22.11.2012 - 23.11.2012 13 °C
These past two days have been spent travelling from St-Clément-des-Levées to Sarlat-la-Canéda to Loudres. Along the way, we've toured a medieval village, visited a castle and driven down the windiest roads in France. It hasn't exactly been as exciting or interesting as Paris, but that's what travel is, I suppose. It's taking the time to get to the best of places, and enjoying the journey there.
Our first day of travelling started early, as always, and we left our country house for a cramped hotel room. It was a long drive, about five hours altogether, but a picnic in between and the use of our extensive collection of devices helped the time pass more quickly. When we arrived in Sarlat-la-Canéda, we found that our hotel did not open for another hour. So we headed for the heart of the small town to explore what we could. After a bit of stressful traffic circle manoeuvring (which involved our GPS chanting "turn around when possible" every minute or so), we came to the medieval village at the heart of Sarlat. With the help of a map from the tourism office, we walked streets and saw buildings that had been built as far back as the 12th century. I was chosen to lead us, and spent as much time looking at the map as I did anything else. I'll give it to Dad next time. At the end of our small adventure, we ducked into a couple specialty shops and took a look at some of the local wares. We discovered that we were in the town of foie gras and black truffles. Neither looked very good and both were incredibly expensive, but someone must buy them as it seems to be Sarlat's main source of income. Perhaps I'll have to cook with them sometime.
Today we visited Château de Castelnaud, which is located in the Dordogne Valley. It's perched on top of a hill, which is dotted with old stone cottages. We drove up to it on an increasingly windy road, and then walked a short distance to see a foggy but spectacular view of the valley below. The château itself is a castle with classic French turrets. It dates back to the 1100s, and its ownership has been passed around quite a bit through the centuries. Behind it are a few catapults, still at the ready with boulders beside them. We spent quite a bit of time trying to take pictures that would do justice to the castle, valley and surrounding forest, but I'm afraid you'll just have to go there yourself if you want the whole experience.
We arrived in Lourdes this afternoon, quickly settling in to our relatively large hotel room. Abby and I are in bunk beds. She's on top, but at least I can kick her from below if she snores too loudly. After the grocery shopping, dinner and collective crash that takes place after two days of travelling were over with, I was told to write about these past two comparatively dull days. Personally, I wasn't sure if they deserved the recognition that an entire blog post brings. However, I'm told that documentation is necessary and generally appreciated. Hopefully I've portrayed it as interesting enough. And hey, a dull day in France is an exciting one back home, right?