This weekend was a five-day weekend, so I left from Wednesday to Friday with friends to the Périgord.
We booked the Formula 1 hotel in Périgueux and soon discovered that Périgord was in fact sort of confusing.
As you can see, depending where you are, Périgord can be green (vert), white (blanc), black (noir) or purple (pourpre). Périgueux itself is in the departement of Dordogne, which is part of the region of Aquitaine, but we did cross over in the Le Lot, which is part of the Midi-Pyrénées region. In short we were in Périgord Blanc and Périgord Noir, which are administratively in different regions of France.
After a stop in Cognac (not in the Périgord at all), we made our way down to Périgueux Wednesday and walked around town a little. I didn’t have my camera for this part, but Périgueux seemed to be a pretty city with a medieval area and a Roman ruins area.
Thursday morning we had planned on going to the caves at Lascaux. Unfortunately because it was a national holiday, everyone and their dog appeared to have had the same idea. To go to Lascaux in the off season, you have to buy your tickets in Montignac at the tourist office. Once we were in town we realized that simply finding a parking spot to go to the tourist office was going to take us forty minutes, so we drove on through and left Lascaux for some other time.
We went instead to Sarlat, in the Périgord Noir, which is a really beautiful little village.
Then we drove on to Rocamadour, which is not even in the Périgord, just to confuse things. It’s an old village/abbey built into the cliff face. We parked at the château and paid 2 euros to walk around the ramparts, where you can easily get dizzy looking down on the village below.
After that we walked down to the sanctuary, which is a pilgrimage site.
We think we’ll return at some point, and probably sleep at a hotel in Montignac to avoid the parking situation for Lascaux. I’d also like to go to the Gouffre de Padirac at some point, which is out near Rocamadour. I had never set foot in Dordogne before, and even though I was driving most of the time, I did get to see some of the natural beauty of the region. Hopefully it won’t take me too long to get my butt back over there.
All the photos I took are on my flickr photostream. Friends are supposed to post theirs soon so maybe I will be able to add some of Périgueux in a few days.