Our final stop in France was the Dordogne region. We stayed in a village called Sarlat, which is one of many small villages in the area. Sarlat is the only village in France still lit by gas lamps at night, which was cool. Not only did we love the town, but we also loved our B&B. It was run by a British couple, who knew that guests would appreciate large rooms and bathrooms, English books, and complimentary drinks. We sure did.
We rented a car to visit the surrounding villages. Coming from Marseille, it was a welcome change that we didn’t need GPS, and we didn’t fear for our lives every time we got in the car. You can’t get too lost in this area. We found this region to be the most scenic area of France that we’ve visited. It was so green that at times it looked almost fake.
One of our favorite things we did was a canoe ride down the Dordogne River. The 9-mile ride takes you through several villages along the water. Our favorite stop was La Roque Gageac, a small village built into the cliffs. All the villages have a maze of narrow, cobblestone streets, which favor walkers not drivers.
This region of France is famous for its “gastronomic geese and duck” especially in the form of foie gras. Foie gras is on all the menus and is very reasonably priced. Foie gras shops are a dime a dozen lining the villages. While we’re not huge fans of this delicacy, we did order it a few times, although we could never finished it because it is so rich. We couldn’t get over these little French ladies taking down blocks of foie gras as their appetizers. Where do they put it?
We had the opportunity to visit a small, family-run foie gras farm, which we found very interesting. At this farm at least, the process seemed no more cruel than raising cattle or chicken as food. We found it surprising to learn that the process of force-feeding geese goes back as far as 2500 BC by the ancient Egyptians.
A lot of people make a visit to many of the caves here where you can see cave drawings that were done 15,000 years ago. While we were tempted to visit these, we decided to pass and spend our time outside enjoying the sunshine and scenery.
We just got to Barcelona and are looking forward to experiencing a new culture. Neither of us have been to Spain before. So far it is raining cats and dogs.
(There is a video of our canoe trip down the river and one of our visit to the foie gras farm. Please don’t watch it if it is going to offend you.)