Getting to know the area...
This weekend, our local guides, Josiane and Jean-Louis, gave us a tour of the villages and countryside where Jean-Louis spent his childhood.
We met Josiane and Jean-Louis when they were visiting Napa and their son Serge. To make a very long story short, Serge and his husband, Cris, just purchased a house in the Dordogne and very generously offered to let us stay there for the first part of our trip. Serge’s parents know the area well and gave a great tour of the surrounding villages.
On Saturday, we all piled into the Renault and set off around 10am. Our first stop, a viewpoint overlooking the Dordogne river valley.
This vista from above Trémolat looks south over the cultivated pastures on the floodplain and the wooded hills beyond. The Dordogne river is below, obscured by the trees in the foreground.
Here’s a better view of the river from another vantage point. This bend in the river is called the Cingle de Trémolat.
Next, we stopped at Le Bugue, one of the larger market towns in the area. This year, they are celebrating 700 years of Tuesday markets.
Le Bugue lies on the banks of the Vézère river, a tributary of the Dordogne. Like most rivers in France, it was used almost exclusively for the transport of goods and building materials until recently. Nowadays, it’s almost deserted apart from the occasional kayak or canoe.
We’ve seen these bug hotels in most of the villages we’ve visited so far. Didn’t see any bugs, though. Most French bugs take their vacation in August.
The next day, we visited the St-Cyprien market to do the shopping for our Sunday lunch. Mme Huard, our hostess, is in the foreground.
Of course, I went straight for the nougat. You could build a house with these blocks of sugar and nuts! They are massive.
The St-Cyrien market has all the usual suspects. Almost everything is made with the local walnuts so Mark had to be careful. He’s allergic!
By about noon, it started to rain so we headed home for a late lunch and a nap. Sunday in France!