Hello! Welcome to Pichets in Paris Publishing. Here you will find travel stories and photos, the occasional Book Review and fictional piece based in Paris or France. ALL IMAGES ARE BY L'AUSSIE IMAGES (owned by Denise Covey). Contact me for permission to copy my images.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Bienvenue en France - the Dordogne - Sarlat, foie gras and the Lascaux Caves

The time for our next overseas trip is fast approaching. On June 18 we will be in Paris, but only for a few hours. Our itinerary takes us to Madrid, Spain, where we hire a car and drive to San Sebastian, Spain, then back into the Dordogne in France via Bordeaux. Very exciting.

We've never quite made it to the Dordogne, but it has fascinated us for years. We are staying in the very beautiful (I'm told, Sarlat) for a couple of days, where we will drive around admiring the fantastic countryside and architecture, sampling the regional food and wine...

Map showing the Dordogne

SARLAT (pronunced SARLAH)

A big attraction of Sarlat and nearby towns is the caves nearby with prehistoric paintings. The most famous is Lascaux, which is closed to the public. The French have constructed a replica named Lascaux II near the original. The only actual painted cave open to the public, or at least to 200 of them per day, is Grotte de Font-de-Gaume. Our guide, Philippe Mouret, was able to obtain tickets to both Lascaux II and to Font-de-Gaume.

Lascaux, won't it be wonderful to see these (reproduced) paintings
The paintings are truly remarkable. The folks who painted them used torches for illumination and wooden scaffolding to reach the ceiling of the cave, and combinations of minerals to create various colors. They painted animals utilizing the contours of the cave walls. The paintings are fairly large, with the largest animal being 15 feet long. They painted some animals at a 45-degree angle, not just in profile. And, they did this up to 18,000 years ago! Compare this with the builders of the Egyptian pyramids (6000 years ago), the New Testament writers (2000 years ago) and the writers of the US declaration of independence (225 years ago).

Foie gras anyone?

Sarlat is also famous (or infamous) for pate de foie gras. This translates to paste of fat liver. Farmers around Sarlat force-feed geese to enlarge their livers, which are then served as a delicacy. Another specialty of the area is truffles.

More information on the Dordogne,..


  1. Lovely layout. I really like the feel this page inspires. :)

  2. Suze: Thank you so much!


  3. Sarlat and the Dordogne is a beautiful area. We haven't been there for quite a while.

    The caves are well worth a visit. We have an old pic of my son lying down in a stone chest at Lascaux. When you see this you will be able to work out just how long ago from it's size. He is now nearly 21 and 6'2"!!!

    We have pics of son and daughter at the ducks too (as everyone does).

    I'm sure you will have a wonderful time.

    We are off to the Touraine soon. Can't wait ............

  4. No doubt about you will enjoy the caves and Sarlat. Brantome is not far away also very beautiful but I know when you are on a time schedule it is not easy to fit everything in. Have a great time. Diane

  5. Sounds utterly heavenly! I haven't made it to Madrid yet but it's on the list. We shall enjoy it through you!

  6. Boy I'm jealous!

    I so enjoyed Bordeaux last year. Will definitely return soon.

    Hope you'll enjoy some nice pichets of wine. ;)

  7. GaynorB: I'll be on the lookout. Can't wait...well, I can. I'm not packed yet. What a horror!

    Diane: Staying two nights in Sarlat we hope to tour around the neighbourhood a lot.

    Margo: Yeah, watch this space!

    LR: And I was wondering whether it's worth going into Bordeaux or just skirting it??!!


  8. Sounds exciting! I don't know if I could travel around so much though!

    Duncan In Kuantan

  9. Duncan: I'm never happier than when I'm on the road, or in the air, or on the train, as long as it's somewhere else!


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