Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Side Trip to Rocamadour

The other day we decided we needed a break from toilet repair, tile setting and other home rennovation details that we have neglected for five years to take an overnight trip to a destination that we have wanted to visit for some time now. No, not Rocamadour, but the beautifuly situated village was on the way, so we decided to make a small detour and take it in. The above photo is taken from somewhere in the center of the photograph below. From the village you can only see rooftops, the valley below and the cliffs on the opposite side of the valley.

You get a glimpse or two of Rocamadour as you approach it, but only the rooftops and the monastery. You don't get much of an idea of the crazy way it perches on the side of a cliff until you drive around a corner and "Voila", there it is. I suppose there are other villages in France or Italy, or somewhere, that perch enchantingly on the side of the cliff like this, but I don't know where it would be. It is very dramatic, and sadly, about the only reason to visit the place.

For all it's undeniable charm from afar, the town lacks much other reason to visit. It was lunchtime so we sat down and had a bite, but it was nothing to write home about. The village itself is loaded with boutiques, souvenir shops, postcard sellers and the other vendors that tend to destroy the ambiance of Mount St. Michel and Carcassonne as well.

We climbed the Grand Escalier, and it wasn't as greuling as I had feared, even after lunch. You can choose to take an elevator that hauls you most of the way up; 2 Euro up and 3 Euro round trip. Like the Grand Canyon, it was almost easier climbing up than it was going down, and less dangerous. They should amend the price to reflect that fact. In the photo above the grand staircase goes through a beautiful doorway into the approach to the church and monastery, and more steps.

Nancy went up further to the subterranean church of St. Amadour that lies beneath St. Saveur. On the summit is the chateau built to defend the village.

We spent about two hours in Rocamadour and then headed on towards Limoges, where 20 some kilometers outside of the city is the little village of Oradour sur Glane, the reason for our excursion. Stay tuned, kids, and click on em' to enlarge em'.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a fascinating village for the architecturally inclined...all those buildings just clinging to those cliffs...and they've been there for such a long time.

Totally fascinating. Thanks for sharing.