We woke to a foggy morning but the sun soon came through and it looked like another perfect day for adventure and exploration. While we are staying in this area we want to visit the pre-historic cave art. The lady at the local tourist office informed us that ticket sales are limited to 200 a day and can only be purchased at the site. So we had two plans today. Visit the ticket office and purchase tickets that best suited us then visit either Rocamadour or Cahors.
On our way to the caves, which we had been told were the best because they were authentic, we stopped by the Dordogne River for a boot breakfast. It was idyllic. The river was flowing a little quicker than yesterday probably as a result of last night’s rain.
On reaching the Grotte de Font de Gaume cave site we were able to purchase tickets for a 4:00pm visit. That gave us time to visit Rocamadour so we called on Miss GPS for her help.
Our first view of this medieval town was unbelievable. Buildings seem to be stuck to the side of the limestone cliffs with super glue. It was absolutely amazing how this
town was ever built in such a difficult place. To get around the town means climbing up countless steps. Modern day inventions such as an elevator make the journey easier at a price. It was too much to remember. While sitting in one of the sanctuaries (churches) you try an imagine life for the people who lived here all those centuries ago and the pilgrims who visited on their way to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Our visit was truly unforgettable.
After an ‘en plein air’ lunch on the new picnic rug we had been given we headed back for our cave visit.
We joined our small group of French people and our guide at the entrance to the cave. These visits are strictly controlled. There were only 15 in the group. The drawings we were about to see are authentic and over 55,000 years old unlike some sites where they are protecting the art work from the public and only letting people see replicas. The guide gave her commentary in French but some words we were able to understand – no photography. The drawings were mainly of bison, horses and reindeer. They obviously told stories of the hunt. After
leaving the caves we wondered how civilisations so far apart such as these prehistoric people, the aborigines of Australia and the Maori people separately developed such cave art work. Because we couldn’t take photos try this link or similar ones. http://www.hominides.com/html/lieux/grotte-font-de-gaume.php
The Jean Auel books will get a thorough read when we get home.
On our way back to the hotel we stopped at a Carrefour supermarket and planned the evening meal and how we could prepare it in the hotel room. Not a problem. It was a nice salad with ham, tomatoes, cheese and some fresh bread. Hotel rooms don’t have an electric jug so our fancy immersion element was working well for the tea and coffee. Breakfast cereal is on the menu tomorrow morning.
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