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Published: July 18th 2013
Lascaux Entrance Board
Unfortunately we were unable to take photos so this is as good as it gets from my pics
A very long day. We were up at 6 and gone by just after 7 for in order to get to Lascaux by 9am to get tickets to the English tour of the Lascaux II Cave at Montigny. To get there we set the GPS and ended up going cross country through many little villages to get to the A89 motorway to speed our way east.
Briefly, Lascaux II cave is a replica cave in every sense of the original right down to the last stone and bump. This is because the original cave was getting algae affecting the cave paintings. The main cave was discovered in 1940 by some young boys playing nearby when their dog fell down a hole. Down the hole they discovered paintings on the cave walls of horses, cows, bulls, deer, ibex and goats. All animals. It was a sensation showing the art work from 55,000 years ago by the Cro Magnon Man (our ancestors). Since the cave had been blocked the paintings had been superbly preserved. Unfortunately, the crowds visiting soon affected the painting with the C02 from people's breath so they shut the cave and built a replica which is what we saw
Le Roque de Cristophe
Shows the many people visiting the site along the narrow ledge for 1km
today. The paintings, though replicas, are exactly the same as the originals in shape, size, colour and materials.
This whole area of the Dordogne has much prehistory shown in the caves so there is no lack of places to visit. We had to be selective.
Not far down the road was La Roque Saint-Christophe which is a 1km long fortress and village built into the limestone cliffs (called troglodytes). It was very popular so there were a lot of people to negotiate around. The fortress village is built on a narrow ledge of 5 levels. Each level shows the remains of houses or business's, tools, means of defence and communication. People lived here 55,000 years ago as stone age cave people but it was occupied more recently in the middle ages. We were able to walk along the entire village remains over two levels but there isn't a lot remaining of the original structures. Fortunately there were good models of how things would have looked.
After lunch at a nearby village we all decided that since we had gone so far and we would still like to see Rocamadour, then we should do so. We headed off
The model shows how the fortress village probably looked
on small country roads until we met the A89 motorway to Brice, then south towards to Toulouse before turning inland through narrow winding roads until we came to this amazing place. At the top of the cliff at the immediate road level is a Chateau and hospital but steeply downhill is a town built into the cliff face. Looking from afar it is quite awesome. Parking was pretty awful and we ended up way down in the valley base and got a little train back up to the town where we met the others who had walked down from the top. The main part of the town sits below the Abbey with essentially one street of shops (tourist traps), but they are attractive to look at. You then walk up the many steps to the Notre Dame Abbey which was established as a destination for pilgrimage from the many who came here for healing following over a hundred miracles. The Abbey is quite inspiring but as usual this is taken away by tourism which takes away the purpose of the place. There is much to look at and learn about this place but not in this writing. It too is
The town cannot be captured up close but this picture shows the Abbey built into the cliff face
worthwhile place to visit.
Then the long 200km drive back to Montcaret arriving back at 8.50pm. A long day.
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