We had a vague idea that Agen might be interesting, mainly as it is the hyper-centre of prune production in France, and we like prunes.
We set off far too late in the morning and ate our picnic about three miles away overlooking a particularly favourite view of mine.
We were going to stay in Agen, but got sidetracked into a small town called Lectore as it had a hotel called Hotel de Bastard — very glad we did as it was a charming place, and the hotel doubly so. It looked way above our budget, but an out of season room was actually no more than the boring motel type room we stayed in the following night.
It's odd how certain days on a trip end up being right in every way. That was one of them: great hotel, weird and wonderful meal in a local café and inspiring walks/drives/observations etc.
Drove onto two of the 'plus beaux village de France' which were indeed beautiful, and tourist (other than us) free; then, in the spirit of meandering holidays, decided to drive to Bergerac.
It was rather a long way. The ancient elegant and faded hotel I had been imagining didn't exist. The tourist office offered 'The family' hotel and the Europe, near the station. Both looked horrible, and one was shut. We eventually found three huge hotels in the middle that the tourist office had obviously not seen. Chose the cheapest and sank gratefully into a hot bath before stepping out to experience a fabulous meal.
The place I had decided on was having some sort of function and everything else looked too expensive so we went in "La Scala' where the food was unmemorable but the menu translations were worth the drive to Bergerac.
Egg stink with it's fingers of bread in fois gras.
Omelette of the leader
Salad of crudeness with it's greenery
This can only be surpassed by a restaurant in our town serving:
Side idiot of tomato and paving slabs of salmon.
We left early the following morning, bought a couple of croissants, drove about ten miles out of Bergerac, realised we had left all the maps in the bakery, drove back and out again. Then sallied forth into the lovely rolling hills dotted with impossibly beautiful buildings that is the Dordogne.
Ezra wanted to go to Cahors, mainly to look at the train station, so we did. Had a fine cup of tea in the station café and wandered about a bit.
I decided that we should do something madly touristy and headed off to Saint-Cirq-lapopie, thirty two KM away from Cahors along a stunning winding stretch of the Lot Valley.
(borrowed from wikipedia pic)
Set off homewards, wishing we had bought more food, and wishing both of us hadn't eaten quite so many dried apricots . . .
The best shop front of the trip
The best cat of the trip
The best hotel name