Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sarlat and Rocamadour, Dordogne Valley - Day 7

The highlight of today's visit is to Sarlat, the heart of Dordogne Valley. Funny why this town is not even mentioned in the itinerary brochure of the Cosmos Tour. This is the region famous or infamous for the production of foie gras, the liver pate from forced fed ducks and geese. Our visit to Sarlat is centred in the old medieval town, a living museum with its many preserved buildings.

There are many colourful shops selling colourful items.

No prize for guessing what these shops sell.

We had lunch in one of the many restaurants lining the narrow cobblestone lanes that offered plenty of choices in their fixed price formule.

This was the best value for money lunch in our whole tour of France, a full 3-course formule for 14 euros per person! First was the optional complementary soup.

This is literally duck fat soup so it is oily and really an acquired taste and not for the health conscious; that's why it is optional. For starter, I had their salad with foie gras, duck gizzard and walnut, all ingredients that this region is famous for.

The main course was fried canard (duck) drumstick or grilled lamb with saute potatoes.

There's a choice of ice-cream or chocolate mousse for desert so all in, it was really a very good lunch for the price. We wander the town a bit more to help our digestion and ended at the St. Sacerdos Cathedral, the only big building here.

The inside of the cathedral with some colourful stained glass windows.

We took in more view of the town (including this unusual organ grinder) before we boarded our bus for our next destination.

Our next stop was another Medieval town, this time it is Rocamadour on the rock or rather by the cliff. Unfortunately it began to rain once we reached  the photo shoot point for Rocamadour but I still managed some shots.

We took the elevator from the lower town to the middle sanctuary level, the main tourist spot,

where we can have view upwards to the chateau

and also down to the valley below.

For some unknown reasons, I somehow followed my wife to the various stations of the Way of the Cross that zigzag up the hill right to the top level.

There was a cave near the top

and a Cross of Jerusalem marking the 14th station if my count is correct.

The chateau at the top was closed.

We then rushed down to the middle sanctuary level and visited the church and the various chapels surrounding the square.

From Rocamadour, we drove to Toulouse for the night. We stayed at the Radisson Blu hotel near the airport, undoubtedly the best and most colourful hotel of the entire tour.

Ronald Kwok