Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Lovely Sarlat, France

Sarlat Cathedral
Sarlat, France is in the heart of Dordogne region.  While visiting this area, my family took a day trip here from our headquarters in La Roque-Gageac.  The drive is a lovely, pleasant short trip.  Parking on the southern part of town, we began wandering into the pedestrian only streets.  There are many lovely villages that we had visited in France but this exceeded them all.  It exceeded my expectations.  Wonderful restaurants, old buildings, interesting shops and a lovely town square invite one to wander and explore.

On this particular day, we arrived in time for a Catholic mass and the cathedral.  The cathedral is beautiful inside and out.  Hearing the sermon, music and absorbing the French culture and religion is a wonderful way to spend an hour.  The massive column that was near my seat in the church have the names of soldiers who had died in World War I inscribed.

After church, we sat in a square and listened to a cello player.  Then we wandered around the church.  The ancient lantern to the dead commemorates those who died in the black plague.  In the short time of 3 or 4 days, one third the population died in this town.  That is astounding to consider.  The monument is very sobering.
Cathedral ceiling
Lantern to the Dead, the oldest structure in Sarlat
Typical walking street
For lunch, we had crapes in the town square and then felt free to explore.  I kept wondering when we would reach the end of the beautiful town and find the "regular" town.  To my delight, the entire town is gorgeous and there is no bad part.  Every time we turned a corner, more beautiful restaurants, alleys and homes kept extending outward.  This town is extremely photogenic.  It is also very laid back.  I get the impression that fine food is the most important thing here.  That is just as it should be.

Anyone visiting the Dordogne region of France should definitely visit Sarlat.  The town is easily seen in about 4 hours.  That is a very leisurely and pleasant 4 hours.  Enjoy.
 
 Lantern, Cathedral Tower and blue sky
Sarlat Building
Lovely French windows and flowers

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