Bordeaux to Toulouse Driving

Mar 24th, 2001, 02:22 PM
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Bordeaux to Toulouse Driving

We have one week to drive between Bordeaux and Toulouse the first week of April. What should we not miss seeing? Will we be able to get by with basic French politeness? (That's all we currently know) What will the weather be like? Is this the low tourist season? Merci!!!!!!
Mar 24th, 2001, 05:58 PM
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When your question gets no answers in 24 hours or more, it may be better to add some small message to "bring it to the top" rather than re-posting it. If there is someone with tangential knowledge about your subject, perhaps they will e more inclined to stop and see what "one response" you question got, whereas they might not step at a question that has received no answers at all.
Mar 24th, 2001, 06:35 PM
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Actually, this question has come up three times, and two of the three have gotten fairly comprehensive responses, including from me. Sometimes I just don't have the time, or can't drum up the energy, to retype an extensive answer.Tonight's one of those times.
Mar 25th, 2001, 11:37 AM
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OK, I'm re-energized now and up to the challenge. Here is the route I would recommend along with sites to see along it.

Bordeaux is worth a day. If you plan to see the city, let me know and I'll send you a file on it, including hotel and restaurant recommendations.
From Bordeaux, head to St-Emilion. This wine town is worth a couple of hours. Be sure to see the monolithic church and poke around in the wine stores. Be aware that it's very easy to overpay for wine in St-Emilion stores. Continue, making stops at St-Michel-de-Montaigne to see the tower where he wrote his famous essays, if that interests you, and maybe a quick hop into the old quarter of Bergerac. Check out the old covered market area in the bastide town of Lalinde. Come to rest somewhere in the vicinity of Les Eyzies, Le Bugue, Le Buisson, or therabouts and plan to spend at least 2 nights.
From your base (if you want hotel recommendations, there ae plenty on the board but I can offer some, too)you'll have a wealth of things to see and do: prehistoric caves and sites, including Lascaux II and Font-de-Gaume (reservations required for those two); Hundred Years War castles (Beynac and Castelnaud in particular); the exquisitely restored and historic market hub of Sarlat; Josephine Baker's castle, Les Milandes; beautiful villages like Beynac, La Roque-Gageac, St-Léon-sur-Vézère, Limeuil, Domme, Monpazier.....; and of course local markets (Saturday, Sarlat; Tuesday, Le Bugue; Thursday; Lalinde; Wednesday, Montignac, and there are others); the astonishing mushroom quarry in Campagne; the walnut mill in Ste-Nathalène...there are loads of tiny attractions, too, that are fascinating in their own right. Among the many wonderful restaurants in the area are Le Relais des Cinq Châteaux in Vézac, Le Bois Safran in Audrix, Le Tournepique in Castelnaud, La Belle Etoile and La Plume d'Oie in La Roque-Gageac, Les Fontenilles on the road from Campagne to Le Bugue, and La Table du Terroir in La Chapelle-Aubareil.
When you've exhausted the Périgord Noir, I'd head for a base near Rocamadour. It will take a good half day to explore this site, and you can use the remainder to take an underground boat ride at the geological marvel, the Gouffre de Padirac. Other atractions in the region include the towns of Collonges-la-Rouge and Martel.
Personally, I would't go to Toulouse except to catch my train/flight. I'd spend the last night in the wonderful town of Cahors, drinking the "vin noir," eating cassoulet,and admiring the Pont Valentré and the old town.
There won't be many tourists around these parts the first week in April. The weather is likely to be warm by day, chilly at night, with some showers. With luck, the fruit trees wil be in bloom and the landscape will be glorious. You won't find it as easy to get by with minimal French as in, say Paris or Bordeaux, but you'll manage fine in most towns. You'll want to pick up a copy of Michelin map #75 - easily bought once you get there at any maison de la presse or supermarket. Bonne route!

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