I’ve been meaning to write about a few final places from my summer road trip which simply can’t be missed, or that at least deserve some comment.
First of all, Lascaux II. If you’ve ever seen a prehistoric cave painting, chances are it’s from Lascaux. The cave was discovered when four boys and a dog found a hole in 1940 that led to a large underground cave, covered in artwork. The original cave is now closed to visitors because human traits such as breathing and body temperature were damaging the paintings, but a replica has been made using the same techniques as the original. I wonder if it too will suffer the same fate in years to come. Of course, photos, even without a flash, are not allowed, and since this was the start of our trip, we obeyed.
However, we then moved onto the Gouffre de Proumeyssac, where photos were also forbidden (just like in the Gouffre de Padirac). The slide show below has some photos from inside. Yes, by this point, the ‘no photos’ thing was boring, and we clicked away without a flash. This gouffre, or cave, features lots of squid-like staligtites and a very rare triangular rock formation which only occurs in the stillest of waters and with the right chemical conditions. Photos of that are also below.
Since we had already visited La Roque St Christophe and a few smaller rock-shelter villages, we only stopped at Les Eyzies de Tayac to take some photos of the giant man overlooking the town. He’s pictured in the photos below too. The museum does look good there, but we had no time to stop. We had a quick home-made icecream and drove away.
After a long, hot day, we picked a fantastic town to stay in overnight: Sarlat-la-Canéda. The town was full of activity well into the night, with street performers, an open-air theatre, all sorts of restaurants and really narrow, pretty alleyways in the largely pedestrianised town. Famous people have been born in asymmetric houses there, and the medieval feel of the place really adds to the relaxed atmosphere there.
Last, and for me, least, is Collonges la Rouge. This is a tourist town purely because all the buildings are made of red stones. For me, it wasn’t anything special, but my travelling companion loved it, so some photos appear below from that too. Don’t get me wrong, it was very pretty, but the whole ideology of a town being a tourist attraction because they happened to have a lot of red rock to use up makes me feel as if the inhabitants have really just cashed in on the population of non-colour-blind people. Minus points also for a less than tasty sandwich-based lunch with not much choice left at 2pm.