Saturday 23rd May
Our next aire was at a tiny blip on the map that looked like a tiny village called Valence d’Argen. The aire is set by the edge of the old abattoir and has free showers and toilets but the water is €5, parking itself is free though. Between us and the village is the same canal that we were on this morning and offers great cycling in either direction,
Another wash house, this one circular, you can give your clothes a good spin here.
Valence d’Argen was a very large town with a large covered market, a large covered dance floor (that’s what it looked like, and a large car park, lots of shops, supermarkets and cafes. Nice buildings as well.
Does my shopping look big in this? Hopefully Emma remembers pushing one of these trolleys around the last time she was in France (she was 18 at the time).
Now for our dilemma. We have three houses here for sale and we reckon that we can sell our house and buy any one of them. They are all about the same price but how do we break the news to Emma and David? The first two houses are in the Garonne / Lot valleys whilst the third is in the Dordogne.
I think we’ll stick to Frankie for now, Lucy has enough trouble keeping Frankie clean without having lots of extra space. I’m quiet happy cleaning Frankie’s windscreen and watching someone else grass grow although I reckon I could get a big ride on mower out of it.
From Valence d’Argen we made our way over to Cahors. I like bridges and our Triposa guide tells us that this is where the most photographed bridge in France is located. Can someone please cut down the trees on the right so I can get it all in? It was built in the 14th century and took over 70 years to complete.
It is one of the finest examples of a fortified bridge and is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. Note the mini vineyard at the front of the photo with a small description sign. Usually you’re whizzing past all the vineyards and don’t get a chance to see how they are trimmed and trained. There were dozens of little mini gardens around Cahors with information signs.
Cahors Cathedral is a Roman Catholic Cathedral and National monument of France. It is a fine example of the transition between late Romanesque architecture and the Gothic. It was built in the 11th century over the remains of a 7th century church. In part it looks like a castle and this is due to the fact that the Bishops of that time were also powerful feudal lords.
Inside the nave is 44m x 20m with two massive 32m domes in Byzantine style. That’s enough Triposa facts, from now on I will continue making up facts for you.
Cahors has two aires. One has three bays, all the services and is overlooking the river. As you can guess it is very popular and you haven’t got a hope in hell of getting in there. Our aire was 100m away and was at the back of a large car park. It held 40 motorhomes but was level and once the trains stopped very quiet and again FREE!!
A typical car park in France. I’ve put this picture in especially for Duncan, I know he likes 2CV’s for some reason. This was in a town called Gaurond which had a free aire and a small market.
And lovely views. There was a castle here but the owner backed the wrong side and had it destroyed but of course, the hill is still there. Round and square turrets are typical of the buildings in this area.
As we drove along to our next aire we saw this stunning castle on the top of the valley. It is looking over the Dordogne and facing it are at least three castles that we could see. The town is called Beynac but unfortunately there was no where to stop for us but from what we could see the town was stunning, really stunning. This was the front line between English forces in Aquitaine and French forces trying to keep them out of the rest of France.
And our overnight stop is at a town called Lalinde.
The aire has free everything but is next door to the main line to Bergerac and beyond (Bordeau to Sarlat). There has been a train about once per hour so it is peaceful most of the time. We missed the market this morning, there is another on Thursday but we’ll be well gone by then.
Lalinde church, I liked the turrets.
It turns out that the last train on a Saturday is at 8pm and the first train on Sunday is at 10am.