Chateau Hautefort & Medieval Rocamadour
Trip Start Jun 05, 2011
51Trip End Jul 26, 2011
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We rose to a perfect blue sky this morning. Fabulous - we are now getting weather we signed up for - getting closer to the South of France in the Dordogne area. After fresh raspberries for breakfast (yum!!) and a lovely walk over a disused railway line at Uzerche, high above the town, we headed out on our road trip - final destination Rocamadour.
On the way we stopped at beautiful Chateau Hautefort that is imposing above a little village built in the 1600. I guess what made this one outstanding was the manicured hedges and gardens. The countryside surrounding was rolling hills with some farming but a lot more forested areas
When we arrived at Rocamadour, the stunning view took your breath away - chapel steeples and medieval stone houses clamped to a vertical cliffs beneath 14th century chateau ramparts. We found our hotel which views of part of the cliff old town from the top of the rim. After taking a few photos with the sun on it, we decided to visit Gouffre de Padirac - (caves - about 12 km away). You walk 2 km on foot and by boat along the underground river 103 metres beneath the earth. It was freezing (and Lee and I forgot to take our jumpers as it was so hot outside). One giant stalactite was 60 metres tall. Of course they wouldn’t let us take photo’s in the cave - but we could buy a picture of ourselves in the boats if we wanted to!! We didn’t.
When we returned to Rocamadour we walked down this winding road down to the old city clinging to the side of the cliff. Lee found many interesting doors to photograph, little houses, chapels, churches and lovely arches. Lots of tacky souvenir shops that we walked right by! They are in really tiny cobble stone streets and in the middle of summer I can imagine you would hardly be able to move - the crowds are minimal at the moment which is great. We caught the “travellator” (an inclined lift) back up the hill which saved on our legs! We went to a lovely restaurant for dinner with a picture perfect view of Rocamadour enjoying a lovely salad and a handsome French waiter (Jenni that is!) who could speak quite good English.
If you are wondering how our French is going - we have our standard set of words that get us by. At the start, Lee began with “Hello” (rather than Bonjour), saying that he didn’t want to disappoint them with his lack of French. But he has come around to always greeting in French anyway, then switching to English. His four years of French in high school, comes good on rare occasions. (But it is coming back to me, in small bits!) Would love to have our French speaking friends or relatives such as Kristelle, Caitlin, Chelsea, Elaine, Belinda or Alison here to translate on many occasions. I do think the French over the years have mellowed a lot (from when Lee and I travelled pre-kids), and don’t mind speaking English to you, and on the whole are very helpful!!