In a shocking turn-of-events Jeff did not plan something starting at 8:00 AM (although he desperately wanted to)- We woke up and leisurely had breakfast with David and Alex (a lovely German couple staying at Chateau Carbonneau). He was scheming, no way he lets me sleep in without a plan. Then he springs it on me. We were taking a 2 hour car drive to the medieval villages located in the Dordogne region.
I finish cramming as many croissants as I can into my face as we head to the car. Our first destination is Sarlat la Caneda, after 1 hour & 45 min of driving (Jeff is pretending he is speed racer in the S60) we arrive. While the village was beautiful it was very commercial. Lots of hotels and shops mixed in with the medieval village AND very crowded. We were on a time crunch so we hopped right back in the car and headed to the next medieval village over (only 15 min away), Domme.
Domme is located on top of the highest hill in the area. These medieval villages had it right- spectacular views, beautiful architecture (did I mention basically impenetrable?). One side of Domme is accessible with beautiful farmland, stair stepping uphill to a single point-of-entry. All other sides of the village are sheer cliffs with spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. Luckily we are not a medieval army and it just meant the most spectacular view for lunch/coffee/(yum)Panna cotta (FYI the French will think you were dropped on your head if you ask for coffee WITH your lunch.).
We finished the meal, explored the rest of Domme (bought some stuff) and headed to our next location: La Roque Gageac (only another 10 min away). At that point we were cutting it close on time and had to fly through the village.
On to Beynac-et-Cazenac Talk about a sweet view in a serious location. The entire village is cut into the side of a ravine over the river and the castle at the top is basically a CO hike on cobblestones (Jeff literally made me run up the side of a castle/cliff)
the fortress/castle was by far the steepest incline for a city I have ever seen. Jeff informs me it is exactly like the gargoyle castle which I cannot remember.( Saturday morning cartoons anyone?)We were going so fast that the people who were trying to get to the top to see the castle were still there climbing on our way back down. Did I mention that we were breathing like asthma patients in distress at this point. Yes tired. Yes my cardiovascular fitness needs work.
Two hours later we arrived back at Chateau Carbonneau just in time for dinner with Phil Sevier’s parents: Kathy and Phillip. It was a day of spectacular meals w/ views, and excessive amounts of hiking. To wind down Kathy and Phillip took us to Chateau de Sanse with an unbelievable view of the French country side during sunset (special thanks to the Sevier family for a beautiful meal and introducing us to the region!) The meal was everything French and the wine was amazing!
I will be sleeping in again tomorrow!