From the Pyrenees to the Perigord

We drove from Obanos to Saint Jean Pied de Port.  On our way we went through the lovely countryside of the Atlantic Pyrenees.  There, up in the higher altitudes spring was a bit further behind than on the coast but leaves were bursting out of buds all over the place: It was disturbingly hazy… We made a quick stop at Orreaga – Roncesvalles, for a ramble around the hills and a cup of coffee at one of the two cafes in the tiny village. The village is ancient and was built near where Charlemagne was defeated by Basque tribes. From there it was just a half hour drive to Saint Jean Pied-de-Port. We somehow managed to cross the border without noticing in the slightest, for a while signs were in Spanish, Euskara and French. One night beneath the citadelle and we were off to Saint Cyprien!  Nice views off the highway of the mountains: We will probably move to Saint Cyprien one day, it is so pretty and there is so much to do!  This is where we stayed up on a hill in a place called “Les Granges”: The “little market” as our host called it, held on Sundays in St Cyprien: We spent an afternoon wandering the gardens at the vast and impressive Chateau de Marqueyssac.  The chateau is on the smaller side and has a stone roof which is not uncommon for the area:How you say… morbid…?  Great views from the ridge on which the grounds of the chateau meander:Tree tunnels, big and small!!!!A small building with stone roof, from the interior:Beware of ground trolls:And enormous spiders?:We had a great dinner in Beynac and Cazenac, the most fantastical real place in the world (at least a contender right?):We spent some time in the medieval town of Sarlat: There are many caves or grottes around Saint Cyprien and throughout this part of France.  The most famous attraction of this sort would be Lascaux 2 where you can visit a reproduction of the prehistoric cave paintings, BUT!  They are also VERY POPULAR!  Consider yourself warned.  You must arrive up to 2 hours prior to opening at the Font-de-Gaume where you can see actual cave paintings in an actual cave.  Only 52 people are allowed in throughout the day and your entire party must be present in line to get their tickets themselves on the day you plan to tour the cave!  NO RESERVATIONS (sort of, look it up)!!!  Sooooo…. yeah, we didn’t go to those places.  One day!  We did go to La Roque Saint Christophe which was also pretty cool and we only had to sneak past the guard to get in, it was easy!: The Roque was a sizeable prehistoric town of sorts with caves set in to five different terraces. Then during the middles ages is was turned into a medieval cliff fort with a population of about a thousand. Alas, those pesky vikings tore a lot of it down.We then went on to Blois for more castles!  Look forward to more ASAP.

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