Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Southwest France I - Beynac and Sarlat

The initial plan was to visit the Bordeaux winery area and the Pyrenees (French and Spainish border). Considering it might be too much driving, we altered our plan to visit east of Bordeaux in the Dordogne and Perigux areas. At the end of trip, Josh and I were glad how our trip turned out and agreed that Southwest France is our favorite place to visit.

So...here was how we started our 9 day adventure: arrived in Bordeaux airport on time and got a car, we started on a 3-hour drive heading east of Bordeaux towards Sarlat with our camera sticking out the window snapping pictures. We were so drown to the nature beauty of the country scenery whether it was old chateaus or river crossing towns that we also stopped a few places for taking pictures. After driving 2 or so hours, we noticed that the scenery changed to be more hilly. Soon, we saw a chateaus sitting on top of a cliff amoung tons of old houses. It was Chateau Beynac.Then, our GPS (marriage insurance) told us that we had reached our destination. I was in disbelieve that we actually were going to stay in such an incredible place with an old chateau on top of the cliff, old houses down below, and a river running in front (picture on the right). Beynac is beyond imaginable. I have to admit that I didn't give Josh enough credit before the trip. I was joking with my friend how crappy the hotel Pontet Josh found for our first 3 nights in France was. At the moment I realize Beynac was where we were going to stay, I told Josh that he did exceptionally well. Later in our trip, people always recognized it and said how beauty Beynac is when we mention we stayed there. We also found out on the second to last day of our trip that part of the movie "Chocolate" was filmed here in Beynac.

It was a nice day out (around the high 80s) and we couldn't wait to explore the Chateau Beynac. We drove to the top, walked around a little bit, but opted not to go inside of the cheteau since we have seen quite a few and there were plenty for us to see later. It got so warm that we decided that we needed to go to Sarlat to get some shorts. We didn't expect summer weather at all and were desperate for summer outfits.

Geese statures in Sarlat.
It was a market day. People were out shopping and enjoying a nice day out. We purchased two pair of shorts and took a medieval walk around the city following a city map provided by the tourist office. Then, we got some food/wine (Can't have food without wine in France - it's a crime!!) and went back to Beynac to have our dinner picnic by the river ...the picture above where I stood by the river. Perfect first day!

See more pictures by click on 'our pictures to share' for the SW France -Beynac and Sarlat.

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