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Trip Report France - Loves/hates about my 2016 trip

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I visited France in mid-June for two weeks. Here is what I...

Loved...

Font de Gaume, Rouffignac, Lascaux II. My expectations were high for these sites and they still exceeded. When these paintings were fresh, the Gaza Pyramids were still 12,000 years in the future. These prehistoric painters could have taught medieval artists quite a lot. Staff at FdR said 2017 or 2018 will likely be the last years the cave is available to the public.

"The Cave Painters" by Gregory Curtis is a good background history of the discovery, research, and theories of the cave paintings throughout southern Europe.

Museum of Prehistory in Les Eyzies.

Driving around the Vézère and Dordogne river valleys with no particular agenda.

All the rain, flooding, and labor unrest because tourism was way down in the Dordogne region I was told, leaving more for me!

La Tour de Cause B&B near Domme. The new owners, Igor and Nico, have created a fantastic value and base for exploring the area. Beautiful, quiet, and comfortable rooms are only the beginning. They are highly trained former chefs from Brussels who prepare wonderful meals (and breakfast) in an intimate setting with good conversation. 75 euro per night (85 for 2 people), dinner 35 euro.

Ó Plaisir Des Sens – It is along the D703 just north of Domme. I had their superb 55 euro menu.

Cabanoix et Chatâigne – In Domme, call ahead a day or two for reservations. I don’t know the French name for the dish, but I had a delicious hearty chicken stew they featured that night.

Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe – It’s a small grocery and deli in Saint-Lèon which serves a terrific lunch. It fronts a nice little park along the banks of the Vézère river.

Hôtel de Jue de Paume (Paris). In Ile St. Louis, so it's pricey at 195 euro, but the location is fantastic. The staff was very helpful when rail strikes upended my plans. Bonus! The staff has a playful dog in case you are missing your quadrupedal friend from home.

Nos Ancetres Les Gaulois (Our Ancestors the Gauls) - Average food for Paris, but in a really fun atmosphere.

Cluny Museum tour led by Context Tours.

Driving and hiking around Saint-Remy with no particular agenda.

Hated...

Nearly endless rain, flooding, rail strikes.

Airline strikes. Blew a hole in my Provence itinerary.

Le Castelet des Alpilles (Saint-Remy). This place has some nice features but mostly fails where it counts. It has a good location, a refreshing pool, a secure parking lot, and pleasant staff. My room was noisy and drab. Any sound echoes throughout the halls, easily penetrating my room’s thin walls. My small lumpy bed was as disappointing as the breakfast: stale bread (probably imported from Florida), mushy fruit, store-bought juice, and suspicious cold-cut meats. At 125 euro per night, this place is a poor value.

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