Monday, April 11, 2016

From The Bearn To The Dordogne

          Saturday morning, after cleaning up the gite, Ann and I left to drive to the Dordogne, while Ghislaine drove Cathy and Jim to Toulouse for their flight home to England. Our drive to the Dordogne was very long, with quite a lot of inclement weather along the way. We broke up the journey a couple of times, the first one to visit Chateau Viella again and pick up some more of their wine. Later on in the drive we stopped briefly in the town of Praysass, and took a short stroll around the town.


        Finally, we arrived at the medieval village of Beynac et Cazenac, where we were spending the second week of our trip. The village is full of winding, steep streets, and the walk from the gite to our parking space, which we had to make several times to unload our luggage, wine and cheese, was somewhat taxing. But it was worth it just to see the view of the Dordogne River from the terrace and the dining room. After unpacking, we took a stroll down towards the river and to a small group of food shops on the outskirts of the village. We picked up some provisions at the butcher shop, bakery, and small grocery store, then headed back to our gite where we sat on the terrace and had some sweet Jurancon wine as an aperitif.
View of the Dordogne From Our Dining Room

View from our Terrace
Center of Beynac from Above

          On Sunday morning we went to the weekly market in the nearby town of St. Cyprien. We could see from the parking situation that the center of town was very crowded, so we parked well away from the center and walked towards the market. Although St. Cyprien is just a modest sized town, the market was massive, with well over 100 vendors spread out throughout the town. We spent a couple of hours wandering around the market, picking up provisions for the next couple of days, since many shops are closed on Mondays. After leaving St. Cyprien, we drove back to our gite for lunch. The weather was glorious, sunny and warm, so we had lunch on the terrace.

         After lunch we decided to drive to the Vezere Valley and stop at a couple of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France (The Most Beautiful Villages in France): Saint-Leon-sur-Vezere and Limeuil. Our first stop was St.-Leon-sur-Vezere, which, in addition to having many beautiful old buildings, has a chateau, a magnificent church, and a large manor house in the center of the village. We strolled through the village and along the Vezere River, which runs along the outskirts of the village.

         Leaving St.-Leon-sur-Vezere, we drove along the Vezere River to Limeuil, which is high above the confluence of the Vezere and Dordogne Rivers. We parked away from the village, and walked towards the Vezere and up towards the center of Limeuil. We strolled around the beautiful village, and visited the botanical park, which, among other things, has outstanding views of the Dordogne and Vezere Rivers.

Two Views of the Dordogne and Vezere Rivers
Botanical Gardens
    After leaving Limeuil, we drove back to the gite for an aperitif and dinner. We had bought a spit-roasted pintade (guinea hen) at the market that morning, which we had for dinner, along with local asparagus and a bottle of Madiran from Chateau Viella. The weather was still beautiful, so we had dinner on the terrace.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Nice. Glad you got some nice weather.

  3. Hello Bob and Ann !
    I'm sure that you know better France than most of french people.I'm happy to see that the weather is improving because I was afraid that your American friends thought that France was a rainy country with a grey sky.
    Corinne from Lyon, France

  4. This may be my favorite gîte yet. That view is fantastic!