Vive la France!

Vive la France!

Welcome to my blog -- follow us as we travel around France.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Dordogne - Day 4: Sarlat Market & Lascaux II

Another beautiful day in the Dordogne.  At the risk of jinxing us, I have to say we've been extremely lucky as far as the weather is concerned.  We've been here a little over 30 days and I think we have had only maybe 4 days of rain.  Most of the time we've had sunny blue skies.  This is a good time of year to come, especially to these areas that are very popular with tourists.  Not only is the weather good, but there are not crowds of people to contend with.

We got an early start this morning and got into Sarlat around 9:30 for their Wednesday market.  The market area winds through the old part of the town.  Being there early, we could take some pictures since there weren't hoards of people yet.  We also got to see some of the interesting old buildings.  Some of the buildings have stone roofs -- they are probably a couple of hundred years old!  Since we will be here for just a few more days, we didn't buy any food this time, but we did by a small piece of truffle in a small can for 24 euros.  Don't know what we'll do with it, but I'm hoping my Julia Child cookbook will have a recipe we can use.  We also bought another small watercolor, which we bought from the artist right across from the subject of the painting. 

After exploring Sarlat, we went north to the town of Montignac, which is a beautiful old town with the Vesere River flowing right through it.  We had lunch there -- pizza & the best we've had here.  Lascaux II is right up the road from Montignac, so that's where we went next.  Lascaux II is an exact reproduction of the original Lascaux cave.  The original cave was closed in the 1960s due to damage caused by the many visitors: white calcifications caused by carbondioxide, and green mossy stuff caused by the humidity of people breathing.  Lascaux II shows only about 40 meters of the original cave, but 90% of the art work is represented.  Even for a reproduction, it is stunning.  The art was reproduced using the same pigments and methods used by the original artists 17,000 years ago.  This is Cro-Magnan art, produced by our human ancestors.  The animals rendered are bulls, reindeer, horses, ibex, and cows.  The colors are black, red, and yellow.  In some areas the curvature of the cave wall was used to enhance the shape of the figures.  Once you are in there, it is easy to forget that it is a reproduction.  Fortunately, I was one of the last people to get in on the English tour and the guide was very good.  Unfortunately, Mom wasn't able to go, but she walked a lot in Sarlat and Montignac today, so I don't think she minded waiting for me.  This cave, even as a reproduction, offered a lot more of a "WOW" factor than the Rouffignac cave we saw a couple of days ago.

Well, the music in this McDonalds is the absolute worse, so I'm going to close this out, then we'll go home and rest up for the remainder of the afternoon .

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