8.6.14 … Réveille-toi! I woke up to a rooster’s crow. He was a little early in my opinion …

The Great France and Spain Adventure of 2014 Day 2), Sarlat-la-Canéda  FR, Lascaux II Caves, fast food, Château de Castelnaud, Mirandol: 

Day 2 … Good morning. I woke up to a rooster’s crow. He was a littler early in my opinion.

IMG_0258View from my airbnb lodgings.

So, where am I?  I am safely in Sarlat-la-Canéda.



Sarlat-la-Canéda, or simply Sarlat, is a commune in the Dordogne department in Aquitaine in southwestern France.

via Sarlat-la-Canéda.

And today I am motoring in my little  red Opel to the Lascaux II and then a  car tour of Dordogne River Valley …

A few things that jumped out at me:

1. Mausoleums … Loved them.

2. McDonald’s not open for breakfast. I really needed a coke with ice to get me going. Still needed it at 11:30 … French to not understand fast food … It is supposed to be fast and cheap. My diet coke was 2,9 euros.

3. Cows


3. Boulangerie.


4. Sheep

5. Garmin fail – it took me on a back road to Lascaux caves … Again major fail. So I arrived late. And then because Garmin brought me in the back way, I missed all the signs telling me to buy tickets in Montignac … Wait, wait, wait … Next time I will read my guide book.

6. Lascaux Caves … Loved them. It was a bucket list item and I was not the least disappointed.


Since I could not take pictures inside the replica cave … And think National Geographic has done a pretty good job.

Containing some 600 paintings, Lascaux Cave in France’s Dordogne River Valley is home to perhaps the world’s most incredible array of Upper Paleolithic art. Prehistoric artists created the depictions of bulls and other animals on the cave’s calcite walls more than 17,000 years ago. The cave—and its artwork—was discovered by a group of teenagers in 1940.

via Lascaux Cave Picture, Lascaux Cave Desktop Wallpaper, Free Wallpapers, Download, Photography – National Geographic.

Also see Prehistoric Sites and Decorated Caves of the Vézère Valley – UNESCO World Heritage Centre.

7. Foi Gras: should I try it? I wondered why all the corn was growing in this region. It’s for the geese. The French don’t really eat corn.


8. Afternoon car tour and medieval castle tour at Château de Castelnaud (Accueil.)

. I followed Rick Steves’ River Valley Scenic Loop. I would say this was his first fail in my book. I still enjoyed myself, but I was glad I was not sharing the experience with anyone.

IMG_0267 IMG_0278 IMG_0284 IMG_0303 IMG_0311
IMG_0273 IMG_0287 IMG_0306 IMG_0310

9.   Rick Steves redeemed himself.  At first my timing was off for his suggested walking tour of Sarlat. The Cathedral was closed.  The famous Lantern honoring those who died of the plague was not viewable because of a private party. The former church that is now a large open covered market was closed.


But then my tour  turned excellent. I loved watching the children play on the geese sculpture. I loved the architecture. And then I found the restaurant, La Mirandol.   It was a fantastic meal for 24 euros.  Every course was excellent. It is sad when you eat such a phenomenal meal by yourself.

L’Auberge Le Mirandol vous propose une cuisine traditionnelle,  soignée et faite maison : foie gras mi-cuit, confits de canard et d’oie, magrets, coq au vin, tarte et soufflé glacé au noix…

via Nos Menus.

IMG_0325 IMG_0332




And afterwards my walk home was excellent. The lanterns were on (the only French town supposedly to retain its original gas lanterns), but I think many have been replaced with LED and they are still lovely.   My stomach is full, my soul is nourished and my heart is warmed.

And now it is time to sleep … Airbnb was cheap and safe, but I would not recommend my host in Sarlat.

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