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7 Search Results for ""dordogne river""

  • Boat trip on the Dordogne Rive Boat trip on the Dordogne River

    • From: PaulB
    • Description:

      Photo taken from a "gabares" boat on the Dordogne River in southwestern France near the town of Beynac.  Beynac is built upon the side of a limestone outcropping over looking the river.  Chateau Beynac is a fortress atop the hill.  It figured prominently in the "100 Years War", where it was frequently at odds with Chateau Castlenaud, located a short distance up the river.  Beynac ws aligned with the French and Castlenaud with the English.  The "gabares"  boats were used as commercial transports hundreds of years ago.  

    • 2 years ago
    • Views: 2598
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  • Castlenaud Castlenaud

    • From: PaulB
    • Description:

      Castlenaud is a fortress overlooking the Dordogne river in southwestern France.  It figured prominently in the "100 Years War". It was frequently pitted against another castle just up the river (Chateau Beynac).  Castlenaud was aligned with the English and Beynac with the French.  Caslenaud now houses an extensive museum of 12th and 13th Century armor and weapons.

    • 2 years ago
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  • Beynac Castle's Main Hall Beynac Castle's Main Hall

    • From: tsenovich
    • Description:

      This is the main hall at the Beynac Castle (one of the best preserved castles, built in the 12th century) in the Dordogne Region of France.  The castle is situated on cliffs high above the Dordogne river,    which during the 100 years war was the border between France and England.  The village below the castle was the location for the film Chocolat, and the narrow streets are worth wandering through on your way up or down from the castle.

    • 4 years ago
    • Views: 252
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  • Bridge at Les Eyzies Bridge at Les Eyzies

    • From: tsenovich
    • Description:

      Les Eyzies, in the Vezere Valley of France, at the center of many prehistoric sites including Lascaux caves, and the site where Cromagnon man was discovered (3 skeletons were found near Les Eyzies in the 19th century).  This is the railroad bridge over the river next to town

    • 4 years ago
    • Views: 309
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  • House at the Y in Beynac House at the Y in Beynac

    • From: tsenovich
    • Description:

      The town of Beynac, below the well preserved Beynac castle has winding, steep narrow streets with plenty of charming little houses like this one. The town is situated on the Dordogne river, which was the border between France and England during the 100 years war. The village of Beynac was the shooting location for the film Chocolat in 2000.

    • 4 years ago
    • Views: 351
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  • Beynac France - Dordogne River Beynac France - Dordogne River

    • From: kennethdiluigi
    • Description:

      A castle sits on top of the hill in Beynac, France with a reflection of the town in the Dordogne River

    • 5 years ago
    • Views: 4572
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  • Discovering Normandy and Le Jo Discovering Normandy and Le Jour J (D-Day) sites

    • From: kwalker99
    • Description:

      Easter weekend, 2006:  Our original plans were to fly out of Champaign IL at 2:30 p.m. and arrive in Paris at 8 a.m. with luggage. After local delays and three last-second reticketings of our Chicago-to-Paris flight, the result was landing in Paris at 3:00 p.m. with no luggage and no firm promise about when it would appear. The only thing that went smoothly was picking up our rental car, which took about five minutes.

      The lost day meant we had to scrap our visit to Monet's gardens at Giverny, so we drove straight (sort of) to our first hotel in Normandy. Navigating the autoroutes out of DeGaulle airport was harrowing, especially since our map was in our checked luggage. I had a sinking feeling when I saw the first toll booth and realized that in our haste to escape the airport, we had forgotten to exchange money. That was no problem, as all toll booths take credit cards.

      Honfleur East Normandy:  At sundown, we checked into our hotel in Honfleur -- the Mercure, right on the waterfront -- and realized the wayward luggage was going to be more of a pain than we had expected. A cold wind was blowing in from the English Channel, and all we had were the summer clothes we had worn from home, where it had been 30 degrees warmer. We decided to venture outside anyway, so I donned a red wool blanket as a shawl and we headed to the harbor area. As Mike said, "Everyone will be wearing those now".

      We had a nice dinner (bouillabaisse, the local specialty) at l'Absinthe restaurant. It seemed pricey at the time -- about 70 euros ($84 in 2006) for two dinners with wine and cheese -- but we hadn't seen anything yet. 

      The next morning, we bought two coats, exchanged money and enjoyed a walk around the gardens and harbor in Honfleur, a village that was a favorite of the Impressionist painters.

      In the afternoon, we took a long drive through the beautiful Pays d'Auge countryside, where cheese and apples are a virtual religion. We tried the apple cider and calvados, a very strong apple liqueur, in a big stone barn on one of the many farms that offer degustations (tastings).

      Bevron en auge, Normandy, FranceThe prettiest little town in the Pays d'Auge was the half-timbered Beuvron en Auge, which has one street, two churches and three pastry/coffee shops. It bills itself as "one of the most beautiful villages in France". We were going to be seeing a lot more of those.

      CambremerOne was the delightful Pays d'Auge village of Cambremer, where we stopped for a cafe au lait and a leisurely stroll through its downtown shops and galleries. I couldn't resist taking a photo of le chien, who kept a watchful eye on us as we walked down his street.

      West Normandy & D-Day sites: Our luggage finally arrived at our hotel on our third day in Honfleur. We changed clothes quickly, checked out and drove west to Caen to the Musee de Memorial, a "peace" museum that chronicles the history of war in the 20th century. The main focus is on the buildup to WWII. The most powerful exhibit was a riveting, split-screen film showing the simultaneous unfolding of D-Day events on both the German and Allied sides.

      ArromanchesFrom Caen, we went on to Arromanches les Bains on Gold Beach, where the British landed on D-Day. It was the site of an artificial harbor called Port Winston (Churchill), which was used to offload cargo after the Allied invasion. Old battleships were sunk to create a breakwater, and those who know about such things say it was one of the greatest engineering feats of the War. Sections of the pier pontoons and concrete caissons still remain on the beach and in the ocean. That's Mike in the photo, next to one of the pontoon bridges that spanned the temporary harbor.

      We drove west to an old German battery at Longues sur Mer, where the original bunkers and even the guns are preserved. We had a picnic of sandwiches and apple cider and explored the bunkers and the pretty beach below.

      Omaha BeachThe final stop of the day was Omaha Beach. It's absolutely pristine, with no souvenir shops, no signs, not even a (shock!) payant sign in the gravel parking area. In fact, it was fairly hard to find -- the drive to it was on narrow, twisting roads with very few signs. It's difficult to describe the feeling of standing on that peaceful beach and thinking about what happened right there more than 60 years ago. I could almost see the ghosts, and found myself feeling guilty for enjoying such a beautiful day here.

      La Ferme du PressoirThe area south of the beaches is "bocage country", where every town is named after a shrub, a saint or a river -- or sometimes all three. Our home for the next two nights was outside Villers Bocage at La Ferme du Pressoir, a farm bed-and-breakfast run by a delightful lady named Odile. We stayed in a stone sheep barn (photo at left) that had been converted into a six-room cottage. In the mornings, we walked downstairs and there was Odile in the kitchen, preparing our breakfast and offering sightseeing tips in kilometer-a-minute French.

      We were getting by okay on my high-school French, but Odile and everyone else seemed to talk as fast as the guy in the old FedEx commercial, so I was frequently lost. The French are an ultra-polite people who use merci, s'il vous plait and madame/monsieur in just about every sentence, and they're very patient if you liberally insert those phrases into otherwise bad grammar.

      Le Mont St. MichelOur next excursion was a day trip to Le Mont St. Michel, France's top tourist attraction. I had seen photos, but viewing the real thing was a jaw-dropper -- a village and an ancient Benedictine abbey on a giant crag, rising from a vast tide pool in the English Channel. The tide comes in as fast as a galloping horse, so they say, and tourists have drowned trying to outrun it. If the tide doesn't get you, the steps will. We climbed hundreds of them to tour the abbey, but it was worth the burning thighs.

      Pointe du Hoc, NormandyWe returned to the Normandy beaches to Pointe du Hoc (right), a promontory that was taken on D-Day through the incredible bravery of U.S. Rangers. Three battalions landed here at 7:00 a.m. and scaled the 100-foot cliffs on a mission to eliminate a powerful German gun battery. Only half survived the machine-gun fire and made it to the top of the plateau. The 30-acre site still has the bunkers and bomb craters -- some more than 10 feet deep -- that remained when the Rangers left on June 8, 1944.

      American Cemetery, NormandyLate in the afternoon, we drove to Colleville-sur Mer to the American Cemetery. It's a beautiful, almost mystical, setting on a cliff overlooking the sector of Omaha Beach where the 1st Division landed on D-Day. It was impossible to hold back tears while walking among the 9387 graves there -- reading the names and hometowns and imagining their stories, finding pairs of brothers buried side by side, seeing the flowers placed on random graves by French volunteers.

      La Cambe German cemeteryWe took country roads to the La Cambe German Cemetery, where more than 22,000 German soldiers are buried. In stark contrast to the American Cemetery's bright white crosses and Stars of David, the German graves are marked by black stone crosses, set low in the ground in groups of five. In many ways, this was the saddest sight of all. The atmosphere was somber and eerie, made more so by the fact that it was twilight and we were the only visitors.

      We ended the day in the town of Bayeux with a short stop at the cathedral and dinner at Le Pommier (The Apple Tree). We returned to the Villers Bocage farm very late, partly from confusion about what village we were going to (several other towns in the area have the words "Villers" and "Bocage" in their names). 

      The next morning we headed south to the Loire Valley, then on to the Dordogne and Provence over the next two weeks. Our five days in Normandy, though, would be especially memorable. We enjoyed discovering its beauty and history and its friendly people, who welcome American visitors and seem to have a long memory for the U.S. heroics of more than sixty years ago.

    • Blog post
    • 6 years ago
    • Views: 2557
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