Friday, June 28, 2013

France Part 5: Bergerac, St. Avit, and Cadouin

It rained all day Tuesday, but we didn't let that stop us from exploring the area.  We had enjoyed 2 of the wines at our special dinner at Le Vieux Logis so much that we decided to visit the Maison de Vin (House of Wine) in Bergerac (about an hour and a half away) to see if we could purchase bottles.  Both wines were made in that region, but were not for sale at the Maison de Vin.  A nice employee showed us a huge map of all the wineries around Bergerac and suggested we visit them directly.  They were located very close to each other so it worked out great.

We were apparently the only ones out visiting wineries (perhaps the rain?  midweek?) so we had the tasting rooms to ourselves and the undivided attention of the grandmotherly women who helped us at each location.  The vineyards were the loveliest we had ever seen.  Even Napa pales in comparison to the aesthetics of Bergerac.

Then, on a whim,  we drove to visit the abbey church of Saint-Avit-Senieur which was ranked in 1998 as a World Heritage site by UNESCO.  It is an 11th Century church that contains Medieval frescoes.  Pretty impressive.

But our next stop held even more beautiful religious sites.  In Cadouin, we visited first the church then the Abbey next door.  Both were spectacular.

the church

The Abbey was a square of four halls with a beautiful open-air garden in the middle.  The stonework was amazing.  There were so many carvings and each told a story.

This carving is a warning against the sin of greed.  These two peasants are fighting over a goose.  One just threw a wicked left hook.  Don't let this happen to you!

Even a rainy, cold day can reveal treasures for the dedicated sight-seer.  That night, we relaxed at at the local bistro in Tremolat and enjoyed a fabulous dinner after such a long tiring day.  The best part was dessert...lava cakes.  Mmmmmmm.

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