Southern France

May 2023


Southern France

Southern France ~ Two weeks of delight in May of 2023 when I joined my second Road Scholar trip, this time to explore Southern France. We began in Bordeau with visits to many wineries to savor their flavors, then to beautiful Sarlat (my favorate) where we explored the Rouffignac Cave, then to Rocamadour exploring the deep natural chasm of Gouffre de Padirac, and lastly to Toulouse where we admired the post-impressionism of Toulouse-Lautrec.

Pics from top-left: (1) Remparts du Château, (2) Sarlat Street Fair, (3) Padirac Chasm, (4) Mr, Mrs and The Dog by Toulouse-Lautrec, (5) Château Baudan Winery, (6) River Dordonge, and (7) Yvette Guilbert, Cabaret Performer, by Josephe Granié.

Chateau Cote De Baleau

Chateau Cote De Baleau is a winery with a delightful landscape.

Château Baudan

Château Baudan - While in the Bordeaux region, we visited several wineries. In each we toured the wine making facilities and sampled their finery.

Tragic Mask of Woman

Tragic Mask of Woman from the Roman period viewed at the Musée d'Aquitaine. This stone adorned tragic mask (as opposed to a comic mask) is believed to be from ancient theater.

Haiti Liberation

Haiti Liberation by Gérard Fortuné, 2007. He was born in 1924 in Montagne-Noire, in the heights of Pétionville. Coming from a modest family, he embarked on self-taught painting in the early 1980s. An important figure in Haitian naive art, Gérard Fortuné's oil on canvas series help establish the myth of voodoo as the instigator of the Liberation of Haiti. Reference


Graffiti as wall art of a woman at 39 Rue du Loup in Bordeaux.

Sarlat Market

Sarlat Market ~ One morning we explored the streets of Sarlat during there weekly street fair. Wine, gourmet food, knickknacks, pastries, and of coarse cheese.

Lynda & Marta & Boyfriend

Lynda & Marta & Boyfriend ~ During a morning exploration of the Sarlat Street Market, our ladies made new a friend.

Sarlat Homestead

Sarlat Homestead is a residence overlooking the market place. The town is formally know as Sarlat-la-Canéda but is commonly referred to as Sarlat. It is a medieval town that developed around a large Benedictine abbey of Carolingian origin. The medieval Sarlat Cathedral is dedicated to Saint Sacerdos. An abbey appears in records as early as 1081 and was one of the few in the region that was not raided by the Vikings. The name for the abbey church was Saint Sacerdos by 1318; in the 20th century, it would become a cathedral under Pope John XXIII. Wikipedia

River Dordonge

Dordonge is a river in south-central and southwest France traversing 483 km (300 mi). The Dordogne and its watershed were designated Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO on July 11 2012. Wikipedia

Domme Home

Domme Home is one of many delightful residences of the town. Domme is a commune in the Dordogne department in Nouvelle-Aquitaine in southwestern France. It is sometimes called the "Acropolis of the Périgord". Wikipedia

Domme Bouquet

Domme Bouquet is a quintessential residence of this delightful village.

Domme Landscape

Domme Landscape view from the outskirts of this beautiful village.

Domme Gnome

Domme Gnome - Simple, silly, window art!

Remparts du Château

Remparts du Château ~ Sitting high on top of the town of Rocamadour is the Chateau de Rocamadour. It was originally built in the 14th-century to protect the sanctuaries and pilgrimage sites. Reference

Skeleton Etching

Skeleton Etching at the Remparts du Château.

Rouffignac Cave Art

Rouffignac Cave, in the French commune of Rouffignac-Saint-Cernin-de-Reilhac in the Dordogne département, contains over 250 engravings and cave paintings dating back to the Upper Paleolithic. In conjunction with other caves and abris of the Vézère valley, the Rouffignac cave was classified a Monument historique in 1957 and a world heritage site in 1979 by UNESCO as part of the Prehistoric Sites and Decorated Caves of the Vézère Valley. Wikipedia

Prehistoric Bison

Prehistoric Bison carving at the National Museum of Prehistory. The museum houses one of the most complete collections of prehistory in France. It is located in the village of Les Eyzies at the heart of the prehistoric sites of the Vezere Valley. Listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Reference

Rocamadour Mural

The Pech Merle Cave, untouched for thousands of years, contains one of humanity's finest artistic expressions. The Pech Merle cave is an authentic chef d'oeuvre of prehistoric art, with amazing paintings like that of the Spotted Horses which are over 29,000 years old. This modern mural, nearby the cave, represents a depiction of the cave art. Reference

Padirac Chasm

Padirac Chasm, aka Gouffre de Padirac, is located in the heart of the Dordogne Valley near Rocamadour. The chasm is the first natural underground heritage site in France. This natural cavity, 33 metres in diameter and 75 metres deep, opens the doors to a 2 km long underground journey on foot and by boat. It was discovered in 1889 by Edouard-Alfred Martel and opened to the public over 130 years ago. Reference


Padirac Chasm Journey is by boat and then on foot along a 2 km underground path.

River Lot

River Lot, aka Pont Valentré, is a 14th-century six-span fortified stone arch bridge crossing the River Lot to the west of Cahors, in France. It has become a symbol of the city. Wikipedia

Valentré Bridge

Valentré Bridge ~ The construction of the Valentré bridge lasted 70 years (1308 to 1378). In local folklore it is said that the foreman, exasperated by the slow pace of the work, signed a pact with the Devil. In the pact the Devil promised to use his skills to expedite the work and, if he carried out all of the foreman's orders, then his (the foreman's) soul would be forfeit.

Having seen the bridge built on time, the foreman regrets his decision and issues a final order to the devil to go and collect water for the other workers using a sieve. In revenge for having been tricked, the Devil sends a demon each night to loosen the final stone in the central tower (known as the Devil's Tower) to ensure that the bridge is never finished and must be repaired each day. Wikipedia

River Lot Dam

River Lot Dam ~ Below the Valentré Bridge is a shallow dam used for flow control.

Draft Horse in Céleyran

Draft Horse in Céleyran by Toulouse-Lautrec, circa 1890.

White Horse

White Horse, Gazelle, by Toulouse-Lautrec, circa 1891.

Mademoiselle Dihau

Mademoiselle Dihau at the Piano, by Toulouse-Lautrec, circa 1890.

Mr, Mrs and the Dog

Mr, Mrs and the Dog by Toulouse-Lautrec, circa 1893.

Red Poppies

Red Poppies ~ Viewed in the walled city of Carcassonne.

Yvette Guilbert

Yvette Guilbert - Born in Paris into a poor family as Emma Laure Esther Guilbert, she began singing as a child but at age 16 worked as a model at the Printemps department store in Paris. She was discovered by a journalist. She took acting and diction lessons, which enabled her in 1886 to appear on stage at several smaller venues. Guilbert debuted at the Varieté Theatre in 1888. She eventually sang at the popular Eldorado club, then at the Jardin de Paris before headlining in Montmartre at the Moulin Rouge in 1890. This painting is by Josephe Granié, 1895. Wikipedia

Lady Carcass

Lady Carcass ~ The legend of Lady Carcas is an etiological story about the origin of Carcassonne's name.

The legend takes place in the 8th century, during the wars between Christians and Muslims in the southwest of Europe. At the time, Carcassonne was under Saracen rule and Charlemagne's army was at the gates to reconquer the city for the Franks. A Saracen princess named Carcas ruled the Knights of the City after the death of her husband.

The siege lasted for five years. Early in the sixth year, food and water were running out. Lady Carcas made an inventory of all remaining reserves. The villagers brought her a pig and a sack of wheat. She then had the idea to feed the wheat to the pig and then throw it from the highest tower of the city walls.

Charlemagne lifted the siege, believing that the city had enough food to the point of wasting pigs fed with wheat. Overjoyed by the success of her plan, Lady Carcas decided to sound all the bells in the city. One of Charlemagne's men then exclaimed: "Carcas sonne!" (which means "Carcas rings"). Hence the name of the city. Wikipedia

Carcassonne Castle

Carcassonne Castle is a medieval citadel located in the French city of Carcassonne. It is situated on a hill on the right bank of the River Aude, in the southeast part of the city proper. The citadel was restored at the end of the 19th century and in 1997 it was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites because of its exceptional testimony to the architecture and planning of a medieval fortress town. Wikipedia

Basilique Saint Nazaire

Homestead within the walled city of Carcassonne. It is located opposite the Basilique Saint Nazaire.

Watering Hole

Watering Hole in the walled city of Carassonne.


Rumination, aka a time for Keith to relax and contemplate.


Dominique, our stupendous leader and guide.

Group Photo

Group Photo ~ From top-left: Duncan, Ron, Mark, Lori, Eric, Diane, Marta, Sharon, Pat (below), Keith, Diane, Susan, Howard, and Dominique (leader). From bottom-left: Lisa, Sue, Lynda (kneeling), Magie, Roger, Jane, and Herb.