Tuesday 6 October 2015

A few days in the Dordogne

At the back end of September we had a few short but lovely days in France, in the Dordogne. It's wine-growing country. We had quite the eventful journey out there, but when we finally landed, the first thing we noticed was that even the tiny airport was surrounded by vines.
The number of vineyards is only equalled by the amount of castles. We only had time for a taster, so our three remaining days took in a chateau, a vineyard and a few little bastide towns.
We went with our friends Claire and Serena. They had the genius idea to do a wine tasting, and since it would have spoiled the experience if one of us had to drive, we found a vineyard near to our gite, strolling down country lanes to get to it.

Chateau Terre Vielle, that's our wine drinking table right there

There we spent an idyllic afternoon in the autumn sunshine, drinking red wine and having big fat juicy psychology discussions. The only thing that was missing was some tasty snacks. We spoke of olives and crisps and cheese. All that talking made us hungry, so we bought another couple of bottles and skipped off home all perky, to eat and drink some more.

Chateau de Beynac, Dordogne
The castle we went to featured in a Luc Bresson film called Jeanne d'Arc. It was everything a castle should be; huge and imposing, and the view over the river Dordogne was beyond compare.
The stables containing three old nags :)

It turns out that the village below the castle was used in the filming of Lasse Halstrom's Chocolat too. I'm going to have to rewatch it to see if I recognise anything.

We spent three days chasing markets. The booklets and the tourist information clearly stated where they were and on which days. We travelled expectantly here, there and everywhere. No markets to be seen!
We finally screeched to a halt at the market in Bergerac just as they were packing up. With minutes to spare, Serena and I both managed to bag ourselves a straw basket. Our dedication and tenacity paid off!
We had a nice mooch around Bergerac with its half-timbered buildings and impressive church. We even found Cyrano, lurking in the undergrowth.
Other than that, we ate, drank, chatted, laughed, basked in the sunshine, swam in the pool and generally enjoyed just being together at our gorgeous gite.

 A wonderful time was had by all. I generally only have one question after a holiday, and that is, where to next?


Vix said...

That looks wonderful. I've only even been to Paris. This is the France of my dreams. Castles, sleepy shuttered village squares, cobbled streets and wine.

Love that photo of you and Q dreamily gazing out and old nags? Get away with you!!!

Jon's uncle lives in Limousin and has been pestering us for years to come over and spend some time there. If I show him this he'll be firing up the camper immediately! xxx

mondoagogo said...

Well now, that all looks very nice. What lovely light over everything!

Anonymous said...

Like the picture of you spread eagled on the grass after your epic journey there. Phew, you made it! Great food and shots of what you got up to. Looks like lots of fun was had by all xx

Connie said...

I love the photo of you being all Julie Andrews/Maria Von Trapp. The Dordogne is alive...This just looks like the most wonderful holiday. Wine and friends and castles and market baskets. Sign me up toute de suite!

Ivy Black said...

Bloomin' lovely Tan. It looks so wonderful and that photo of you having a lie down is brilliant.
Glad your market chasing paid off and you really have to get a basket when in France I feel.

Sue said...

Another gorgeous tour taken, thanks for the ride. Love the three old nags in the stable by the way. Next holiday destination? New Zealand? Summer is coming and we had loads of golden sand beaches and lots of lovely green countryside!!!

Curtise said...

Oh that does look lovely! Friends, wine, sunshine, castles, a pool, historic towns - what could be better? The photo of you and Q admiring the view is beautiful. Your photos capture the laid back vibe, warm stone and wood, and the gorgeous light.
Ha, look at you making full sunbathing use of the chateau's grounds - good for you!
So yes - where to next? Hoping we can squeeze in a girls' day out before too long, so check your diary, love! xxxx

Dawn rose said...

Hello, just found your blog and reading through. I love the flower power dress its amazing. X