Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Cutest town in Fance
We had been house bound for a couple days due to rain, so after dropping off the kids at the bus stop in Soumensac for school, I took some photos of a nice dawn and returned to the farmhouse. The weather was working with us, so we decided to drive to our favorite area of France, the Dordogne Valley environs of Sarlat, Domme, and La Roque Gageac. The drive would be about one and a half hours, so into the compact Citroen, and off we go. We head towards Beaumont, then to the Dordogne river to skirt its banks westerly. The drive is painless, it is Monday so most everything is closed, therefore no traffic. We arrived in the beautiful hilltop bastide of Domme, the last time we were there was July 2007, smack in the middle of tourist season. And me with out my tourist hunting license, I would have thrown most of them back anyway. When we finally get close to Domme, I’m reminded why I love this area so, even in February its striking, the drive up to the hilltop is a narrow lane and a half, and serpentine in its nature as it hugs the steep mountainside. We drive through the medieval arch and make the short drive to the center of Domme and park the car. Wonderful, deserted and clear weather, sun is shining and we walk the perimeter of the town, as it is close to lunch time we scout the best option for lunch. There is a basic brasserie, or a auberge that looked nice, we splurged and ate at Auberge De La Rode, real nice place that Cindy and I had to our selves. Cindy ordered the Confit de Canard and I had the Faux Filet avec Sauce de Truffe’. And for being their seventh customer this month they served us a complimentary real nice Salmon pate’, over endive with a hint of sweet balsamic sauce. We had a half carafe of the local-ish Pecharmant deep red wine, wonderful to accompany the meal with. Desert consisted of a platter with five of their offered deserts, but smaller portions. We took an hour and a half lunch break, which I’m really trying to master, working my way up to two hours like everyone else, but it’s hard work.
Walking around the town of Domme, is in my opinion the quintessential French beau ville experience, all the elements are in place. There is the sense of history, the century’s of Architectural influence, the eating experience, the unparalleled views, the walking tours that allow you to lose yourself in a different time. As you make your way to the overlook, that allows you to see for scores of kilometers in most directions, you understand why they chose this place for a towns location. The approach to the town is a steep narrow approach, the town itself is basically level, slight slopes, but walker friendly. There are a few churches, a main square and beautiful residential narrow old world streets. You feel as though at any moment someone on an upper floor is going to empty the contents of a chamber pots above you at any time, adding to that ye olde world feeling. Ah, the romance of it all.