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caves in the Dordogne

Old Apr 24th, 2005, 04:54 PM
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I have recently made reservations for the English language tour of Font de Gaume (I think there are two a day, at 11 AM and at 3 PM (15 Heure) by Fax (from the U.S.) to 011-33-5-53-35-26-18. And I got an answer within a day, no credit card or other payment requested (editorial: if you need to cancel, do tell them so that others might go in your stead; the admittance is very very limited)
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Old Apr 25th, 2005, 12:16 PM
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Because we travelled in October we were able to get tickets on the day. We arrived at lunch time and got tickets for a french language tour a couple of hours later. This was fine as I'm fluent anyway and could translate for Pete too.

Certainly for high season visits I can see how busy it must be and with the 200 person/ day limits it's definitely worth booking ahead.

This is one of the most amazing sights I have ever seen in my life. Very, very moving indeed.
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Old Apr 26th, 2005, 06:07 AM
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I was happy to see this thread, as I'm leaving for my trip to the Dordogne next week, and had not yet made my cave reservations. I successfully got one for Lascaux (English tour) by e-mail - they were extremely prompt in replying, afternoon tour (2:30) on Sunday.

I called Pech Merle this morning, and successfully reserved for a Tuesday morning (I'll be staying in Figeac at that time). She spoke perfect English on the phone - easy!

For Font de Gaume, it's been a little more difficult by phone (recorded message in French, of which I could understand little) - so I was pleased to see their FAX number on here posted by humanone. I sent my request, and they replied immediately(in French, so I hope I get what they are saying!)
They gave me a Tuesday afternoon time, but say on the return form "pas de visite en Anglais" - so I'm assuming they don't start their English tours in May (mine is for May 10). My French is limited, especially if they talk fast, so hope I can get enough out of this. I'm sure the Pech Merle tour is in French, too.
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Old Apr 26th, 2005, 06:47 PM
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Dear Sue4; I am glad I could help with the fax number for Font de Gaume, and I hope you can help me too. What is the email for Lascaux?
I can't seem to find out when the English language tours are, and wold love to make a reservation in advance for that too.
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Old Apr 27th, 2005, 05:10 AM
  #25  
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Hi Hum,

For Lascaux contact
[email protected]

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Old Apr 27th, 2005, 07:23 AM
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Humanone, I'm trying to reply, but a huge "Marriott Rewards" ad keeps appearing at the top, and covering up my post! Anyway, the e-mail address I first used for Lascaux was:
[email protected]
The reply was the one Ira said:
[email protected]

Is name is Pascal Jeammet, and his final confirmation to me was in French.
I had to send him my credit card number to reserve, and got the confirm after I did that. Just be sure to request an English speaking tour, and if you prefer morning or afternoon, and what dates, and how many people.

By the way, did you get an English tour for the Font de Gaume?
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Old Apr 27th, 2005, 07:30 AM
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Humanone, sorry, after re-reading,I see that you DID get an English tour. I'm leaving for my trip this coming Tuesday, and am going to get my hotel to find out if there are any English tours I can take (for Font de Gaume). Maybe not. Pech Merle is also in French - but they certainly speak excellent English, and I just got an e-mail confirm from them, with implicit instructions about what to do when I get there, etc. I'm really getting excited about this trip! And I'm sure you are, too!
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Old Jun 4th, 2005, 05:44 AM
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Here's one of the many older threads: http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...=2&tid=1286584
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Old Apr 9th, 2012, 04:38 PM
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Thank you!
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Old Apr 9th, 2012, 08:14 PM
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Please note Justine that in seven years one of the knowledgable people from above will offer a thank you.
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Old May 8th, 2012, 06:49 PM
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All of the Dordogne caves are wonderful, especially Font de Gaume and Pech Merle (Lascaux II is great, but I also prefer the authentic caves). However, there are many other smaller, less visited caves in the area that are worth a visit (and don't require reservations). Last May, my husband and I visited Rouffignac (you take a small train into the cave), Bara Bahau (etchings of a man/phallus), and La Grotte du Sorcier. All were fascinating in their own way. For the latter two, we were the only people on the tour, and we had the caves to ourselves.
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Old May 13th, 2012, 04:58 PM
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French or English, you really don't have to understand the words to appreciate the great beauty and the profound artwork you will see that is not scribbles of stick figures on cave walls we were taught in school. StCirq knows her stuff, we followed her advice and had a wonderful time in the Dordogne. Read up ahead of time if the tour is not in English. Don't touch the walls. Imagine the artist in dark caves painting with inks made of plants and lit by small candles, now illuminated by electicity, with no do overs or mistakes. There is a movie you can watch through netflix about the caves before you go to understand the history. We toured Rouffignac with a load of French elementary school children, even though we didn't understand most of the guide's tour we appreciated the gasps and giggles of students seeing bear claw scratches on the cave walls and experiencing utter darkness when they turned out the lights! Sometimes its good to use your own imagination.
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