Monday, March 26, 2018

Pretty Dordogne Villages - part 2

As the weather has started to improve and the sun is slowly making an appearance we decided to check out some of the pretty villages that we haven't seen before but are highly recommended on various web sites. Strictly speaking a couple are in the Lot and Garonne but what's a few kilometres between friends.
Starting at Bergerac on the northern bank of the Dordogne, we had a quick wander around the pedestrianised old town with its many half timbered houses before grabbing a coffee and heading back to St James church.
Preserved half timbered house facade with new building behind
original wall of the theatre
St James Church
Driving south of Bergerac, you come to the town of Monbazillac, famed for its sweet wine that pairs perfectly with Foie gras. A visit to the chateau with its art exhibition is recommended. And then it's onto Issigeac, another medieval town, linked to Sarlat with its Bishops Palace. While it lacks a central square it does have some lovely winding streets and interesting cafes and tea rooms to check out. Come summer the town comes to life every Sunday with its market and during July and August the night market on Thursdays is a popular event.
some of the boutiques in Issigeac
Typical medieval architecture
Intricate patterns on restored half timbered house
After leaving Issigeac we headed to Villereal. We arrived just as the Saturday market was finishing up so didn't manage to grab any bargains. But we did have a nice stroll through the streets and the central square with its covered market place. The town has been well preserved and there is an air of prosperity around it with its clean buildings and tidy streets. I can imagine that the covered market would make an ideal place for a spot of lunch on a warm summer's day.
covered market place
well maintained church and town square
The bastide town of Eymet on the banks of the Dropt River was our next destination. This could almost be called an English county as many brits call this area home and as we wandered through the square we didn't hear too many French accents. The central square is typical of bastide towns bordered by half timbered houses and arcades to provide shelter from the sun and the rain. Streets are in a grid pattern. There is a big market here on Thursday mornings and there are plenty of opportunities to purchase some of those English and even Aussie food stuffs that you may be craving.
arcaded buildings around market square
good example of arches in Eymet
lovely town square - minus the original covered market
Dropt River
Our final destination on our round trip was the chateau town of Duras. Not only is there the chateau but there is also the Maison des Vins.
Chateau in Duras
Duras chateau has a commanding view over the surrounding countryside

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