reservations for Dordogne caves

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Oct 7th, 2007, 05:58 PM
  #1
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reservations for Dordogne caves

Hello fellow fodorites. I've been researching the various threads concerning Font de Gaume and Lascaux. It is suggested that reservations be made several months in advance if visiting in high season. We will be in the Dordogne in mid July of 2008. When would be the ideal time to try and reserve tickets for a tour? Also, I do not have convenient access to a fax. Can contact be made via email or is it better to call? Thanks for your help.
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Oct 8th, 2007, 03:12 AM
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We decided not to visit Lascaux (you can only visit a copy of the original cave) but Peche Merle which has fantastic paintings too. It was absolutely rewarding. And you walk through a real cave.

No crowds, no need for reservations.

http://www.quercy.net/pechmerle/
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Oct 8th, 2007, 03:40 AM
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ira
 
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Hi gg,

A. T's link for Pech Merle states " Réservations : To preserve the Cave and the prehistoric paintings, the visitors are limited to a maximum of 700 a day. So it is better, especially in July and August, to reserve by telephone (05 65 31 27 05 from France or +33 5 65 31 27 05 from abroad), at least 24 hours in advance (3 or 4 days in advance in July and August)".

I suggest at least 2 weeks in advance.

B. Lascaux II is as close to a perfect reproduction as lasers can make it. The only real difference is that it doesn't have the dust and mold of Lascaux.

We liked the tour.

You can make reservations by email. See www.culture.gouv.fr/culture/arcnat/lascaux/en/
Click "useful info" and then "Semitour Périgord".

For FDG, see
http://www.hominides.com/html/lieux/...t-de-gaume.htm

Enjoy your visits.

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Oct 8th, 2007, 07:06 AM
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ira - I am not sure what you mean by "a perfect a reproduction as lasers can make it".
Although I am not a fan od Lascaux II as compared to FDG, one of the intriguing factors is that the "construction of the replica was a chance for scientists, to prove their knowledge how the paintings were made. Inside a shell in reinforced concrete, with the contours of the cave inside, the paintings were executed in the same manner, using the same types of materials believed to have been used 19,000 years ago. This[sic] were natural pigments like ochre, charcoal, and iron oxides."
There is a laser reproduction that makes up a travelling Lascaux exhibit, but I think that the Lascaux II actual cave is primitively done by artists. It took a long time and actual artists were hired.
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Oct 8th, 2007, 08:00 AM
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We made reservations for Pech Merle by email [email protected]

I visited Pech Merle and Font de Gaume first so when I got to Lascaux II it did not have the same impact on me. Artists did complete the cave over a 10 year period but knowing it was not authentic did change the experience for me.
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Oct 8th, 2007, 11:12 AM
  #6
ira
 
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Hi robjame

>ira - I am not sure what you mean by "as perfect a reproduction as lasers can make it".

They used lasers to measure the topography of the cave and the positions of the paintings so that the artists could reproduce them exactly.



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Oct 8th, 2007, 08:21 PM
  #7
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Thanks for the info. Unfortunately, we only have 5 days in the area. Font de Gaume is a definite with Lascaux and Peche Merle as another possibility. I'm not sure we would have time for both given the multitude of things to do in the area. Is it too early to book for FdG?
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Oct 9th, 2007, 09:38 AM
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ira
 
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Hi gg,

>Is it too early to book for FdG?

Why not call them?



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Oct 9th, 2007, 04:34 PM
  #9
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Good advice, ira. I emailed them today.
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Oct 9th, 2007, 04:50 PM
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We've visited all three pre-historic caves twice (plus several others). If anyone's keeping score, FdG was my least favorite of the three. Pech Merle gives you a combination of stalactites & mites, plus the cave paintings and an imprint (actually several of them) of a pre-historic man's hand plus a footprint. It also has some unique "creations" made my the river that ran through the cave many thousands of years ago.

Stu Dudley
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