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Report 2068: Going for the Gold in France. Part 3: Dawdling in the Dordogne

By Roz from California, Summer 2013

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Page 5 of 12: Tuesday, June 25, 2013: A Perfect Village Ramble

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1000-year-old frescoes in Montferrand chapel

Weather starting out sunny, turning cloudy by the end of the day.

The younger generation, both avid horse-lovers, went for an all-day ride, up near Les Eyzies. Mike and I had just a perfect day, following recommendations gleaned from SlowTrav. First to Montferrand du Perigord, where we loved the little 12th-century church in the cemetery with its stunning frescoes. They had been covered over in the distant past, and only brought back to view in the 1980s, so they are in amazing condition. The town was just so lovely and quiet -- what a relief after our quick stops the day before at La Roque-Gageac and Domme, with their wall-to-wall tourists.

We drove on to Trémolat, where we had reserved for lunch at the bistro of Le Vieux Logis. We had so overindulged in food on this trip that we didn't want the full treatment at the main restaurant, but the bistro was perfect. Again, very quiet and peaceful, and a really excellent meal. Mike, who usually doesn't even care for cucumbers, had the cucumber soup that came with the menu he wanted to order, and rhapsodized over it. He had decided he'd make a change from the ever-prevalent duck, and had a main dish of pork that he couldn't stop raving about. But I went for the duck menu, with a salade de gézier (which is so much better than it sounds when you translate it into gizzards). My main course of duck in cherries with mashed potatoes was the best duck I've had so far.

We left happy for a drive along the river to Limeuil, then on to Urval, another beautiful, quiet little village where we stepped back into medieval times in its 12th-century church and 14th-century four banal (communal bread oven). We finished our village ramble at St. Avit Senieur, where we wandered through the 12th-century church and abbey (the latter now in ruins, but no less evocative for that).

We would not have discovered any of these places without SlowTrav, for which we are so grateful. In fact, the British caretaker for our house in Monpazier, who has lived in this area for several years, stopped by today, and said he wasn't even aware of the frescoes at Montferrand, only a few kilometers away. We are loving being in this area, which (at least before the very high season begins in July) is removed from the crowds a bit farther north. We have been to the Dordogne/Lot twice before off-season (spring and fall), but now in June, it is even more beautiful with so many flowers in bloom.

M&M arrived home exhilarated but exhausted after a seven-hour ride, so we just stayed in and had a light dinner at home. I had made soup from the remains of our market chicken, which was perfect for combating the remnants of Maureen's cold.

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