On the third day of the seven-day tour of Dordogne with my friend since kindergarten, we finally got it right.
We narrowed down our “to do” list to a manageable number of places to see in one day. We came up with the concepts of “walkabouts” and “drive by photo shootings.” In other words, there are places where we want to park the car and walk around, and there are others we just want to drive through and take pictures on the run.
We’ve gotten quite good at spotting a perfect photo opportunity, slowing the car down to a near-stop, then Julie taking a picture out the window.
Today’s adventure started after we took more photos and checked out of our “dream” Chateau Mercués outside Cahors.
Home of Josephine Baker
First stop: Les Milandes, Chateau built by Caumont family in the 1400’s and former home of Josephine Baker.
The self-guided tour through the chateau and the immaculate grounds was well worth the time and 3.5 euros fee. Costumes and possessions of the American songstress and philanthropist, who dazzled Paris during the 30’s at the Follies Bergere were displayed throughout the chateau. Most rooms had the furnishings and decorations that were owned and used by Baker and her large family, the “Rainbow Tribe,” while living there. (No inside photos allowed.)
Le Roque Gageac
As if carved into the side of cliffs, Le Rogue Gageac is a small and friendly tourist town alongside the Dordogne. There were lots of tourists, but not so many as we imagined had filled the town a few weeks earlier.
It was here we began to see our first signs of foie gras– the duck delicacy found famously in this part of the world.
The picturesque town above the Dordogne valley was a bit of a surprise to me. I thought it was going to be much larger than it is. While quite a nice place with cute shops and cafes, Domme was a quick stop for us. Parking the car for an hour and walking around taking photos was quite enough for us to say we’d “done” Domme
I will say, if we had not already stopped for lunch, this spot that looks over the valley would have given us a great view.
If I didn’t love Uzes so much, Sarlat could possibly be my next home. Oh my! To die for!
After a “drive by photo shooting” in Beynac-et-Cazenet where the pictures of the town and chateau are still in Julie’s camera, we landed in Sarlat.
Today’s visit to Sarlat was short — mostly to find where to park and where to go on Saturday for market day. I can tell I want to spend more time exploring the place, its shops, cafes and intriguing back street.
I’m not certain how we decided on this spot to stay for the next three nights, but the tiny village of Marquay is giving us a welcomed respite from our hurried pace.
Actually, the small, family-owned hotel outside Sarlat is a good jumping off place for each of the next days on our trip. A “home base,” so to speak. It’s a far cry from the luxurious chateau last night, but it’s cozy and friendly, and everything we need to recharge and move on.
Next stop: Lascaux