Castles in the air.

I don’t know about you, but do you sometimes set out on a destination only to find that there is something really interesting on the way there? I was heading in the direction of La Roque Gageac on the banks of the River Dordogne and as usual, I like to take the less travelled routes – minor roads, virtually no traffic, and always the thrill of what may be around the next bend. Good old GPS took me on the most beautiful lanes and thankfully no farm vehicles to contend with because to say that they were narrow would be an understatement!

So, when you drop down into the valley and take the next bend, you have to stop when you see this. It just calls out to be explored, doesn’t it?

DSCN6187This is the mediaeval fortress, Chateau de Castelnaud.

As you might guess, parking was at the bottom of the hill and obviously if I wanted to visit a climb was required. I wasn’t relishing it in 32c of heat and blazing sun, but off we set, Maggie helping to get me up the pathway. It was worth it I have to say. The little village of Castelnaud-la-Chapelle is really lovely as it tumbles from the chateau down to the river, and there are great views of the river and across to Beynac-et-Cazenac and the northern side of the River Dordogne.

DSCN6191

DSCN6204But much more important things were on our minds. Lunch! It was really lovely to see places full and people enjoying meals out as a family. The tables were shuffled and re-shuffled to maintain the 1 metre distance rule to try every attempt to fit more people in…and why not? These small places rely on tourism and need as much custom as they can get if they are to survive. I for one was more than happy to stop and eat and support them.

DSCN6196Lunch stop in Castelnaud-la-Chapelle.

Of course, having had my fill of a superb simple lunch (plat du jour), dessert and drink all for 12 euros, I needed to walk it off. At least going down was a lot kinder than the climb up.

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Onwards and over the river towards La Roque Gageac. Well, I was really taken aback at just how busy it was when I got there. La Roque Gageac has always been a firm favourite with tourists and I have to say that I wasn’t expecting it to be very busy at all. But it was as if someone had given away free tickets for the day! The river was a frenzy of canoes and gabarres (traditional cargo boats) ferrying visitors to see the sights, and swimmers took their chance alongside them.

DSCN6206La Roque Gageac.

DSCN6209I have to say that the water looked so inviting… I could happily have jumped in to cool off but it wasn’t to be, and besides, what would I do with Maggie? Honestly, a Labrador who doesn’t like water! 🙂

A Bientot!

 

About Al in France

Dreams do come true and I am now retired and living with Maggie, my chocolate labrador, in France in the Deux-Sevres. I love travel and photography and hope to combine both interests here to make a record for myself, and somewhere where I hope you will get to enjoy a part of my life in this region, in France and further afield when I get the opportunity. Please feel free to follow and comment. A Bientot!
This entry was posted in Chateau, Dordogne, Podding. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Castles in the air.

  1. Colin Bisset says:

    Wonderful area that just piles on the prettiness. And usually bracing for the onslaught of British tourists. I wonder if those crowds were mainly French?

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    • Al in France says:

      Judging by the car reg plates, it would seem that they were French tourists, closely followed by the Dutch and Belgian. Of course some of those could be British who live here so have French cars. I didn’t hear any English being spoken. It seems that the British are keen to come but have only just had their restriction to travel lifted.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. margaret21 says:

    We’ve always rather avoided the Dordogne for its Little England reputation. It looks as if we may have missed out. Mind you, with France the size it is we’ve missed out on an awful lot.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. MELewis says:

    This looks heavenly! I’ve never spent any time in the Dordogne but clearly I must add it to my list! How frustrating to have a water dog who doesn’t like to swim. I would have had a hard time not jumping in the river after that hot walk!

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    • Al in France says:

      It’s a really lovely region… or rather the different parts of Périgord are. Try to visit if you get the chance and I don’t think that you’ll be disappointed. Sometimes it is nice not to have a wet, smelly dog 🙂

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