Lascaux IV

All these animals that seems to be leaping out of the walls, full of life, it was indescribable. Simon Coencas one of the finders in 1940.

We have visited Lascaux II three times so it was a real treat to find out that a coach trip from Daglan would be visiting the new Lascaux IV. It would be organised by La Municipalite et le Club de I’Amitie and would be taking place on the 27th January. I think that we can speak for all of the people who attended on the two coaches, it was a brilliant excursion.

Unearthed in the middle of a World War 2 by four teenagers, Lascaux almost disappeared, a victim of its immense popularity. Now protected by the State the cave can again be viewed as magnificent replicas.

The building nestles at the foot of the hill of Lascaux like an incision into the landscape. A little like a rock shelter in the Vezere Valley in the epoch of the Upper Palaeolithic. Created by an Norwegian Architect Kjetil Traedal Thorsen co-founder and co-director of the Snohetta Office.

Lascaux IV.

The result: there are no apparent pillars on the transparent facade. An 8,600 square metre landscape building blending into the hill; 150 metres long and only 8 meters high, it fits snugly into the topography.
 

At the start of the tour we were given a tablet with head phones so that we could listen to commentary of the very knowledgeable tour guide and to extra information in your own language. The tablet can also be used to access more detail such as 3D maps of the cave system and includes a built in camera which I think is a brilliant idea.

At first we were taken to the top of the building where we could walk and admire the view of the valley on one side and the forest on the other. Then we were taken via a small tunnel to the ‘path of discovery room’, so that each visitor is drawn into the heart of a prehistoric forest displayed on a large screen, using sound environments and 3D visuals. It ends of course with the finders of the cave the four boys and Robot the dog.

Marcel Ravidat, Jacques Marsal, Simon Coencas and Georges Agriel who found the cave in 1940.

At first they did not see the paintings. They walked past the enormous bulls painted onto the vault over head so it was not until they had reached the Axial gallery that the boys discovered by the light of a torch a procession of red cows, deer and black and yellow horses painted onto a background of white calcite.
 

The pigments used were yellow, brown and red ochres, iron and manganese, that the artists gathered from the environment before mixing them into a palette of about twenty colours which are unique to the Prehistoric Period.
 

One of the Aurochs or Giant Bulls, which is one of our favourites due to the vivid colours and the detail in the painting.
 

Visitors pass through the Hall of Bulls and then the Axial Gallery, before going into the Nave to discover the paintings that have not been reproduced in Lascaux II. A total of 1,963 paintings approximately 20,000 years old were completed by the original Master Artists of the Southern Period of the Palaeolithic Era.

Workshops consist of interactive tablets and panels of the reproduced cave paintings which are a brilliant way to study the workmanship of the artists who produced these magnificent paintings. The artists used 3D scanners with laser technology to compile and process the information to from a 3 dimensional digital reconstruction of the rock.

There is also a 130 seater cinema with two screens front and ceiling. Plus a large souvenir shop selling everything from books, T-shirts, cups etc. to whiskey.

From the Axial Gallery a red cow with a black head. Which looks similar to Egyptian Art, showing a side view with all of the details.
 

“What these people achieved twenty thousand years ago, with the limited means that they had and under those conditions, is incredible”. Francis Ringenbach.
 

Falling horses. Their knowledge of using the rock to the ultimate effect. In the cave it looks like the horse is falling into a pit or hole.

The total budget: 57 million euros to create Lascaux IV, with 33 million euros provided by the Department and French State. They receive up to 4000 visitors per day during the Summer months.

Write it into your to do list when you visit the Perigord. It is well worth a visit or two.
 
 

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Master Crêpe Maker

A special treat awaited customers to the 8 a Huit Supermarket in Daglan this morning. Showing her culinary skills was chef extraordinaire Virginie, her expertise in the art of crêpe making is excellent. With a flick of the wrist the crêpe was turned over, jam or Nutella spread in the centre, the crêpe was folded into a triangle and voilà, a delicacy ready to eat.

Superb.
 

Here is my very yummy Nutella crêpe.

Très bon Virginie,un vrai régal, merci beaucoup.
 
 

Next blog – Our visit to Lascaux IV.
 
 

Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink.

–Samuel Taylor Coleridge
 

We two have paddled in the stream, from morning sun till dine;
But seas between us broad have roared since days of long ago.

–Robert Burns.
 

Parking Reserved card holders and Residents was an odd sight on a sign in what is left of a camp site in Beynac yesterday.
 

The swelling of the Dordogne River was at its peak yesterday morning.
 

The trees on the left should be on dry land.
 

The terrace of this restaurant was under more than a metre of water.
 

D53 Route Barrie to Fayrac and Milandes and also the D703 to La Roque-Gageac.
 

Update on the water level at Castlenaud.
 

The statue stands in what is usually a very pleasant picnic area which is temporarily a tranquil lake.
 

It does not look too good at the moment with more rain due this afternoon and for the rest of the week. However, spring is just around the corner, we have new growth in our courtyard and flowers will be bursting through soon.
 
 

Event:- Burns Night- 25th January, where haggis is eaten and whiskey is drunk to honour a brilliant Scottish poet.
 
 

Everything Truffle.

I wish that I could have a fragrance blog and then you would be able to experience the gorgeous aroma of the Truffle Festival as we walked from stall to stall in Sarlat last weekend. For anyone who has not had the experience it is a heady, earthy, dusty strong smell that permeates your scenes and it is so delicious.

Truffle sellers proudly sell their wears to the buyers. You not only buy a truffle but you get their history too.
 

From €800 to €950 per kilo depending on quality the truffles were selling at anything from ten to five hundred euros each.
 

There were stalls selling a wide variety of foods and snacks made with truffle such as pate, sausages, gourmand cakes, chocolate, macarons, desserts, cheeses, wine and oil. They also had related items such as books on how to find truffles or you could even buy your own oak tree.
 

I can not describe how delicious truffle macarons are, just amazing will have to do. Plus we have a truffle which is slightly bigger than last year, it is dessert spoon size. It is at this moment sitting in a dish of eggs in our pantry so that the taste permeates the egg shells for a delicious omelette which may be served with thinly sliced truffle on top. The truffle will then be placed into a jar of rice for a few days for truffle flavoured risotto or paella. Then the truffle will be cooked with a chicken at the weekend, or sliced on top of tagliatelle in a cream sauce. Superb.
 
 

Water levels in and around Daglan.

Good news the water level is reducing, the not so good news is that more rain is forecast for this week. But I will stick to the good news for now. Last week the river Dordogne at La Rogue-Gageac was flooded so the road was closed. We checked it out yesterday and you can now drive through. The level of water is high but it is not now over the banks. The same goes for Castlenaud, the road through Fayrac was closed but no problem at all now.

In keeping with the good news theme the River Céou is higher than I have ever seen it before but nowhere near the top of the banks.
River Céou at Daglan.
The fast flowing river over the weir would be great for a canoeist.
 

It is a pity that the old mill is not operational, it would be great to harness the power of the water.
 

Rain rain go away.
 
 

Events:-

The first craft session was held last Wednesday afternoon in Daglan. It was great fun and I am looking forward to session two. If you are interested it is every Wednesday from two untill four at the Salle des Fêtes in Daglan.

Sarlat Truffle Festival next Saturday and Sunday, if you are going try the truffle macaroons they are so delicious.