And back to prehistoric times

The area of the Dordogne and Vezere valleys was home to many prehistoric peoples. The most dramatic evidence is caves with paintings and overhangs called abris where they often lived. 

So the morning began with a trip to Montignac and Lascaux cave paintings. 

Montignac is another cute town with a flourishing tourist trade due to these caves and prehistoric sites. 

Found palms trees in several areas – because it IS Southern France…

First we went to Lascaux caves to buy tickets and reserve an English tour and it was very foggy.

Museum Le Thot

Back to Lascaux. In 1940, 4 boys discovered a cave with prehistoric paintings, it was wartime and it was awhile before any work was done on this. For some years visitors were allowed to walk through but this caused considerable determination of the cave – changing humidity and temperature caused mold and other things to grow. So the cave was closed but digital scanning has been done to recreate the cave exactly in the museum area.  This recently opened 4th version of the cave is more extensive and a wonderful look at the work done by very early man in this area.  No photos are allowed in the cave but there is a museum with further recreation of the drawings and interactive exhibits that you can photograph so here’s a bit of how it looked.

Next beautiful drive to the Vezere River and dwelling place of the “people of the cliffs”. You cannot drive more than a few kilometers without running into signs for “prehistoric site”. We went to one and on recommendation of our friendly local brewer will visit a couple of others areas later in the week here.  Some views of the drive.

Les Eyzies-de-Tayac
Les Eyzies-de-Tayac
Overhands form “abris” which was areas that wore away and were used by prehistoric man as dwelling areas. T
hey did not live in caves.

Grotte du Grand Roc is a beautiful cave of stalactites, stalagmites and some more rare crystal formations. 

Grotte du Grand Roc

Next to it is a prehistoric dwelling area that has been partially excavated and one area recreated to how it was believed to look. This is called Laugerie Basse.

Recreation of prehistoric dwelling
Excavated area showing layers of various ages – some Neanderthal, Cro Magnon, and later times

Above – the rocks near the bottom fell from the overhang, covering some of the early dwelling areas that have now been excavated (earlier picture)

Vezere River

Later, back in Sarlat, we visited Patrice again at the Biere Artisanale – had a great conversation about France, Sarlat and travel. 

Patricia and Patrice

It’s almost impossible to stop taking pictures of this picturesque town!

Popular sculpture of the geese on the site of the old goose market – the area is famous for duck and goose liver – fois gras is big here. 

Restaurant recommended to us by Patrice at the brewery. 

We met Chef Christian Borini who recently opened this restaurant. The food was beautiful and delicious!

Amuse Bouche

Gazpacho, with beef heart, antarctic prawn, and lemon sorbet – awesome! 
Magret (sliced) de canard (duck of course) with an orange/ginger sauce and seasonal vegetables