The Dordogne - I wish I could rave!

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Jul 27th, 2013, 03:14 PM
  #21
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annhig - Interesting to hear you liked it better the second time around!

Joe18 - we'd certainly consider revisiting on a walking holiday, I'll bookmark HF Holidays.

Carla - Ihanks for the link.
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Jul 27th, 2013, 06:21 PM
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Great photos and trip report! And, Carla, I loved the link.
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Jul 27th, 2013, 06:53 PM
  #23
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Glad you enjoyed the blog!
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Aug 1st, 2013, 12:18 AM
  #24
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I've just posted some pictures of Chateau Milandes on the blog. Several people have talked about it here on the board and it's well worth a visit. We enjoyed learning about Josephine Baker's life and seeing the raptor show - yes it's a strange combination but they have to lure you in somehow!

http://somuchmoretosee.blogspot.com/...-milandes.html
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Aug 1st, 2013, 02:40 AM
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Timing may be all. We went in early October. Domme was empty. Sarlat was quiet. Rocamadour had a few tourists and some religious visitors. Only the caves were busy.
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Aug 1st, 2013, 08:28 AM
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Welltraveledbrit: Nice blog!
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Aug 1st, 2013, 02:43 PM
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Yes timing is everything, in life as well as travel!

KL467 - Glad you liked the blog.
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Aug 1st, 2013, 03:04 PM
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I enjoyed the Dordogne but like Provence more.
We made one trip only because I wanted to see that bridge in Millau. We enjoyed the Auvergne where at our hotel the owner
caught our fish for dinner especially for us.
In the Luberon, Bonnieux and Lourmarin were favorites.
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Aug 2nd, 2013, 11:16 PM
  #29
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It sounds like we have similar taste!
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Aug 3rd, 2013, 12:54 AM
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I went to the spectacle of "La Bataille de Castillon" which sort of reenacts the significant battle in the 100 years war, during my recent exchange of home hospitality in Eysines, France (outside Bordeaux). It was the closest I got to the Dordogne (I did see the Dordogne River and signs to Bergerac if that counts).

I did see an original prehistoric cave near St. Foix in the Pyrenees called La Grotte de Niaux, which I thought was fantastic. For more details on that, check the blog on my website on my Toulouse home exchange:

http://altecockertravels.weebly.com/...ance-2013.html

I am currently on my 54th home exchange in Salamanca, Spain.
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Aug 3rd, 2013, 01:00 AM
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Forgot to mention, the spectacle "La Bataille de Castillon" is on the exterior of the relatively uninteresting town of Castillon and was started by the townspeople. It is definitely worth seeing if you happen to be in the area. If you do not speak French though, you will have to get a program with the English summary and good luck. I do speak French and had no problem. The program is worth buying as a souvenir.

If you go early, they do have food and there are sword fights and the like to keep you busy before the show. We had no trouble getting back to Bordeaux with post show traffic but did not get home until after 2:00am. A tip of my hat to my hostess for arranging this. Recommendation: Take a look at the weather before buying a ticket. The night before I went there were thunderstorms in the area and the show cancelled. I consider myself very lucky to have seen the show but, if you can't, enjoy your holiday anyway.

Happy travels, guys.
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Aug 3rd, 2013, 06:31 AM
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Enjoyed your photos of Chateau Milandes. Josephine Baker was quite a gal. I found it interesting to hear about her war efforts---especially how she transported secret messages by using invisible ink on her sheet music.
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Aug 5th, 2013, 04:18 PM
  #33
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I've just posted some pictures and a description of Brantome which is a pretty place to stop if you find yourself nearby. We were lucky enough to run into a vintage car show and antique market which was fun.

http://somuchmoretosee.blogspot.com/.../brantome.html
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Aug 9th, 2013, 10:25 AM
  #34
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In case anyone is interested in gardens I've just posted the first of two blog posts on gardens in the Dordogne.

http://somuchmoretosee.blogspot.com/...rqueyssac.html

I love to visit gardens and we enjoyed the visiting the gardens at Marqueyssac and Les Jardins du Manoir d'Eyrignac. They have some similarities but are quite different. For me it was well worth seeing both even in the drizzle.

Marqueyssac is a large garden with a great deal of variety and a lovely walk out to a promontory with views over the river and surrounding towns. It's in the thick of other sites you may be considering which is convenient.

They both have wonderful moderns topiaries which are very well worth seeing. Personally I preferred Les Jardins du Manoir d'Eyrignac. There was something more intimate and personal about the garden to me. I'll be posting pictures of Eyrignac in the next few days.
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Aug 9th, 2013, 12:56 PM
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Dordogne is one of the most over-hyped places in France IMO - not that it's not nice but as several have said above - lots nicer places without the oft overwhelming crowds.
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Aug 10th, 2013, 08:55 AM
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ttt
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Aug 11th, 2013, 08:54 AM
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We drove past Rocamadour and took in the amazing vista of the town clinging to the cliff. WE decided not to stop as we're generally not keen on overly touristy destinations and we took the advice of several on the board. When I saw the crowds and a small mini "train" I felt we'd made the right decision!>

Well it is the 2nd most visited place in France outside of Paris after Mont-Saint-Michel - would you also avoid Mont Saint-Michel - a pity you did not actually go into the sacred chapels and see the religious icon dating from medieval days - in fact Rocamadour's touristy feel is exactly what it must have exuded in medieval times when it was a thriving pilgrim destination - anyway I found the actual sanctuaries and their centuries-old relics compelling and would encourage others to actually stop by and see the chapels themselves which are any thing but tacky!
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Aug 11th, 2013, 10:21 AM
  #38
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PalenQ,
We'll bear in mind your comments on the chapels when we're next in the area.

I have to agree that for us the Dordogne was over hyped, we enjoyed a short trip we took to Burgundy far more, Though our experience isn't predictive of, or a judgement on other people's trips. I generally find low expectations are key!

It was late in the afternoon after a long day in a holiday week with LOTS of people every where. Under those conditions Under those conditions it did not appeal to me and it made sense for us to drive on by.
However, I do get your well made point about the touristy feel invoking the crowded medieval spirit of pilgrimage. While I enjoyed the sung mass I went to in a small chapel at Mont St Michel years ago I have to say that overall it is somewhere I didn't particularly enjoy and would avoid visiting again. Though I went in January I found the walk up lined with tacky souvenirs and restaurants to be ghastly.

As always travel is a reflection of the self, the experience you bring with you and the conditions you find on the day you go. Some places you love despite the bad weather or crowds (for me this would be Venice off season) and in others the charm of the place can't transcend the mob (for me this would be Dubrovnik with three cruise ships in port). It is intensely personal, defined by your preference and the randomness of the day you happen to visit.

In general we've had good experiences at smaller sites . We were moved by the Romanesque Abbaye de Fleury in St Benoit sur Loire where we stumbled upon a sung Benedictine Mass in the crypt. This experience and place had far more resonance for me than Mont St Michel.

Happy Travels!
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Aug 11th, 2013, 10:36 AM
  #39
 
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Frankly, Rocamadour is one of the places that I have enjoyed visiting the most in the area -- but I have always been there in October or November, which probably makes a huge difference to the experience.
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Aug 11th, 2013, 09:50 PM
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You can find those "little trains" in central cities all over Europe. It may be just me but I find them annoying. 20 minutes in a vehicle suited for old cities for people too lazy to walk. I never take them and find them a turn off.

I am currently on an extended home exchange in Salamanca, Spain, where there is a "little train"--and, no, I did not take it. I walked around.
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