A Travellerspoint blog

December 2009

Tuesday 8th to Friday 11th December

Thanks to a very kind offer from Richard and Fiona, we stayed a few days at their lovely holiday home and took advantage of the open fire and running hot water, thank you. Although not hot enough for the swimming pool, we had some lovely days of warmer (some would say milder) weather and for once no rain and even on Thursday clear blue skies. So we had some great walks and bike rides around the local area, The houses around here are all light rustic yellow sandstone and the landscape more rolling hills and not forgetting the French woods, they have defiantly picked a lovely home and area.


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Monday 7th December


Last night we drove to Montignac, still in the Dordogne region, so today we could investigate the area. There are many limestone caverns and pre-historic cave paintings the area is famous for. We headed straight to the biggest ‘Lascaux’, the rain was pouring as we went up to the entrance, only to discover it was closed for restoration work, typical! So off we went to find some others and a tourist information office. As it is December we found that all but a few were closed, and the ones that were open were small. So we decided we would have to head back here another time.
So we carried on south towards my uncle & auntie’s French house, en route stopping off at a Supermarche. Now we seem to be spending most of our time wondering around in supermarkets, deciding which ones are cheaper for what, as food seems expensive in France, oh the fun of a living on a budget.


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Sunday 6th December

Drove down last night into the Dordogne region and parked up near Oradour-sur-Glane.
Sunday was to be a day of reflection as we went around the abandoned town of Oradour-sur-Glane, which was very surreal and sobering.


To understand why it is here you need a quick bit of history. On the 10th June 1944, a group of SS Troops swept through the town on a mission of vengeance. They rounded up all the citizens, putting women and children in the church and the men in surrounding buildings and massacred them, set fire to the church with the women and children in and then the town itself. The total killed was 642, over 200 of them children. Today the town stands as the Nazi’s left it. It is very eerie to walk around with the burnt out houses and cars, as well as bullet holes in the walls. It puts you in the devastation of war and what my Grandparents and their generation lived through and witnessed. Also many other countries now and in recent times still go through. Innocent people dying in wars that nowadays seem more to do with the progress of corporations supported by governments for the country’s natural resources, but I wont go on. The place is poignant, emotional yet captivating.


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Saturday 5th December


Went round Chenonceau Chateau, which has been built over a river, very impressive. Inside the huge Gallery spans the river, so you can walk over what seems to be a bridge but all in one room. We wondered around the rest of the rooms reading all the history in the leaflet. The woman at the reception had given us the English leaflet, even though we had asked for the tickets in French, must have been such impressive French that she knew we were English. Then it was off to the maze and first one to the centre, I lost.

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Friday 4th December

Went to investigate the Troglodytes this morning around Doue la Fontaine, which we had driven to last night. The Troglodytes are the caves that people lived in around here right up to the 1970’s. We headed for the tourist information centre, to get the whereabouts of these caves, only to discover that all the caves where closed for the winter! Very disappointing, but we still had a wonder around the quarry and could see from afar the troglodyte houses, although it would have been great to go into the caves.


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