Zig Zag to France 2012 travel blog

Sometimes it's easier to let the pictures do the talking and this place is one of those times.

But I'll fill you in a little.

We hired a car in Lyon and although we were a little nervous at driving out of a city on the wrong side of the road, it was easily accomplished. Our little Ford Fiesta zipped in and out with the best of all the other little cars. It didn't do so well on the freeway but it did go up to 130kmh, just not up the hills. We freewayed all the way at a reasonably great expense - they don't muck around with tolls in Europe. It cost us $35 in 5 hours driving! And of course we bypassed everything which I guess is the point - we were supposed to meet the guy at the house around 4pm too. Things got more interesting as we approached this area, the Dordogne. Green, green, rain, rain. The locals are annoyed that their Spring has disappeared and we are a little disappointed that we have to take our umbrellas everywhere. It has snowed or rained for at least part of every day we've been away (except for Dubai of course). The Dordogne river that is usually swimmable and canoeable is almost in flood - brown, large and fast. It's a magnificent river.

Our little town has turned out to be a cracker! We saw this group of buildings high up on a hill, not dreaming that was where we'd end up. It is a 'bastide' or fortress town so a hill gave them a definite advantage. Our GPS struggled a little and as we drove into the town our temperatures were rising. The streets are very narrow and all one way. We had very specific instructions on how to get to our house but with 'Lily' (gps) giving us directions, me reading aloud from our instructions and Mark swearing at Lily (and most uncharacteristically, at me) we lost the plot. Eventually I worked out how to mute Lily; then we backtracked and found our way. Then Mark tried to get through the narrow gates because there was no parking on the street and popped off the side mirror.....we were an hour late. But all was well. We are excited to be in the middle of a medieval town. The house is comfortable with 3 bedrooms and two bathrooms. The lounge is small though so we wouldn't wanting to be sharing with 2 other couples.

The town does have a local population but it seems to be pretty much a tourist town. By about 10am there are lots of people wandering around. It's the kind of town where people park in parking areas outside the walls and walk in. It is one of the Beaux Villages of France. Yesterday we went up to the boulangerie for our baguette and the market was on so we bought a few veges and lined up with the locals for some fish. White asparagus for lunch ($4.50 a kilo and beautiful). Sole and ratatouille for dinner.

The area is full of beautiful towns built from and around the limestone cliffs. There are castles, caves and gardens galore and we have started exploring. The food really is something else.

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