La Roque Saint Christophe

Staying in the Dordogne today with a visit to La Roque (Roc) Saint Christophe overlooking the Vezere river. This is a fascinating site if you’re interested in historical sites.

Eighty metres up the limestone rock face, and over a kilometer in length is the largest troglodyte settlement in Europe. The site was occupied by man from neanderthal times through the middle ages until the start of the renaissance period. The effort needed to build at these heights, hauling everything up the cliff face, must have been out weighed by the security from raiders and wild animals.

At the time of visit the charge was 9€ for an adult, given the size of the cité, the historical interest and the lovely views over the river, I don’t think this was a bad price. There’s a gift shop on-site and a café and toilets at the car park below. Due to the number of steps I would rate the site as unsuitable for wheelchair users and anyone who has difficulty climbing stairs would struggle.

More information can be found on the La Roque Saint Christophe web site.


One of the advantages in living in this part of the Dordogne is that we’re close enough to the attractions in the neighbouring departments. Today we visited Collonges-la-Rouge, a delightful village in the Corrèze. Built from delicious red sandstone the village features some excellent restaurants and a number of gift shops. There’s a pay car park on the edge of the town, which I should image will get very busy in-season. Parking was reasonably priced at 3euro for the afternoon\ We ate lunch at Le Cantou and very nice it was.

Bees Too

These furry bumblebees seem to have taken up residence in the living room shutters. Being of hollow construction I guess they where just the right size for the bees to fit in.

We have the windows open and the bees come and go. They come into the room only occassionally and don’t bother us much. Will have to keep an eye on the size of the colony though, as the summer goes on.

Red-tailed Bumblebee on approach.
Red-tailed Bumblebee on approach.


Having not used the car since Saturday I opened the boot yesterday to find a wasp had started to build it’s home inside the hinge at the top of the door. I’m glad I caught it before its family had really taken off.

Objat Market

Objat is a pleasant little town in the Corrèze that is renowned for it’s Sunday market. There’s plenty of parking space and the market wends it’s way through the town streets to the market hall. Here they have vegetables, flowers, bedding plants and some poultry, guinea pigs, cage birds and rabbits. Outside there’s the usual shoes and clothes for sale along with plenty of cheese and meat stalls, fresh cooked chickens and huge pans of paella and potatoes fried in duck fat with lardons and onions. There are plenty of shops and cafe bars open too. Here’s a few snaps from this morning’s visit, I’m sure we’ll be going back again soon.

Delicious Coffee
Delicious Coffee

Objat town centre
Objat town centre

Objat market
Objat market

Objat market
Objat market

Spring At Last

After, what people have told us, was the worst winter in 20 years, and spring is here at last. Yesterday was fabulous, and the first day with the temperature topping 20C.

The countryside is beginning to wake up too. Buds are bursting on all the trees, kites are becoming a familiar sight in the skies and the first cuckoo’s were heard over the Easter weekend.

Each week I visit Excidueil for my French lesson. This small town has plenty of interesting architecture and links to the templars. Here’s a few pictures from the town.

Part of the Templars' stronghold

Templars' stronghold

Excidueil chateaux

Street scene

Excidueil chateaux

Three Month Anniversary

We’ve been in the Dordogne now for just over three months. It’s been fairly hectic settling in, but we’re getting there. Here’s some of the things we’ve accomplished / done in that time:

  • Installed a wood-burning stove
  • Had the roof insulated
  • Had the ridge tiles replaced
  • Installed electric radiators in the kitchen and bathroom
  • Had a lovely Christmas dinner at L’Auberge des Tilleuls
  • Attended the annual Repas de Chasse
  • Started taking French lessons
  • Been abandoned by our French tutor
  • Found more French lessons

These are just a few of the things I’ve not found time to write about. I intend to remedy the lack of writing.


It’s been a very pleasant week here with plenty of warm autumn sunshine. As that’s likely to change from tomorrow I took a walk around the village at lunchtime to take in the autumn atmosphere. Here are a few photos from our beautiful village of Badefols-D’Ans.

Flower Power

It’s funny how simple differences between countries and cultures can trip you up.

ChrysanthemumsThis October we’ve been impressed with the huge sales of chrysanthemums in all the supermarkets. Even marquees full of them in the car parks. Huge tubs of brilliant bright blooms. Well, we love  chrysanthemums, so at the weekend we bought a huge tub and set it proudly on our kitchen window sill for all to see.

It was only last night that we discovered that ‘mums in France are associated with the dead. The French buy then at the end of October and, on All Saints Day (1st November) they take them to the cemetries to decorate the graves of family and friends. Ooooops!

Needless to say, we’ve removed our display from the window sill!