Friday, April 3, 2015

Thursday April 2, 2015 - Market and Domme Bastide

What a restful night! We both found the beds to be really comfortable. This house bears a blog post of its own, but I need to take more photos. In the meantime, today was an incredible mixture of buying groceries and seeing one of the best preserved bastide towns in France. It's one of the few whose walls are still mostly intact. It's also the nearest town (11 km - 7 miles from us) having an open air market today. So off we go to Domme.

We parked inside the town walls, which in summer you could never do. In fact, you'd be prompted to park in a town at the bottom of the cliff and ride a shuttle up to the town. We paid for parking for the day and headed to the market just "up" the street.


Up again....Janis, Clark & Dave part way "up" the street

Up takes on new meaning here as we meandered around the town going up steep streets and back down many times.  For my Hybrid friends, all the 15% incline we've been doing on the treadmill recently is easy compared to some of these streets!

The produce seller

Regional sausages - these are delicious
The market is small, but good - local cheeses and sausages, fruits & vegetables, meats, fish, even olives.
Janis and Lynn walking down the aisle of market stalls.

Domme is a well preserved medieval walled city - called a bastide. It is sited high on a chalky cliff above the Dordogne River. Typically bastides were laid out in a grid pattern of streets inside city walls. The center of the city was an open market square, usually arcaded. However, Domme has a rather irregular layout due to the geography of its cliff top site.

Bastides were a type of fortified village built in the 13th and 14th centuries in an attempt by ruling families to re-populate south central France decimated by the Albignesian campaign to wipe out the Cathar sect. More than 650 were built over these two centuries and more than 150 are still in recognizable form and Domme is one of the best preserved. They provided protection and privileges to residents, such as self-rule, plots of land and freedom from taxes. 

From the tourist office in the central square of the city, we got a map with a walking tour. 

We walked just about every street and rampart in that town. Here's what we saw:

City gates and ramparts: 

Windmill and church: 

Views of stuff I liked: 
Knights Templar medallion carved below window.

Just a cool door

Things are just beginning to bloom - highs in 50s so far, so things will pop fast.

View through stone railing overlooking the Dordogne side of town.
And speaking of views: This view will be spectacular on a sunny day when the trees have leafed out and the sky is blue. 
The Dordogne River

I want to eat dinner at this restaurant and at that table. On a beautiful sunny evening - watching the sunset in the western sky. Aaah.

Jacquou le Croquant is a hero from a novel written by Eugene LeRoy, an author from this region. Jacquou represents the poverty of the people exploited by the ruling class of the area. His one goal is to get vengeance for the inequity. As such, a sign says, he represents the spirit of the Perigordian people.

And by early afternoon, with market purchases in hand, we headed back to our house to have lunch. It was delicious! And needed fortification for our afternoon foray into the realms of the French grocery store.   Now how do you say skim milk?

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