Wine Country Tour, Day Eleven: Sarlat

Three years ago, on our first road trip in France,,we somehow failed to find old Sarlat.  This time we were determined, so we scheduled a night there between Bordeaux country and Burgundy country.  But we had to get from one place to the other, and therein lies the joy of travel the way Anita and I do it.

Near Bordeaux is Saint-Emilion, a historic wine center in the Bordeaux region.  This was a Sunday and our timing didn’t allow a leisurely exploration of the town and its many wine chateaux, but a cemetery caught our eye.  Anita pulled into a newly plowed field and let me explore the cemetery on my own.  I think if I lived in Saint Emilion, I’d have to get chummy with this family:

stemilioncemetery.jpg

Cemetery near Saint Emilion

When someone is buried here, family, friends, and business associates leave remembrances not just in perishables like flowers, but in permanent items, like tiles engraved with warm thoughts.  This family was clearly beloved by many.

Our GPS navigation system gave us options for how to route: fastest, most direct, ferries or not; that sort of thing.  Fastest usually maximized autoroutes (think interstate highways), but those are rarely the most interesting.  Now THIS is interesting:

RouteToDomme

Route to Domme

You learn to trust your technology on a road like that.  But in return, you get this:

DordogneFarmland

Dordogne Valley farmland

We stopped off for a nostalgic visit to Domme, just across the Dordogne river from Sarlat, having spent a couple of nights there three years ago.  It’s a “perched village”, and from this perch, you get a spectacular view of the Dordogne valley:

LaDordogneDomme

Dordogne Valley, as seen from Domme

We did finally get to Sarlat, and as usual Anita had done an excellent job of choosing our lodgings.  We were a five minute walk from the iconic statue of the the three geese, representing one of the regional culinary specialties, foie gras.

SarlatGeese

The Geese of Sarlat

After a leisurely stroll and a small amount of shopping, we had dinner at Le Moulin du Roy (The King’s Mill), nestled in a small corner among buildings dating back to the 13th century.  It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it.  Tomorrow is the longest drive of the trip, five hours to the heart of Burgundy, so today we’re in bed early.

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