three times a month in the south, near Orange and Avignon for sales of boxes of meat”.

Finally, to spoil nothing, the Auberge Paysanne d'Ally offers local and tasty cuisine with 4 menus on the menu.
The Traditional: homemade charcuterie, omelet, salad, cheese and dessert.
Le Campagnard: homemade charcuterie, baked potato, roast or Ally tripous, salad, cheese and dessert.
Le Truffade: homemade charcuterie, truffade, salad, cheese and dessert.
And the youngest, the Discovery menu, created by the young chef Emmanuel Vidal, the last to join the inn's team of 16 partners, in 2016. A surprise menu that is not always offered, but which follows your desires from the young chef: charcuterie, breaded pig’s trotter, tomato tartare with goat cheese, trout or melon, two meats of your choice for the main course accompanied by small vegetables, cheese, and to finish off in style, a gourmet plate flanked by homemade ice cream . “We even have goat's milk! says Maryse Chaume.

The Auberge Paysanne d'Ally is open every Sunday from May 1 to November 15 by reservation. From July 14 and throughout the month of August: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday noon, and Friday, Saturday, Sunday noon and evening. The rest of the year, the hostel is open by reservation for groups of at least 25 people. Don't hesitate to call!

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