Posts Tagged ‘Kayak Dordogne’
Saying nothing… sometimes says the most.
à bientôt, Jack
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IT WAS 69 YEARS AGO TODAY… 10 June 1944, just 4 days after the allied forces landed on the beaches in Normandy; an atrocity was perpetrated by Hitler’s S.S. on the 1,000 year old village of Oradour-sur-Glane. In all, 642 persons that included; 193 schoolchildren perished in the massacre that Saturday afternoon. Actual specifics and firsthand accounts detailing the horrific brutality can be easily found on the internet… The 190 men were herded into 9 different barns and buildings where they were then shot in the legs and burnt alive, all the women and schoolchildren were lead into the church to meet a similarly unspeakable end.
I knew little about the magnitude or scope of this war crime but felt compelled last week to travel just north of Limoges to see and learn more about what was only occasionally whispered about by our neighbors many of whom were themselves members, or children, of the Maquis (French Résistance) during WWII. You see, this convoy of Hitler’s SS had just passed through our villages of both Bretenoux and Saint Céré only 24 hours before the massacre.
We were not prepared for what we saw and what we learned… I was not prepared for the actual size of this village which has been left EXACTLY as it was on that infamous day. In total; 325 homes, shops, hotels, cafés, schools, and the church, were plundered, burnt and left frozen in time, so all who visit will remember horror that occurred in Oradour-sur-Glane, not really so long ago.
Souviens-Toi et à bientôt, Jack
We've been told that nearly 70% of the world’s prehistoric cave art is to be found here in southwestern France. Viewing the 25,000 year old paintings at Pech-Merle and a few other important sites provides the opportunity to see some of its finest examples.
Medieval villages are everywhere and within about a 1.5 hour drive radius of the Dordogne River Valley's heart you can visit 18 of the most beautiful villages in France. That’s better than 10% of the villages that have made the governments, Plus Beau Villages list. This region was where Julius Caesar defeated the Gaul’s in 54BC, home to Richard the Lionhearted, and birthplace to the Knights Templar’s. (We think this makes the area one of France’s best kept secrets!)
Rustic French cuisine just does not get better! This is ground zero for the black truffles, fois gras, and other regional Quercynoise delights. If you come here don’t forget to bring your appetite.
For paddle-sport enthusiasts the rivers in our region of most interest include; the Dordogne (considered the cleanest & most beautiful in all of France), Vézère (which passes though the heart of the regions pre-history) and the Ardèche.
This patch of southwestern France was once known as the Haut-Quercy. Located at the northern tip of the French department called the LOT (46) and also includes parts of the Corrèze (19) and Cantal (15).
TRAVEL time to/ from Paris is about 4.5 hours by train, Bordeaux 3 hours West, and Toulouse 2.5 hours South by car.
France’s rustic soul can be found in the heart southwest!
à bientôt! Jack