Sunday, November 17, 2013

Soirée in Sarlat

Even though we have been home from France for awhile, I would still like to recount some of the experiences we shared there, so I will post about three more installments of our recent trip.

 Paul was sick in bed, but the other 5 of us forged off to points east from Le Bugue to the picturesque town of Sarlat de Canada. Absolute chaos on the market days of Wednesday or Saturday, we purposely chose Friday as our day to visit, thinking the streets would be less hectic.
Quiet streets early on a non-market day!
Traveling in two separate cars, it was nothing short of miraculous that we actually found each other at our pre-arranged meeting place. First stop was a cup of coffee in a cozy café which had a surprising medieval staircase in the back room, around the corner from les toilettes.

 Rick, tour guide par excellence led us around the important parts of the city using the other Ricks "France thru the Back Door".  Our interesting walk around the center of town, started with  the highlights of the cathedral:
Magnificent organ pipes in the Cathedral of St Sacerdos



















 
Lanterne des Morts. 
Winding our way thru the narrow streets we soon discovered" The Lantern of the Dead": It is a monument to those who lost their lives in the great plague. 25% of Sarlat's population were lost to the plague. People prayed to St Bernard of Clairvaux for help. He blessed them and their bread, taught them about appropriate hygiene standards, and the town built this monument to him in gratitude.

The salamander is Sarlat's mascot,. 
 
 
The "Boy of Sarlat" bronse statue.

And the gagle of geese... At the animal market.
 
Lunch was a cassoulet of escargot simmered in an herby sauce with fresh wild chanterelle and cepe mushooms YUM!

A perusal of a few shops after lunch produced a new chapeau and a few little gifts for those at home, and then! We spied the ice cream shop! Uh Oh! Can you imagine toasted walnut gelato drizzled with salted caramel syrup?

The salamander weather vane dangling off the cathedral lantern

Sarlat, the town of soft yellow stone proved to be a perfect place to while away a lovely autumn afternoon in the company of close friends in the Dordogne valley of France.