Wren's Paris, Dordogne, & W. Loire Trip

Jun 22nd, 2007, 04:04 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Hi- I am also following and enjoying this report. We will be in Paris and the Dorgogne with our younger son (13 yrs. old) in July.

Thanks for posting.
fun4all4 is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2007, 04:32 PM
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While I am thinking of it, my husband read a book while we were in the Dordogne entitled, The Generous Earth, by Philip Oyler...he highly recommends it to anyone travelling there...it describes the area in the first half of the 20th century...life there had not changed much from the previous 200 years. You can buy it on Amazon for about $20. I need to read it myself!!
wren is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2007, 12:37 PM
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I have thought of so many more people whose insights helped us plan this trip---the Go family, Nikki, Jody, Crazy,...sorry I left you out originally...I am sure there are more...Robjame comes to mind...

Since I am writing about France, I need a glass of wine to get me in the mood...ahhh. OK, all set...now for

Day 4
Today, Sunday, is market day in St. Cyprien and after less than a 10 minute drive from our gite, we arrive soon after 10:00. The town is all a buzz with action. Church bells are ringing, some on their way to mass. Between the service and the market, parking is at a premium, but not too difficult to find a place.

We are instantly impressed! The sun is gloriously shining and people are milling around everywhere. The items for sale are a mix of products from the region---cepes, chicken, cheeses, olives, nuts...as well as clothing, shoes, housewares, and of course wine! We decided to evaluate what was available before we purchase. Instantly, we find ekscrunchy's (and others) chicken and Salardaise potato merchant. I spoke with another merchant at one of the kiosks and when I mentioned the chickens...he said we had better get in line; they sell out very quickly. Good advice! We now have a meal fit for a king!

I bought some wonderful smelling soaps--I always do this in France--they are unlike anything I find here. My son bought some for his girlfriend as well. He found her a ring and a crocheted bag which he presented to her the first night we were home. (Ahh...young love!) My son had forgotten his belt so we looked for one at the market--one of the salespeople from Africa was very pushy! We moved on and found a less aggressive salesperson and a cheaper belt!

I bought tapinade; my husband tasted all sorts of cheese and finally bought several cabecous...one was a little strong for me!

Looking at our watches, we decided to take our goodies back to the gite before we went to Faget's ferme, recommended by ekscrunchy. (I had called the day before and made reservations)

Ferme-Auberge Les Tilleuls--www.fermelestilleuls.com --is in the countryside surrounded by the tilleul trees--very fragrant. We were the only Americans there. I think there was a Dutch foursome next to us, but everyone else was French. We opted for the 15 euro menu which consisted of Pate de Campagne; Civet de Canard; a delicious Bergerac rouge, and a wonderful citron cake and cafe. Everything we had was marvelous...just wonderful flavors. This was one of our favorite meals! Thanks ekscrunchy!

Back at the gite, our son and his wife, who live in Manhattan, were due to arrive--they had flown into Bordeaux and rented a car. DS is known among his friends as "Mapquest" because of his sense of direction. We had agreed that he would call us on the cell phone and we would meet them in St. Cyp to escort them to the gite--(though we had sent him a map of where it was). Monsieur Mapquest found it without our help--some people are just naturals--what can I say??

They rested for awhile and then we drove into Beynac to give them a glimpse of the river and the castle. Ominous clouds formed and big drops began to fall, forcing us to return to the car. We decided to drive home...coinciding with our arrival, a spectacular storm came up...fabulous lightening and thunder (I am from Florida---this was impressive!) We were in for the night--thank goodness for all of our purchases that day! We ate like royalty! Actually, it was a major pig out!

Tomorrow--the best laid plans--
wren is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 11:21 AM
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Day 6

Although our plan for Monday morning was to canoe down the Dordogne and then visit Castelnaud, we awoke to a drizzling and overcast day...so we changed our plans deciding to go Lascaux II and Sarlat instead.

We drove to the Montignac area--there were detours on the route, so we unfortunately did not stop in Saint Leon-sur-Vezere. After buying our tickets for the cave and stopping for a not-so-great lunch, we went to Lascaux II.

We had visited Font de Gaume on a previous trip so that is why we chose Lascaux II. An amazing replica--you really forget that it is a replica while you are there. Our guide was great---good explanations, humorous, able to answer every question.

After Lascaux II, we drove toward Sarlat, stopping in St.-Amand-de-Coly to walk around the amazing 11th century abby.

Next we located the walnut mill in Ste. Nathalene---no tours and it was almost closing time, so we just bought some walnut oil, walnut gateaux, and cholate hazelnuts and of course, chocolate walnuts...I love those things!

We drove into Sarlat and went straight to the TI to get a walking map of the city. We headed over to Bistro L'Octroi, thanks to Moolyn and Carlux, for a wonderful meal. We all had the menu which gave us several choices for entree, main course, and dessert, in addition to plenty of wine.

We strolled through Sarlat at dusk--what a beautiful town--as the gaslights were lit. What a perfect time to be there--the medieval architecture was a feast for our eyes. After coffee at the main square, we were ready to drive home and turn in at our little palace. One interesting note: our drive home was more than 30 minutes from Sarlat--we did not see one car on the way!! (about 11 at night)

Next day: another market; great food; and a castle
wren is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2007, 12:43 PM
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hello, folks -

i just returned from a week in the dordogne. we stayed in a beautiful stone house overlooking the valley just above st-cyprien. i have a question: does anyone happen to remember the name of the wine story in st-cyprien? i'm trying to get in touch with its proprietor, a really nice guy named jacques, who recommended some great local wines during our stay. any help would be appreciated.

macaroon is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2007, 02:41 PM
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Macaroon: you might want to ask your question as a new post.
hopingtotravel is offline  
Oct 5th, 2007, 01:18 PM
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thanks, hopingtotravel. took your advice. here's hoping . . .
macaroon is offline  
Oct 5th, 2007, 01:28 PM
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Wren, I'm glad someone brought this thread to the top. We were in Italy when you posted all this so I missed it, but remembered you planning the trip. Glad to finally see the report.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Oct 5th, 2007, 02:04 PM
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We were in Provence for 5 weeks in June/July so I missed the original post also.

The first Gite we ever stayed in (1997) was near Domme in the Dordogne. The first market we could attend and then actually purchase food to prepare/eat at the Gite was the Sunday market in St Cyprien. We went hog-wild. Foie Gras, Magrets, roast Quail (lunch), honey, pate (many), cheese (too much), wine (never enough), a knife (that we still take to France with us twice a year), jams, bread - you name it & we probably bought it.

About the fourth night we were there, we headed out to dinner at a restaurant & the car would not start. We had to dine at the gite on only foie gras, cheese, and wine for dinner - "basic" food in the Dordogne. I had to double-up on my Lipitor for a few days after.

We purchased several "signs" at the Weldom hardware store next to the St Cyprien grocery (it was located elsewhere when we were there). We have various signs around our yard that say (in French):
No truffle hunting allowed
Stay off the grass
No bathing or swimming allowed
no mushroom gathering allowed
Respect the flowers
No Parking
Watch out for the herd (Attention Troupeaux)
Bis - it's on our detached garage
Private Property - do not enter (gave to a friend in the wine country - tourists are always driving down their driveway thinking it's a winery)

We still peruse hardware stores looking for different signs - they are easy to bring back home.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Oct 5th, 2007, 02:37 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
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Wren...I was hoping to get the rest of your travel report. Perhaps now that it's surfaced again you can fill us in.

Love to hear the rest....
CRAZY4TRAVEL is offline  

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