Alien garden at La Roque-Gageac

Part two of our trip to La Rogue-Gageac.

 

Last Sunday morning we paid a visit to the brocante at La Roque-Gageac. We have been to see the tropical gardens there many times but this time after we had parked the car I noticed a small lane at the back of the car park that we had not previously explored. So after looking around the Brocante we meandered our way up the small lane and through the tropical undergrowth.

This tropical style exotic garden is well worth a visit or two. The variety of plants is made possible because it is backed by the south facing cliff behind the village which stores heat all summer long and protects the plants in winter by slowly releasing the heat, giving the garden an all year round tropical microclimate. It was created by Gerard Dorin in 1970 and has grown and flourished ever since.

DSCN1767Tropical plants with their curious alien like seed pods.
DSCN1769Here is a close up of the pods, they reminded me of a scene from the film “Alien”, not a pleasant thought for me, far too much imagination!
Tropical garden at La Roque-GageacThis view was taken from the car park looking up towards the cliffs.
DSCN1768I wish that I knew what this plant was with its gorgeous red flowers, if anyone knows let me know please.


Events:- 10th Organ Academy Master Class which is run by Michel Bourard and Yasuko at 8.30 from the 7th to the 11th September at Cathédrale Saint Sacerdos, Sarlat.

Also, in Sarlat:- on the 17th September at 8 o’clock Sarlat will be lit by ten thousand candles to celebrate European Heritage Days. This year the theme is; Heritage and Citizenship. There is also an evening concert in the Cathedral.

It will be the 17th Castelnaud Canoe/Kayak Marathon on the 11th September, everybody is welcome to join in the fun.


The last Crusade and the curious iron!

Part one of our trip to La Rogue-Gageac.

 

The Brocante at La Rogue-Gageac was wonderful and it was so large that it extended from the road to the water front, in one direction and from the cafes through to the end of the car park on its South side. Brimming with everything from Dinky cars, antique and not so antique furniture, paintings to linen and lace.

I love looking at the most curious items while searching for the particular pieces that I would like for our home.
 

La Rogue-Gageac Brocante, antique fair, DSCN1764This selection remaindered me of the scene in the film The Last Crusade, when Harrison Ford had to pick which chalice to drink from.
 

La Rogue-Gageac Brocante, antique fair, DSCN1761This desk took Paul and I back to the late 1950’s when we were at school learning while sitting at desks which were similar to the one above. I was lucky though I had fountain pens rather than the ink wells in this desk. You could also buy the class photographs from the 1930’s, 1940’s, plus end of term school reports.
 

La Rogue-Gageac Brocante, antique fair, DSCN1765Believe it or not this stack of cushions are porcelain, they look so real. They were so interesting that I was tempted to ask the price but where would I put them?
 
La Rogue-Gageac Brocante, antique fairTemptation over with, I have always wanted a flat iron as a kind of homage to the women who had to use them, who I have great respect for. This particular one is fascinating due to the fact that it seemed to have belonged to the Gendarmerie which is cast into the iron along with the Gendarme emblem. After we had purchased the iron we were talking to another antique dealer who said that it was unusual and rare!

I do seem to find linen and lace from a long distance away, I know exactly where the various stalls are, (Paul calls it my linen magnet). One stall had displays of manufactured lace and hand made lace. Resistance was very futile, this particular hand made lace is from about the eighteen hundreds and absolutely gorgeous. There are two possibilities for the lace, either on a pillowcase or a white linen top – It is so special that I think it should be the top.
 

Event:- the last Brocante in our area will be held in St-Cyprien on the 24th and 25th September.
 


St Cyprien on market day

I had been in bed with gastric flu for what seemed like weeks but in reality only a couple of days, cabin fever had developed so I had to get out for a short trip after my sickness had abated. What better way to start a gorgeous summer day than a breakfast picnic in the small picnic area next to the statue of Josephine Baker with one of her children and then on to the Sunday market in St Cyprien.

DSCN1498Picnic area perfumed by flowers

 

The tourist season is in full swing here so you do need to get to the market early in order to park. The crowds of people make it impossible to hurry along, so a slow shoe shuffle past the stalls is the order of the day. I do not mind it gives me longer to stand and view each stall in turn as you pass by.

There seemed to be hundreds of stalls selling everything from vegetables to household goods, the aroma from the spices, cheese, sausages, oriental treats, cut flowers etc. is overpowering. Quite a few dogs were sniffing the air to see which direction to go for a snack or two. However, today I wanted to see the unusual, the artisans at work creating their own unique products to sell in the markets of the Perigord.

 

DSCN1424 For example it was fascinating watching an artisan at work creating a person’s name in wood.  The speed at which he worked was extraordinary, with in a few minutes he had completed another name.

 

DSCN1499This gentleman looked so splendid I had to ask if I could take his picture. He corrected his posture to his full height and looked proudly at the camera. He had hand made jewellery for sale on his stall.

 

There were quite a few buskers playing various instruments.

DSCN1488Here are two of them at work.

St Cyprien market

They both sang and played very well, I was tempted to join in but I remembered our border collie howling at me when I sang and our cat Angel hides her head underneath the pillow in horror when I sing “soft kitty” for her. I refrained for the sanity of the other shoppers.

 


Events :- St Cyprien will be holding a night market every Friday Evening throughout the summer. They are not like the usual markets that we know but are stalls of street food and drink where you purchase different foods of the area to eat at a table. There is also live music and an area to dance. I missed last Friday’s due to illness but we shall be going, I just hope that they sell a vegetarian option, which is difficult to obtain in the Perigord.

Daglan, 13th July, live music

Castlenaud, 13th July, Brocante

14th July, Bastille Day when all of France celebrates, our French flag is at the ready.

La Roque-Gageac ,16th July, Brocante and free live music

 
 

La Roque-Gageac

La Roque-Gageac is listed among the most beautiful villages in France, Its southern exposure and the mass of rock provides it with a microclimate that sustains a wonderful Mediterranean garden. The car park by the river is five times the size of the small village, which says much for the popularity of village among tourists; it is well worth a visit.

 

Shops and café’s Just a few of the many shops and café’s situated at the bottom of the cliff face.

 

Dordogne River The morning started overcast but the Dordogne River is still magnificent.

 

Market dayMarket Day is every Friday morning; I was heading for the wine stall.

 

Some of the nice wines Some of the nice wines on sale were grown and pressed in Monbazillac which is just South of Bergerac, the chateau and vineyards are also worth a visit.
http://chateau-monbazillac.com/en/

 

Sloping roofs The sun came out so Paul and I climbed the cliff path, through the tropical gardens and up to the top where you get an excellent view all the way to Castlenaud. The sloping roofs of the ancient village are typical of the Perigord Noir.

 

Pina Colada at Le Roque Gageac

On every visit to Daglan we go at least once to Le Roque Gageac, it is particularly gorgeous in the evening sunshine when the sun hits the stone and gives it a wonderful golden colour.

Along side the church is the tropical garden, which was created by Gerard Dorn in 1970.

Along side the church is the tropical garden, which was created by Gerard Dorn in 1970.

The church and tropical garden

The rock stores heat during the long summer and releases in the winter making the ideal micro climate for the flora.

In the distance is Chateau de la Malartrie which was built in the 19th C in the Renaissance style. I love the small houses that cling to the rock, among which are hotels, shops and restaurants.

The new river front

The new river front

The troglodyte fort is set into the cliffs forty metres above La Rogue Gageac it has been altered and elaborated upon right up to the 17th C for defence purposes. However, it is now unsafe to climb to the caves, unfortunately.

The troglodyte fort is set into the cliffs

The troglodyte fort

Just below the fort is the Renaissance Manoir de Tarde with its round tower and mullion windows.

We walked down the new pavement on a hot summers night, enjoying the view of the river and the ‘gabares’ moored near by.

We walked down the new pavement on a hot summers night, enjoying the view of the river and the ‘gabares’ moored near by.

The houses, shops and hotels clinging to the rock

And stopped at a near by café for :-

My first Pina Colada at a near by café, gorgeous.

my first Pina Colada (well, half of it) gorgeous.