lundi 20 août 2007

Weekend in the Dordogne

Some folks from work asked me to go down to southwestern France this weekend, to the Dordogne, to see the prehistoric cave paintings. It was a pretty drive and a gorgeous region of France.

There were lots of farms. The region is known for its foie gras. Here is a pic of a foie gras farm. honk honk honk!! Alas it was not foie gras season-- that is in winter-- so I did not get to indulge my taste for tortured waterfowl.There were plenty of cattle farms and acres of corn.
We drove alongside the river Vézère and stopped to take photos of a chateau.This is the medieval town/tourist trap nightmare of Sarlat. This was one of the few streets that wasn't jam packed with tourists.The much more sedate and pleasant town of Montignac.But our main destination was the caves. The original paintings of Lascaux, discovered in 1940, were deteriorating from all of the tourists and the change that was wrought of the climate in the cave, so they closed it down and make a fake Lascaux, "Lascaux II," nearby it for everyone to see instead. This was less kitschy than it sounds. Then yesterday we went to the cave of Rouffignac, where we saw 14,000 year old drawings of horses, cattle, bison and mammoths. It blew my mind.

Not surprisingly, flash photography wasn't allowed, so I have no pics. But here was the entrance to the cave.

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