Sarlat and the Vallée de l’Homme

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I read about Sarlat and it must be absolutely beautiful. With the campsite being far from crowded, I start relaxed into the day and get down to the city around noon. Last night I found out about a camping car-parking close to the centre of the town and I want to stay there for the upcoming night. With my bed parked in walking distance, all possiblities are up for sundown promenades, candle light dinner and good-night-drinks in fancy bars.

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A Typical Image of Sarlat

First thing in the morning after freshing up Hector and his current inhabitant (that would be me), we go downtown and head directly for the camper parking. Queuing up, traffic jam, full parkings and not a free slot in visible sight… Ok then, time for plan B.

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Above the Houses: Natural Shelters at Les Eyzies

Without any idea in mind, I choose the street towards Les Eyzies. There are castles along the way, but none of it has a restaurant or offers anything more than old stones. Thus, I continue my way until I stumble over a sign “Restaurant – ouvert” and there we are. At half distance between Sarlat and Les Eyzies I stumble in “Les Combarelles”, in this case the restaurant rather than the caves, and the upcoming weeks will prove this lunch to be the best meal of the voyage. I receive caresses of the huge restaurant’s dog, dare to drink a glass of wine in the middle of the day and give my orders. The place is relaxed, the food is fantastic and only 90 minutes later I am in perfect mood for new detections.

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Prehistoric Traces of our Forefathers

Les Eyzies happens to be sort of Europe’s cradle of the homo sapiens: not only in the caves of Lascaux nearby, but all over the Périgord they have found traces of prehistoric humans. The friendly doormen at the entrance of the Musée Préhistorique convince me to step in and I learn a bit about long-gone eras, human development and those who have lived and chased here thousands of years ago.

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In the late afternoon I make my way back to Sarlat and sneak in the last and only free parking slot at the camper parking. 7 € (parking overnight fee) and 5 minutes of a walk later I arrive at the medieval centre of Sarlat.

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Sarlat, finally

There is a former church now used as market hall with an elevator that goes right on top. The whole city lays down at my feet with small alleys, a huge church with roman, gothic and whatever further styles; old monestaries, the “lanterne des morts” from 9th century, an old viaduct still in use (now by the railway to Bordeaux) and all these old houses. It does have a certain beauty and attracts thousands of tourists.

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L’Ascenseur

I stroll around quite a while until I settle down for dinner. It is hard to make the best choice in a place that is so much taken over by tourists from all over the world, yet it is okay and the prices are fine as well.

After dinner, I stumble over some street acrobats that give hell of a show in the main place of the city centre.

D_u1Of course, they get some Euros for their efforts and even me I am rewarded: I get back to Hector just in time before heavy rain settles in and congratulate myself to the perfect pitch of the day.

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Good Night…

 

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