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Seeking comments on our itinerary: 5 weeks in southern France

Seeking comments on our itinerary: 5 weeks in southern France

Nov 3rd, 2006, 03:34 PM
  #21  
 
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So would I, Shellio , especially if she can visit on Market day which is a Saturday, I think.
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Nov 3rd, 2006, 03:36 PM
  #22  
 
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Sat is market day in Uzes. Much smaller market on Wed.

Stu Dudley
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Nov 3rd, 2006, 05:11 PM
  #23  
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OK, here it is:

"After lunch, we forced ourselves away and went off to explore Conques. The Michelin Green Guide gives Conques 3*. It is a very pretty village, but very, very steep with vertiginous views into the Dordou Valley. I drove to the upper parking lot and we walked down. It was too much for Roberta. She couldn't walk back to the parking lot.

I left her behind the information booth at the lower parking lot (she couldn't see the valley) and, with map and directions in hand, ascended to the upper lot, retrieved the car and drove off, on what should have been a 10 min route, to collect my Lady Wife. Twenty minutes later, I was back at the upper parking lot.

Thinking that I had misread the map and misheard the directions, I tried again, choosing a different turn off. Twenty minutes later, I was back at the upper parking lot.

At this point, I figured that LW might be worrying about me and, disregarding all of the "do not enter" signs, slowly drove down through the town. I did not hit a single tourist, scrape the car against any buildings or burn out the clutch or brakes.

I retrieved my now calm Lady Wife, and we returned to the Moulin.

Side Note: While trying to find my way to the lower parking lot I drove on tiny, twisting back roads up and down amazingly beautiful gorges past little farms and tiny villages. Iím glad that I got lost."



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Nov 3rd, 2006, 05:27 PM
  #24  
 
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Aha, Carol! you discovered the true beauty of Provence. We once were lost and thought we were in a traffic jam. Not so, We were in a waiting line to board a ferry what wonderful serindipidy!
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Nov 3rd, 2006, 05:40 PM
  #25  
 
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I think Ira must have taken different roads than we took. I don't remember anything like that. Looking at my Michelin Map #338, the D90 that accesses Conques is fairly strait and follows a river. The Michelin map has >> and >>> marks for steep roads, and the only ones are east of Conques - which are not the roads you would use to get there & back. Perhaps Ira took these smaller roads to "get off the beaten path". Conques is a lot less steep than St Cirq Lapopie, as I remember.

Stu Dudley
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Nov 3rd, 2006, 05:55 PM
  #26  
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Well, I'd really like to see Conques. It sounds like we can park in the lower parking lot. As long as we make it to the church, we could skip the steeper parts (the Green Guide says the village is spread out on the hillside above the church). I could go up alone while Dick whiles away some time with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine (or just sitting on a bench). This happens a lot.
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Nov 3rd, 2006, 07:49 PM
  #27  
DAX
 
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We've stayed at the Chateau Mercues and strongly recommend staying and dining at the chateau. The service is impeccable and the food is terrific. It was one of the comforting highlights of our trip. It's only one side of the large chateau that faces the valley floor the rest faces the fountain garden. You really have to explore to see the valley floor.Hope you'll consider making a stop at the Rocamadour as it would certainly be very rewarding. They have an elevator that takes you down from the parking lot at the top.
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Nov 4th, 2006, 06:53 AM
  #28  
 
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>>Rocamadour . They have an elevator that takes you down from the parking lot at the top.<<

There is also a large parking lot down below the village & there are little trains you can take to the entrance of town - or you can walk.

Stu Dudley

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Nov 4th, 2006, 07:07 AM
  #29  
MaureenB
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Carolyn, here's my complete trip report from Nice, which includes two restaurants we especially liked in old Nice: http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34810691

Good luck with the Hotel le Grimaldi. Excellent service there, great breakfast buffet available, good location (no ocean view, though).
>-
 
Nov 4th, 2006, 07:10 AM
  #30  
 
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The Chateau Mercues is a lovely place to stay. I have stayed there.

I have just returned from an extended stay in areas you have mentioned plus the Pays Basque.

Driving is easy. I prefer an automatic transmission. This last trip I did the Kemwel lease/buy back. For me, it is easily the best way to do it if you intend to use a car for 2 weeks or more.

Michelin maps and viamichelin.com are the way to do it.

Enjoy........
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Nov 4th, 2006, 08:14 AM
  #31  
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We recently returned from trip to the Dordogne. The drive to Rocamadour migh be a little much for you, at least the road we took. Others may opine about alternative routes in. And, don't bother visiting Gouffre de Padirac. We did, and it was a ball, but I've never seen such a deep chasm in all my life! annieladd
 
Nov 4th, 2006, 09:11 AM
  #32  
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Thanks to all for your input. We visited Rocamadour on our last trip, and I'm sure we could manage the village itself, but I recall that the drive there was nerve-wracking (oddly enough, more for me than my husband, who was driving!) Thanks for the info about the Gouffre de Padirac. I was wondering if we could do that one.
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Nov 5th, 2006, 10:48 AM
  #33  
 
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Sorry, but the Gouffre de Padirac was worth it to me! WALKING through something like this on well-marked pathways with lots of other people and a guide is very different from DRIVING a road with a huge chasm on one side. It was really beautiful and extremely interesting. And quite safe.



























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Nov 5th, 2006, 11:30 AM
  #34  
 
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>>WALKING through something like <

Actually, you take a boat through much of the Gouffre. Also, you can take an elevator down to the bottom of the hole.

I agree that it's something not to miss.

Stu Dudley
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Nov 5th, 2006, 04:22 PM
  #35  
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Can you take an elevator back up? Is there a drop as you walk along a narrow passage? (Sounds like I wouldn't have any problems with it, but my husband might. Which doesn't mean I won't go by myself!)
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Nov 5th, 2006, 04:41 PM
  #36  
 
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Actually, Carolyn, there is a place at one point (near the end) where you do walk across a narrow bridge or something, with a big drop, but if I remember correctly you can skip that. And I'm sure there's either an elevator to get back up - or the exit is not too far below ground. Remember, I'm older that you are! As Stu says, alot of it is by boat. I remember that I was a little tired by the end, but I had walked around all morning at Rocamadour, too. Your husband might be uncomfortable with it - but probably not as much as from a car situation - and maybe not at all. The whole thing was quite well-organized.
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Nov 5th, 2006, 05:11 PM
  #37  
 
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You should do what you feel is safer for you and makes you less stressful, after all, it's your holiday.
We are in our seventies but we love the roads and bridges and , maybe accustomed to them after many years.
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Nov 5th, 2006, 06:33 PM
  #38  
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Sue, thanks for your reassuring words. You've been extremely helpful. I'll mull over adding the Gouffre. Cigalechanta, I think your're right--what we need to do is do some exploring on this trip, and see how it goes. If we find we're comfortable driving and wish we'd spent more time in the Dordogne/Lot area, we'll be back!
Carolyn
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Nov 5th, 2006, 08:25 PM
  #39  
 
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Yes - there is an elevator up. What goes down, must go up!!!

Stu Dudley
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Feb 17th, 2007, 11:33 AM
  #40  
 
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If you are not happy with steep winding roads with drop offs on one side then you will be OK with the Dordogne and Vezere valleys. The roads can be narrow, but there is little in the way of mountains, just small hills.
I moved to the Dordogne just over 2 years ago (from the UK) and now live 3 km outside Rouffignac (where the caves are). If you need any help or advice in your forward planning then look at my blog on
http://bikesindordogne.blogspot.com/
where you will find my email address and loads of pictures. I am not trying to run any sort of money making business here but like to help others see the fantastic part of the world that I have found.
Bob
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