The long and winding (and winding and winding) road

After leaving the chateau we started the next part of our trip, driving north to Agen and turning east. The farmland changed substantially almost as soon as we left, becoming very green. As we drove east we noticed it getting rockier, especially as we drove into the very pretty main street of Cahors.

After having lunch in a Cahors cafe we took some pictures of the Pont de Valences and decided to head to Rocamadour. The ground changed very suddenly, and we were climbing solid rock. We soon left the highway, winding our way down ever-shrinking roads, and twisting here and there, high and low, like a writhing snake all over the French countryside. Finally we reached Rocamadour and it was a breathtaking sight. The town is carved into the side of a mountain high above a valley, and we had to pull over (on some very dodgy roads) for pictures.

We probably should have left after that but we went up into the city. It was about 8 different kinds of tacky. Very tourist trap. Dad and I climbed the stairs to the top (wrong day to wear a hoodie!) for some pictures before we fled the schamltz. We now turned northwest toward Sarlat.

It took us about an hour to hit the outskirts of Sarlat, having crossed and driven along the Dordogne river, just as it began to rain. Lack of adequate maps, confusing streets and the pouring rain made it very difficult to find our hotel, so we spent quite a bit of time driving around the winding city streets. Finally we found it and checked in, then had another hard time finding the parking garage. It’s a beautiful little town, but it’s been wet and confusing so far!

The front desk suggested a hotel; we asked for casual and quick, but where he sent us was fancy and expensive. After waiting 45 minutes to have our order taken and realizing we didn’t want to stay anyway, we buggered off. Sometimes you just have to call it. Anyway, plan B — a pizzeria — ended up hitting the spot. I know, having pizza in France seems sacreligious, but sometimes after a long day you just need some comfort food. A quick stroll to see the cathedral and we went home for the night. Sweet, sweet bed.

[tags]france, agen, cahord, rocamadour, sarlat[/tags]

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