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Posts Tagged ‘Le Sud’

HERE IS A SCOOP… next Saturday don’t confuse ‘Cinco de Mayo’ with Mexico’s Independence Day! Mexico actually declared its independence from mother Spain on 15 September, 1810.

So what happened on the morning of 5 May, 1862 in Mexico that is such cause for celebration? Well, that was the day 4,000 Mexican soldiers were victorious over Napoleon III’s army at Puebla which is a village about 100 miles east of Mexico City. Oui! I said, Napoleon’s army.

You see, the French had landed in Mexico five months earlier under pretense of collecting Mexican debts from the newly elected government of democratic President Benito Juaréz. But that was really a ploy of Emperor Napoleon III, who hated the United States, to gain a permanent foothold in Mexico. Napoleon had already sent a Hapsburg prince, Maximillian I, to rule over this new Franco/ Mexican Empire, an idea that both President Juaréz and his Mexican liberal party refused to recognize.

There is no question Mexicans had won a great victory on that May 5th and in doing so also kept Napoleon from supplying the Confederate rebels for another year which allowed the Union army to grow in strength. The Confederates loss at Gettysburg just 14 months after the battle of Puebla essentially ended the Civil War – Gracias Mexico!

Why do we celebrate Cinco de Mayo? Well, we love Mexico, margaritas, and our imported Corona’s! Remember, although we love France…  we don’t want everything in our lives to be French.

I hope today when you are having that tasty margarita or ice cold Corona… you will share a bit of this ‘French History’ with your amigos.

Plan to visit in 2013? Please have a look at the delightful accommodations at both Le Sud and the affordable ‘all-inclusive’ 1 week home-stays at the rural & eclectic French casa: Rancho Escargot.

Both represent excellent value and are located in the very heart of the Dordogne River Valley.

Viva Cinco de Mayo! et à bientôt, Jack
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May 5, 2013 - Posted by Jack Tobin

In the North of France’s Lot department, history and geography combine to mark the transition from the Massif Central to Causse. Here were the landholdings of the Duchy of Aquitaine and the possessions of the Counts of Toulouse.

The diversity in topography provides visible proof: the Correze’s shale foothills of the Massif Central, offers undulating, broken features both wooded and green; the Lot’s wide limestone plateau is accented by dry-stone walls that are centuries old and valleys where sometimes water disappears into a secret subterranean networks.

The evidence of man’s pre-history and evolution through medieval times is everywhere. Neanderthal’s and Cro-Magnon’s co-existed for a time here. These are the lands of Eleanor of Aquitaine, King Henry, Richard the Lionhearted and birthplace to the crusading Knights Templar’s.

Three great families fought for centuries over this territory. The Turenne’s from their Chateau near Brive, controlled Saint Céré, Martel, Collonges and Curemonte. The Cardaillac’s controlled an area from Saint-Cirq-Lapopie to Lacapelle-Marival. The Castelnaus formed the armed guard of their sovereign, the Count of Toulouse, before becoming vassals of the Viscount of Turenne in 1183.

This region rich in castles has its religious roots founded in the middle ages. One of Europe’s principal pilgrim routes to Santiago de Compostela runs though the very heart of Rocamadour and many of our other beautiful villages:

So why not come for a visit with us? We’ll be happy happy to help you navigate the Dordogne River Valley and surrounds!

Plan to visit in 2013? Please check out the delightful accommodations at: Le Sud. Or email us about affordable homestays at our rural and eclectic French home: Rancho Escargot.

Both are located in the very heart of the Dordogne River Valley!

Bonne Route et à bientôt! Jack
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April 28, 2013 - Posted by Jack Tobin

France’s ‘Plus Beaux Villages’ sites are where the country’s heritage has been best preserved. These villages are havens of culture and possess architectural treasures to rouse the senses. They are truly bastions of the French art de vivre (art of life).

Tradition in these villages is not merely alive but thriving. A tour of the countryside reveals villages spread out like a fan, built against a cliff or encased in a small valley. Others are nestled in the loop of a river, at the foot of grand châteaux or at the bottom of natural gorges. Off the beaten track, safeguarded from urban development and communication highways, 148 small communes across the country, keen to preserve and promote their individual character, have been granted the “most beautiful villages in France” label.

In total, eighteen of these plus beaux villages including; Collonges-la-Rouge, Turenne, Curemonte & Domme in the Corrèze (not on detailed on the map below) are within an hour drive or less of our accommodation offerings in the Dordogne River Valley. That’s better than 10% of the entire list!

The Plus Beaux Villages de France association was founded in 1982 with the aim of conserving and promoting the heritage of “the most beautiful villages in France”. To qualify, villages must meet a number of demanding preconditions, set by the association to ensure the label is awarded on the basis of a rigorous selection process. Three basic conditions must be met by these beautiful Medieval Villages:  less than 2,000 inhabitants, two registered or listed sites, and the village must also pursue a policy to preserve its natural heritage reflected in its’ area development plan.

Plan to visit in 2013? Please check out the delightful accommodations at ‘Le Sud’!

Bon Voyage et à bientôt! Jack
Please check our FB page for more frequent postings

March 23, 2013 - Posted by Jack Tobin