Friday, October 15, 2010
Dordogne – Day 6: Les Cabanes du Breuil
Another foggy, chilly morning. We didn’t move fast this morning as there wasn’t much point to go out into the fog. I did a couple of loads of clothes – it is much easier to pack clean clothes. It was after 11 before we left the house, and we decided to have lunch in Sarlat.
We had lunch at a Rick Steves’ recommendation called Le Bistro el l’Octroi. We both decided we have had enough duck and foie gras, but when we looked at the menu that was most of what was on it. They have a 13 euro menu consisting of a main course (plat), dessert, beverage, and coffee, so I asked what they were serving – it was salmon. Yes! It was delicious and one of the best lunches of the trip – I’d rank it in the top 3. There were three 2-inch pieces of salmon, grilled to perfection – cooked through, but moist. It was a lot lighter color than our salmon – almost white. It was served with some sort of creamed vegetable, but neither of us could figure out what it was – it was just very good – and some egg noodles. The dessert of a tart of puff pastry, pastry cream, and pears, which was actually very light and tasty.
After lunch we drove up towards Les Eyzies, where we had gone on Monday, but before getting there we turned off for Les Cabanes du Breuil. When we were in Provence, we wanted to go see the Bories Village, but got discouraged because of the difficult road. These “cabanes” are stone huts much like the bories in Provence, and the road up there is actually quite good. They are located on a family farm. There are 6 structures all made from dry-stacked stone: no mortar or cement. The walls are 3 meters thick and the roofs weight something like 3 metric tons per square meter. They are quite impressive and it was an interesting sight. No one knows exactly who built them or when, but the earliest historical record of them is in the mid-15th century when Benedictine monks resided there. Subsequently, they have been put to a variety of other purposes and were first restored in the late 19th century. The family that lives on the property now has owned it for at least 3 generations, and I could tell that they take their stewardship of the property very seriously.
We took the long way home, going along the Dordogne and through some very picturesque villages, and got back to the house around 5 after topping off the gas tank and picking up something for dinner. We want to leave around 9:00 tomorrow morning as it is a long drive up to Normandy.