Wanderlust Home and Pet Care
A Year in France - The Dordogne
May 18 The hotel shuttle took us back to Orly airport in order to pick up the lease car. Auto France was no where. Information had to call the phone # on the contract. They in turn referred her to the local office and explained where to meet the shuttle. Why does everything have to be so complicated - Don’t take anything for granted - Details, Details, Details!!
Driving a manual car again took some practice. It was a 5 hour drive plus time for a quick lunch and a quick stop for a few things at the E. Leclerc grocery store. Finding the AirBnB was very frustrating. No house number or street name! Thank goodness I asked for GPS coordinates and I remembered what the building looked like (see picture). The owner introduced us to Alain who owns the wine bar and eventually introduced us to the owner of the restaurant. We had a lovely dinner but it was way too much food even though it was the menu of the day.
We are remembering more and more words of French but it’s not enough to have a conversation.
May 19 The day is spent trying to get internet up and running. The french IP “orange” is blocking our email, firefox and some web sites. Gary was very frustrated. We finally had to talk with an Itperson for a work around - there isn’t one. We had to use Gary’s gmail address and internet explorer. For a break we walked around the village (it’s really just an historic community as there isn’t a grocery store, only restaurants and a bakery).
May 20 I was at home with a cold but we did make it to the grocery store 5 km away. It was like a super WalMart. We spent 2 hrs just trying to find some basic items but of course we must read the labels or ask questions. Hopefully this will get easier the longer we stay here.
May 21 We spent the day at Le Jardins Marqueyssac. The garden first began in 1830 as a place to ride the military officer’s horse. 1861, the garden became what it is today 10,000 boxwoods and 6km of walks. This garden is remarkable because is it placed on the top of a ridge which had wonderful views of the surrounding area and it’s castles. We then had a wonderful lunch in La Roque Gageac village along the Dore River.
May 23 Visited the musee du National PreHistoire and learned about neolithic man. It was a rainy day so good to be indoors. The best part of the museum were the videos demonstrating how the cave man made his tools. It was amazing what cave man could do with rocks, animal skin and antlers. We had a lovely lunch there in Les Eyzies and a wonderful bottle of wine - 2010 Chateau la Coustarella from Cahors. Cahors grows the malbec grape which we love. We then stopped at Carrefour for a few items as we drove home.
May 24 We came back to La Roque Gageac and took the boat ride on the river. They had a nice English recording which talked about the area. Then we drive to the village Vezac for a geocashe.
It’s a beautiful afternoon. The clothes have dried on the line in the warm sunshine. Gary starts to fix the dorado fish we purchased. The fish wasn’t SCALED or GUTTED! He took the fish and the cutting board to the stone fence across the street to clean the fish. It was delicious!! It was even nice enough to eat outside. We had a small dog come in to the garden for a quick visit. A short time later his owner was calling for the dog. The dog knew he had done wrong running away - ears back and laid down in the street. I picked him up and returned him to his owner and tried to have an English/French conversation.
May 26 Geocache in Montfort. The geocache had a great view of the castle. We then walked up the road and came across a lovely garden. The owner, Robert from England, was busy working in his garden. We had a nice chat. We then walked further along the road to a trail into the woods for a quick hike. Turned around as the trail was muddy.
May 27 Sarlat La Caneda The old medieval town center was prosperous during the 8th century under Charlemagne. It was a walled town but not much of the wall remains. We walked up and down cobbled stone alleys. Many of the building still showed their wood timber supports. The town center now is full of foie gras, truffle, souvenir stores, restaurants and tourists. We had another nice lunch with a bottle of Chateau de Gaudou 2014 from Cahors - yummy.
May 28 Domme After may twists and turns up a narrow road going to the top of the ridge was the village Domme, one of the les-plus-beaux-villages-de-france.org. The view from the top of the ridge of the french countryside was wonderful especially on this beautiful day. We had the village pretty much to ourselves. We spoke with a retired financial advisor from Edinburgh. He liked to teach people to “ski” - spend kids inheritance. Love it! We had a superb lunch with a superb view at L’Esplande hotel and restaurant, expensive but worth the money. We had a cold & hot amuse-bouche not listed on the menu. Gary had a strawberry gazpacho, quail and a strawberry tart. I had foie gras, beef filet and a Grand Marnier souffle. We had another great wine from Cahor, a Chateaux Lamartine 2011. OMG it was all glorious!
May 30 Lascaux II The original cave (grotto in french) was closed after damage to the 17,000 year old Cro-Magnon drawings. It took 20 years to build and paint a replica of the cave. There were 600 presentations of animals on the ceiling and walls of the cave. It was amazing to see. I’m glad they closed the original cave. These drawing must be kept for future generations. Maybe the future will discover how to solve the damage done to the drawings. I love the detail of the deer in this photo. They were clever people.
May 31 Rained. So we weren’t total bumps on a log, we had our hairs cut. When we were driving to Domme the other day, I missed the turn in Cenac. I keep driving to find a place to turn around. Exactly where we turned around was a salon that took Mixte (male and female). My wrong turn was meant to be. Because we needed to make an appointment, we went geocaching at the local church built in the 12th century and learned something new.
June 2 Beynac et Cazenac Village. We walked the cobbled stone streets and made our way to the castle/fortress at the top of the ridge. ANOTHER cute village and many homes which I could call my own.
June 1 Rained so walked to the local restaurant Le Centenaire Bar Brasserie for foie gras with Mango chutney, duck confit and I had the cake while Gary had frommage for dessert. The owner, Yoan, had a wonderful command of the English language. I promised to email a USA road trip to him for the winter when he is closed. Facebook.com/lecentenaire
June 3 Belves Village I choose this village because of the market square built in the 15th century. The market had the original chain use to chain up criminals for public humiliation. Maybe we should use that today. We could experiment using Times Square. It wasn’t as charming a village but it did have it’s old building.
The Dordogne region was delightful. We didn’t see everything there is to see. I guess that means we can come back another time!!