It’s a great fRench institution – le picnique. And, we are great fans of it. Pack up the car, chill the wine, grab a baguette and off you go. The Perigord was no exception.
The Dordoyne continued to reveal great little villages, many hugging the contours of the river.
We popped into Monpazier, drawn by the view and also the multitude of foie gras shops!
We followed the Dordoyne river in search of more and more. Our hosts took us next to the river village with a hilltop one literally perched on top of it – Beynac and Cazenac. We had thought the Entrevaux was a stiff climb, the Cazenac climb re-wrote the record books.
The villages are pretty close together and we moved on to the film set village of Belves. Here we found a great definition of a Bastide – straddling the Valley of the Dropt.
The story – “by creating a Bastide, the King seeks to develop virgin lands. It’s setting up is carefully thought through in order to make a profit from the environment. The Dropt, small stream always supplied with water, allows the building of mills. Lands close to the Bastide are worked as kitchen gardens. The farthest ones are used to grow cereals. Woods are a source of raw material for craft industry and building. Finally, to make trade and transactions easier, the Bastide is located at the cross roads between commercial routes.”
Just down the road from Bergerac is the quaint medieval village of Issigeac. It seems to be a haven for English ex-pats and second homes from across the channel. The architecture is ‘very English’ although I was assured that the lines of the buildings do differ slightly from the Tudor houses in places like Stratford-Upon-Avon.
Oh! Did we mention that this area is the foie gras capital of the world. Ducks and geese everywhere plus the famous Charolais cattle. Steaks were around the corner.
We buzzing along the autoroute with a -very full – car and headed past Carcassone and Castelnaudry (both for another day) and arrived at Village de Constant, a Holiday Bond property to meet up with cousins Rachel and Dave.
First stop next………Bergerac.
Clad in festive bunting for the annual wine festival we found Bergerac enchanting. Situated on he banks of the Dordoyne river the old village is immaculate and festive.
Where is this?
It is customary for us to leave Provence at this time of year and venture to places new and then on to South Africa for a safari and a catch up with family and friends.
2013 has been no different. This year we popped into the Perigord (South-West France in the Dordoyne area), moved north to Switzerland and then down to South Africa and an adventure in Namibia.
As usual, LSW will keep you posted.