Hello everyone ! I am back in rainy old England. We had a lovely holiday - complete with gorgeous French food, wonderful old Medieval villages, canoe trips and water slides. Our camp site was in the middle of nowhere - just trees and country lanes, cottages the colour of honey, fields of tobacco and ancient chateaux overlooking the Dordogne.
For 2 weeks I have slept like a baby in my tent and woken late to the smell of fresh croissants and coffee. Most days we wandered out in the morning and then came back mid afternoon to enjoy the pool and water slides. My French came along well as, although there were quite a few Brits, the French did not start speaking English straight away. I love speaking French. Its such a beautiful language.
One of my favourite places was the Chateau de Castelnau. As you can see it is set overlooking the valley. It is over 800 years old and I loved it - such amazing history. We spent the afternoon wandering around, learning about trebuchets and other weapons of war, watching pretend sword fights ( the French love a bit of dressing up !!) and eating lunch under a vine covered terrace. There is a silence about this part of France that is warm and heavy, a silence steeped in history. The way of life is slow and easy - red wine and foie gras eaten under the ancient oak trees.
We went, one day, on a canoe trip down the River Dordogne. The river slips black and still down the valley, past villages that are built into the rock of the cliffs. This village is La Roque-Gagueac and if you look closely you can see the bricked up caves where the villagers retreated to save themselves from the marauding Vikings. The whole area is full of caves. The canoe trip was beautiful. Although I couldn't help but think of the film Deliverance !!
You can see the canoes here. The photo is taken from the village of Domme, high up on the cliffs.
And when we had finished canoeing we swam in the river, crystal clear and cold. The boys made dams with rocks and we went back to our tent to read and swim. I got through 5 books this holiday - some good, some not so good ! Well, that is just a brief taster of my hols. I am off now to see what you have all been up to !!