Monday, March 26, 2018

pretty dordogne villages - Part 1

France has many pretty little villages and there is even an association called Les Plus Beaux Villages that lists all of them. The Dordogne has a a great many of these and we have been fortunate enough to see a few over the years. This year we have revisited a few of our favourites.
We started with Sarlat. While Christmas was done and dusted the Christmas markets were still set up. The theme this year was all things British. This is hardly surprising when you consider the large number of British expats in the area.
Christmas market in Sarlat
Chalets selling lots of christmas fare
While it had been a rainy day, the sun decided to come out as we arrived so we deemed this to be an auspicious omen. The normal weekly market was just finishing but, given that it was the depths of winter, I was still surprised to see how many people were here. Parking is always difficult to find in Sarlat and today was no different. We did a lap of the main area before we found a spot.
Even in winter, Sarlat still has a lovely feel with the warm sandy coloured stone medieval buildings and all the colours and smells of the market place.
Market day in Sarlat is a colourful event
Geese are the main stay of Sarlat gourmet food experiences
amazing architecture in Sarlat
After a relaxing lunch of Breton crepes and cider, we decided to head to another of our favourite villages - Domme. This medieval hilltop bastide town is perched above the Dordogne River valley with a commanding view of the surrounding countryside. This would have give the town a distinct advantage in the days of the 100 years war. On this visit, however, we didn't walk along the town walls or wander aimlessly through the streets. The wind up here was bitterly cold and very few shops were open. I did manage to buy a postcard before snapping a shot of the Dordogne river from the Belvedere.
typical street in Domme
Belvedere Hotel - Domme
View of the Dordogne River from the Belvedere
The weather was starting to worsen so we headed back home driving through the troglodyte village of La Roque Gageac and then onto Beynac. Both these villages are worth wandering through on a fine day and the view from the chateau at Beynac is worth the hike up through the village.

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