Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Sarlat-la-Caneda

We drove five hours east from Lacanau on the ocean to the department (i.e. region) of Dordogne and a small village in Perigord Noir called Sarlat-la-Caneda.  It was a nice stop in the french countryside and halfway to our next destination.

Since arriving in France, we had been staying in AirBnBs with no problems at all.  The owners had been nice and all of the apartments were the perfect size for the three of us so we felt pretty confident each time we arrived in a new city.  This time, in Sarlat, the owner was not very responsive to emails and texts and didn't provide advance instructions regarding check-in.  So, we stopped at a cafe and had a beer waiting to see if our pre-paid reservation was a hoax.  It wasn't until 6pm that we heard back - about 15 minutes before we booked another place. We would only be staying for two nights so we made the best of it and set out to enjoy the town.

Sarlat is a 14th century town built around a benedictine abbey that is primarily known for it's savory food including foie gras (goose liver) and pate with vegetarian options like cepes (wild mushrooms) and walnuts.  We had a delicious dinner (minus the foie gras and pate) and then headed out the next day to explore the region.

We found our way to Chateau de Beynac.  This medieval castle atop the limestone cliffs above the Dordogne River was the center of many battles during the Hundred Years War where one side of the river was French and the other was English.  Even Richard I, also known as Richard, The Lionheart, King of England was once a baron of Beynac.  While we were there, the castle was closed for the season so we walked alone along the cobblestone streets, with history oozing through the bricks.
One of the largest rivers that runs through central France
Our AirBnB (double doors behind Kala)...I'm not sure how we figured it out, but glad we did
Home sweet home for the next two days
The town glows yellow at night
Walking around town
Just another night at a restaurant while Mom & Dad have dinner
Darn - the Creperie is closed
Too bad the distillery was closed
The Sarlat Cathedral at night
The back of the abbey
Lanterne des Mort (Lantern of the Dead) -  built in the cemetery to serve as a light for the dead to find their way
"Feudal castle of Beynac, 12th and 13th centuries.  Private Property.  Open all Year.  Paid Parking"

Walking around a 12th century castle
Kala playing around 12 c. castles.
The village cemetery 
Overlooking the Dordogne
What if this was your neighborhood?

They even had bars (very cool bars) on the windows 800 years ago
The limestone caves at the top of the village
I'm liking the french countryside

Of course there are grapevines, it's France
At the bottom of the village, looking above the caves to the Chateau de Beynac
A village garage.
If you're interested in staying in the village for holiday, this would be a very cool place.
You can barely see the steps as they wind down and around for the moss that covers them
Near Beynac, there was a truffle festival the week after we left.  As long as a dog can tell the difference between the good ones and the poisonous ones.
Worth picking?
For those who are adventurous, hiking across France, this is the way to go
A viaduct - a span made of partitions of equal length transitioned over land.  Over water, a span is called a "Pont"  This is different from an aqueduct which were used by the Romans supply water to cities.

Random bamboo growing along the train tracks (I'm guessing not indigenous)

3 comments:

Sabrina and Tom said...

Amazing. Everything is so old and yet, still there.

Molly Gillespie said...

It was really amazing. I think it is one of he busier towns in summer so I’m glad we could see it without stepping over people. Quite a few places in France are as old as the Romans and Gauls. Since France was occupied by the Nazis early in WWII and did not have much of a chance against them, they were able to avoid German bombs destroying historic sites, unlike the British. Most things that were bombed in France were a result of the Allied forces targeting Hitler.

Molly Gillespie said...

BTW, we have moved the blog over to Wordpress if you’re interested in future posts. Here is a link. https://sailingterrapin.com/blog/

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