Arrondissement de Sarlat-la-Canéda

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45 travelers at this place:

  • Day18

    Gothic Walking Tour

    April 12, 2017 in France

    The day I arrived in Barcelona I went on an afternoon walking tour of the Gothic region of the city. I have found these walking tours a great way to get orientated and you can ask the guides for tips for the rest of your visit. Alex our guide was an immigrant (as all my guides have been so far) from Ireland and was both amusing and interesting.

    There is much of the ancient Roman walls and building still left in this area but many of them have been added to over the centuries as wars and revolutions changed their purpose. Attitudes to different religious buildings changed as well with many destroyed.

    The guides take you to hidden places sometimes and one we went to was the secluded Cloisters of the Barcelona Cathedral. They were completed in the 14th century and in the middle is the "Fountain of the Geese', the fountain and pond that provide a home to 13 white geese. The sound of the loud cackling of the geese can be heard throughout and they warned of intruders and thieves. The number is symbolic of the story that Saint Eulàlia was 13 when she was martyred and she suffered 13 tortures.
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  • Day131

    Vezere and Dordogne Rivers

    June 8, 2018 in France ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    We left the beaches and pine forests at Arachon and took the train through Bordeaux to a little town, Le Lardine-St-Lazare, on the Vezere River.  We knew it was an area of limestone, and that there were caves of all sorts there and, liking caves, it seemed a good fit for us.  The Vezere and Dordogne Rivers are steeped in history, starting with Cro-Magnum people from 50,000 years ago.  We went to Montigac and the Lascaux Caves which have been described as the Sistene Chaple of pre-historic art.  They had been sealed off by a slide 17,000 years ago, and were only discovered by 4 boys in 1948.  In the 20 years they were open moisture and Carbon dioxide from visitors took their toll, so they closed the originals and you now visit a brand new reproduction that you would never know you were not the original caves painted 20,000 years ago.  Marty of course spent seveal hours biking around the hills looking for new caves.  On one of our "unloaded rides" we discovered a 1000 year old abbey in St-Amand de Coly.  The dome of the chaple is a hundred feet above you, and the limestone blocks of the floor are uneven and worn by a thousand footsteps.  We didn't think we could see any more stunning buildings, but this one was our favorite.  The Roque St Christophe a bit down the road is a troglodytic site, or a cliff dwelling, that was lived in from 55,000 years ago, and was inhabited in the Middle Ages up to the Rennaissance.  The caves extend for over a kilometer high up on the limestone cliffs above the river, and they were an easy place to keep track of enemies coming up river, like the Vikings.  Scouts could actually hide in cliffs all along the river and call to each other transmitting a message of invaders fourty kilometers in six minutes.  Riding through this area, every turn was another chateau up on a hill, with the medieval villages down below.  It would be an interesting canoe trip to go on for a week.  However, I think it would be nuts in this region in the summer if the number of canoes at the outfitters is any indication.  We rode up a really steep, but short hill to the Chateau de Castelnaud that was built in the 12th century and renovated in the early 70's.  There were displays of Medieval armoury and weapons, complete with real sized trebuches.  We stayed in a campground in Beynac, in the shadow of the cliffs upon which the Castle Beynac was built (where Richard the Lionhearted scaled an impossible wall).  These two castles were on the line defended by the French and English in the Hundred Years War, with Castelnaud changing hands seven times between them.  Joan of Arc came by here, as did many of the other big names, and this is just one small fragment of the history of this region. 

    We balanced out the human history, and took in some natural history at the Gouffre de Proumeyssac.  It is another fun story of discovery where people had used the hole at the surface since the middle ages as a garbage dump and even by bandits to dump bodies.  Finally in 1907 a shaft sinker was lowered in to see what was really there.  I can't imagine going down by candlelight!  We went down in a basket into the 40 m cavern (it is huge) and it was pretty amazing.  There are stalactites and stalagmites all around the edges, and several "waterfalls" of calcium carbonate over the ledges.  They do a funky light show, including turning off all the lights, and they make a ton of cash doing it, but it is well done.  Our camping in this area was pretty delux, with swimming pools, and we managed to sweet talk a table at each site.  The day we passed the sign at Suillac, our last official day of touring, Caleb let out a great shout and we had a party that night.  He was proud of himself, but definitely done with bike touring!  Finally we got on a train in Suillac and headed north to Paris. 
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  • Day5

    Sarlat and Lascaux

    October 24, 2018 in France ⋅ 🌙 16 °C

    Sarlat-la-Caneda is considered one of the most beautiful cities in France and Wednesday is market day there, so off we went! It has an old town that is charming and quite busy on market day. As well as stalls with local delicacies such as nuts, pate, terrine, wine, sausage, cheese, there are plenty of small shops with other things to buy. We browsed, bought a few things, and had lunch at an outdoor cafe. Since it was just 4 degrees this morning, sun was important in the choice of a table. By late afternoon it was 23 degrees, though, and we had shed our sweaters. Meanwhile the large lunch, three courses, was devoured, and we waddled off to our next stop.
    In the same vicinity is the Grotte de Lascaux, one of many cave areas in this part of France. We were surprised to see a very long, sleek, modern building, on our arrival. It turns out, to protect the cave paintings, they have built an exact reproduction of the caves to tour. The caves are 125 metres long, and so the building, too must be huge. A guide took us through this part. His English was good and his sense of humour better. It is a very technologically advanced exhibition. After leaving the cave reproduction area, you go into an exhibition of the various paintings and the small tablet you are wearing, with earphones attached, gives you a description of what you are seeing, in your chosen language. We also saw a 3-D presentation in a theatre, again translated through our set. Both of us thought we would not have chosen to go to Lascaux had we known we would not actually go into the caves, but it was so well done, we did not regret it at all.
    We had some nervous time today when our GPS stopped working. We were on our way to the caves and found that fine, but travel in the more "backwoods" areas would be very difficult without this device. Many roads are not on the maps, and it takes many turns with little guidance from road signs to get where you are going. Thankfully, GPS had a rest and was ready to work again when we came out of the caves.
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  • Day22

    Oh my god

    June 5, 2018 in France ⋅ 🌧 63 °F

    Last night we could hear very heavy rain outside our hotel and in the morning it had reduced to drizzle so I folded the very wet tonneau and put up the hood. Within a few minutes of starting of the rain began to fall harder and harder until it was bouncing off the road and I had to slow down to be able to see road ahead. It stayed like that for two hours. Thankfully the hood is very good and the side deflectors I added to the screen stopped most of it coming in so we continued without the side windows. Breakfast was bought from the supermarket before we set off and eaten in the car as it was raining too hard to stay out of the car for more than a few seconds. Eventually the rain relented to on and off drizzle so we stopped and had a kabab sandwich and a coffee. Mandy's left sleeve of her jacket was wet and so was my right one. The afternoon was better weather but the hood stayed up. At lunch we decided on a destination for the night and set of towards it only to see the sky darken again and more torrential rain hit us. The car was great it never faultered.
    We arrived without booking at this lovely place and I drove the car straight into the sheltered garage then asked for a room. Take a look at the pictures it really is nice. After a rest we walked the 2 kilometers into town and had a look around. The restaurant we ended up in was fantastic. The owner noticed we were hurrying to finish when thunder roared close by. He insisted we take our time and gave us a lift in his car back to the hotel. What a nice man. As I write it is raining very hard again but I am not bothered as our little car is nice and snug and dry, and so are we!
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  • Day17

    Surrounded by sunflower fields, had a 5 hour drive cross country to get here, me as pilot. Stressful for is all but amazing to get here and can't wait to get in the river tomorrow, hire a boat and jump off is the plan. So busy compared to our last few places.

  • Day421

    Day 422: Lascaux Caves

    April 12, 2018 in France

    Super long day today. Left home around 10am, heading east again into the countryside towards one of France's most famous sites - Lascaux. It's part of a larger series of decorated caves and prehistoric sites in the area, but Lascaux's cave paintings are by far the most famous.

    Obviously you can't go into the actual cave any more, as it was closed off in the 1960s when they realised how damaging tourism was to the paintings. A replica cave was built right next door, and now just down the hill is another replica, much larger and more modern, with a high-tech discovery centre as well.

    Unfortunately for us, the next English tour wasn't until 2:30pm so we had basically two hours to kill. We ate our baguettes in the car, filmed the outside of the centre a bit, and drove a few minutes up the road to where the original cave entrance is/was. It's pretty hidden behind a few and some bushes, but you can still just espy it through the trees.

    Finally it was our turn and I'm happy to report that the tour was really good. Not quite as good as the one at Pont d'Arc, as this was a larger group and you could easily notice the other groups in front and behind, so it sort of felt like a bit of a procession. Plus you can't take photos inside, but when I saw how crowded it was I realised it was basically to keep the groups moving.

    A good experience all up. From there we went to the discovery centre, where they have replicas of the replicas and you can photograph those to your heart's content, so we did! Lots of interesting information on display in multiple languages, but it was heavily populated with schoolkids so we beat a hasty retreat. There was also a movie presentation about how findings have developed our understanding of prehistoric humans, followed by a 3D movie about the paintings themselves which was again quite interesting - though I find 3D things quite gimmicky.

    Last stop was the VR simulation, where you could put on some VR goggles and walk around inside the cave. That was really cool, though I felt very sick after a few minutes - VR is definitely not for me!

    Finally by 5pm it was home time; a two hour drive back to Bordeaux so we didn't get back until nearly 7pm - pretty late by our standards. And poor Schnitzel had spent most of the day in the car!
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  • Day8

    The nightingale last night was as loud and insistent as a car alarm.

    Early away at 7:15 to avoid the heat.

    Straight into Periguex for breakfast 2 and to top up on fruit in the market. Delightful descent for 20 km into Eyzies, then a potter along to Sarlat to camp.

    Route I'm following was provided by Saddle Skedaddle - interesting to spot their tour backup van in town, for fully supported cyclists.Read more

  • Day24

    Nahe der Dordogne

    September 4, 2018 in France ⋅ 🌙 25 °C

    Es wird warm. Heute waren es schön wieder 30 Grad. Eben war ich in der Vezere schwimmen, eine Wohltat. Mal eine Info an Malu und Lenni. Also das mit den französischen Katzen hat bisher gut geklappt, die sprinten auf die Bäume wenn ich antrete. Jetzt sind wir aber auf dem Campingplatz von Montignac, da war das anders. Als ich auf eine kleine, schwarzweiße Katze los bin greift die mich an!! Ich habe geschrieen und bin geflohen. Gerade noch mal gut gegangen. Hier haben Sie eine Höhle, Lascaux, die 1940 natürlich von einem Hund gefunden wurde. Darin sind 38 000 Jahre alte Zeichnungen von Stieren, Pferden und so weiter. Angeblich die Sixtinische Kapelle der Steinzeit. Weil die vielen Besucher die Zeichnungen zerstörten, haben Sie die Höhle geschlossen und 200 m weiter ein Modell davon gebaut. Wie das Original. Die spinnen, die Gallier.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Arrondissement de Sarlat-la-Canéda, Arrondissement de Sarlat-la-Caneda

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