Europe...west of the Alps travel blog

road blockade # 5 of many

ancient Nyons had a pretty bridge .....

..... plus some very small entry points into its centre

Orange had many old stone structures like its entry gate ....

...... execution area ....

..... and a Roman Theatre from the 1st C

the scenery was always changing

snow made the drive much more fun

Le Puy was an interesting town

"this looks like a good spot, let's build here"

heavy sleet showers added more interest to the drive

old villages and bridges dominated the Dordogne

Uzerche was a fantastic medieval town

"to market, to market to buy a ??? ..... scarf !!!" :-(

Brantome was full of great buildings ....

..... and excellent riverside areas

Gilli struck a great 'note' in Brantome

Our attention was then focused on the Dordogne region which had any number of small towns and villages to keep us occupied. As it was a long drive we broke up the run with overnight stops in Orange, Montbrison and Uzerche.

Of these Uzerche was the big surprise with its old world charm and great architecture. That was one of the best stopovers especially with the presence of Mumbo, our host's gorgeous puppy.

Le Puy was another standout with amazing ancient buildings perched on top of tall rock outcrops and then Brantome and Saint-Viance with fabulous medieval buildings and pretty river settings.

There were many road blockades to get past which definitely became more prevalent and at times a little on the aggressive side. Mob rule mentality had started to show although no where as bad as in Paris where vehicle burnings were occurring. We may have to face that soon.

Other than those minor difficulties the drive to Castillonnes was a good one even though we had periods of mist, rain and sleet which did slow us down a tad. Snow on the mountains became much more noticeable and parts of some roads were beginning to ice up.

The stopover in Castellonnes in a renovated 18th C hotel next to an amazing old horse market was excellent and very interesting.

We then started the long drive toward Paris with stops in Rodez and Vichy to break it up.

The scenery varied considerably from farmland, vineyards and high mountains with quite a bit of early snow. The roads were a little precarious in those alpine areas. Temperatures ranged from 1C to a blistering 3C which made 'roadside' emergencies a tad brisk.

An overnight stop in Rodez was a quiet affair apart from the mandatory evening stroll around the shopping areas.

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