When in Bordeaux…

I am happy to announce that a month-long back to back flying has come to an end for this damsel! Couldn’t be happier to pack my summer clothes up and get ready to shake hands with winter ( spot the sarcasm!). You know how we are constantly evolving? Well I too have an announcement to make. I have given up on Tea. No more tea for me. Yes, that’s right not even Barrys tea. I have now embraced the true hippy culture of going all natural. No. I will still wax my armpits and shave my legs, how could you even think that? It is all about ginger and lemon now. Ginger and lemon in the morning/ afternoon/ evening/ on a flight/ off a flight/ with friends/ without friends/ at home/ outside home/ in a park/ walking down the street… you get the message. It’s all about ginger and lemon in my gut and my gut is happy.

Right, now getting back to what that heading up there is all about – when in Bordeaux… when in Bordeaux : go on a wine tour. That’s simple for those who still drink wine along with drinking coffee/ tea/ etc but when you are a ginger lemon drinking individual what do you do when you have 3 days to kill in Bordeaux and have already done everything the vicinity has to offer? You venture out.  This is the itinerary that was followed and the cost of the whole trip

Itinerary : Bordeaux- Sarlat la Caneda- Domme- Rocamadour- Gouffre de Padirac- Grotte de Pech Merle.
Cost of the car rental for 2 full days: 28$ ( That’s right 28 Canadian Dollars)
Cost of the full insurance on the car for the 2 days : ( €48)
Cost of gas : ( €53)
Cost of the toll along the way ( €32)
Cost of my hotel room ( €48 with b’fast included) my colleague/co-driver/ friend paid €58.

Now you divide everything by 2- per person charges were cheaper than a good bottle of wine!
So early morning we left the hotel from downtown Bordeaux and made our way over to this beautiful medieval town of Sarlat la Caneda in Dordogne. It’s at a distance of 210 kms if you take the highway and takes around 2h22 minutes to reach here.. however you can take the back roads and explore along the way and reach here in under 4 hours pit stopping along the way and taking pictures of the beautiful scenery. We got lucky with the downtown free parking as the Sunday market was in full swing and the tourist season was closing in towards its end leaving the place with the locals going around with their business as usual. Had a delicious lunch at a local restaurant and explored the area around. It’s a small enough town and 3 hours are more than enough to touch every nook and cranny of this beautiful jewel.

Next stop was the lovely town of Domme. Not at all far from Sarlat and at a distance of less than 15kms ( 20 minutes ride). The city is at an elevation of some 250 meter and hence the view of the Dordogne is spectacular form up here. Again, small enough village and can be enjoyed in less than 2 hours time.

Domme to Rocamadour – 47 kms away (1.5hrs drive) set in the Lot region of France in the Midi-Pyrénées where I’ll buy my future retirement abode. This also happens to be a very popular pilgrimage site and is a part of the Santiago de Compostela route. A fantastic UNESCO site to visit and explore during the day and night. I spent the night over in the heart of the town at a modest and comfortable hotel called Lion d’Or. Detailed information could be browsed online 🙂

The following day early in the morning we set off for the Padirac and Pech Merle caves. Some of the most exquisite caves that are a must visit. the Padirac cave is located at an impressive dept of 338 ft and has a river running through it and the boat tour is included in the modest entry fee of €10. No words or pictures can ever do justice to this natural phenomena, a place that everyone should try to visit once in their life time.

I was unable to take any pictures inside the Pech Merle cave. They were strictly forbidden and all I came back with were memories and a desire to revisit the place once again. The pre historic drawings found inside the cave are well-preserved and are dated as far back as 16-25,000 BC. There are foot prints of kids, hand prints, horses and finger drawings on the ceiling of the cave that are well-preserved to this day. The mind boggles at the thought that someone walked these caves and called it their home centuries before we got here. These murals tell a story and the life of those who inhabited it. The entry fee to this place was €11.00 and the number of people who enter the premises are a controlled number of 25 so as to preserve the integrity of such precious pre-historic art form.


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