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Trip Report Our time in Dordogne Mar 12 with Paragraphs!

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After having spent 4 nights in Paris my DH and I boarded a train at the Gare D’Austerlitz to go to Brive-le-Gaillarde on our way to the Dordogne. We had stopped at the boulangerie downstairs from our apartment on Rue Monge to pick up some croissants and fortified with café au lait and chocolat chaud from the station we were ready to depart. The train was nice, comfortable and clean.

After 4 hours we arrived in Brive to a gorgeous, warm (24c), sunny day. We dragged our bag down the hill to Le Chapon Fin for lunch and scored a table on the enclosed patio. After lunch, we picked up our Clio from Eurocar and set off down the D60 to Sarlat-le-Caneda. On the way we stopped once so my DH could take a photo of a chateau which enabled the putt-putting Vespa rider to get in front of us once more. Passing her we made good time to Sarlat and found the office of the rental agency. As have several people on Fodor’s we rented from ‘In Sarlat’. The apartment we rented was Verlaine in La Maison des Poètes. http://www.in-sarlat.fr/holiday-rentals/rental-sarlat.php It was very nice though not as light filled as the apartment in Paris but that was mostly because of the closeness of the buildings in the old town.

This was our second experience renting an apartment in France. The first was the four day prior to this in Paris. The apartments themselves were wonderful and the extra area was really appreciated. We knew coming into Sarlat that there would be nothing in the way of supplies left in the place. That was minor in comparison to the difference in the amount of information we got from the agency in Paris as compared to the one in Sarlat. It was probably more necessary in Sarlat because we were unfamiliar with the area where we have been to Paris many times. The funniest part was the last full day when we wanted to do laundry. The washer was in no way intuitive and we were very proud of ourselves for taking a photo of the controls to the rental office for an explanation of how they work. We didn’t expect the woman in the office to be as confused as we were and we were lucky we had my iPad and could access the internet. I found the owners’ manual online and we were able to manage with that.

Since the ‘season’ hadn’t started in Sarlat we were lucky in that we didn’t have to pay for parking. There was a little lot up the hill from our apartment and most days we were able to park there off the street. Once we got everything into the apartment we wandered around town to see the layout. We found the wine store- Julien de Savignac- that my cousin recommended and picked up a red and rose Bergerac to try. Then crashed fairly early.

Thurs- March 15
The next morning we went down the hill to the Patissiere Mertz and had breakfast. With a café au lait and chocolat chaud we split a croissant and an orange juice. We could probably have done better to order one petit dejeuner for 6.9 euro which includes a hot beverage, OJ, two pastries and a fromage blanc. I am not sure how they would feel about your splitting one and what we had was enough for us. They have tables on the sidewalk but also a little area in the back of the store that you can sit in.

After breakfast we headed out of town to do a drive around the Dordogne valley from the guide books. Our first stop was I thought in Cenac but now that I look at the map see that we were most likely in Vitrac. We looked at the church and wondered about the little remnant of a wall with a town up the hill. It is strange to us that these things don’t merit mention in the guidebooks because they are the things we are most curious about. Then we went and walked around La Roque-Gageac though we didn’t get up to the troglodytic fort. Don’t know if we missed it or it was closed. By then it was time for lunch and we went back to the D703 to Le Pres Galliardou for that.

After lunch we went to the Parc de Marqueyssac. It was a gorgeous afternoon and we walked all the way out to the belvedere and back. We liked that there were many little areas of play grounds for children and obviously someone there has a sense of humor because we noticed a group of stones half buried with faces on them. Wandering around the Parc took most of the afternoon and we were ready to go back to Sarlat afterwards.

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