France
Montignac

Here you’ll find travel reports about Montignac. Discover travel destinations in France of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

9 travelers at this place:

  • 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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  • Day421

    Day 422: Lascaux Caves

    April 12, 2018 in France ⋅ ☁️ 11 °C

    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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  • 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

  • Day186

    Lascaux und le Toht

    June 25, 2015 in France ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    Lascaux ist eine sehr bekannte Höhle. Sie wurde von einem Hund entdeckt der ging rein und die Herrn des Hundes zwei Jugendliche gingen ihm nach. Die Höhle wurde durch die ständigen Menschen kapput gemacht. Den wurde eine neue Höhle nachgebaut und nach gemalt. Wir waren nur etwa fünfzehn Minuten ihn der Höhle. Da wird man durchgeschleust, wie Vieh. Man kann nichts studieren oder wirken lassen. Total doof. Aber es ist die Welt bekanntesten Höhlenmalerei und die wollen alle sehen wie der Eiffelturm. Nach der Lascaux gingen wir ihn die le Toht ein nach gebauter Nebengang mit drei Zeichnungen also grosse Zeichnungen. Da konnte man mittels 3 D zwei Tiere sehen es waren Mammut und Wollnashorn. Dann fuhren wir auf einen Stellplatz.Read more

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Montignac, 24290

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