Gabarres at La Rogue-Gageac

It is dismal grey and pouring with rain outside so I thought that a little sunshine was needed to brighten up the day. If anyone is planning to holiday in the Perigord this Spring, Summer or early Autumn. One of the places that you need to visit is La Rogue-Gageac. What better way is there on a warm and sunny day than to travel down the Dordogne River on one of the gabarres which are moored at La Rogue-Gageac. Gabarres are traditional flat bottom boats which were used to transport merchandise down the river.

Just close your eyes and picture yourself relaxing down stream with a cool breeze in your face on a sunny day with blue sky’s above. To add to your enjoyment you can either listen to a commentary in French or use one of the supplied headsets programmed for your language. We opted for the headphones this time. The commentary is told in the form of one of the men working the gabarres in the 18C which is informative while being entertaining at the same time.

Inland water transport expanded rapidly in the 18C and to meet this demand boats were built with flat bottoms because the water level was so low in the Summer months. Traffic was so dense along the Dordogne River that by 1860 there were 571 gabarres.

You get a good view of the shops and restaurants as you pass by.

Quite a few of the gabarres on this part of the river were only one way, going down stream with their cargo and then dismantled on arrival at their destination and cut up for firewood. Thank goodness a few also came back up stream with the help of oxen, man power or both by pulling the boats against the current by rope.

Château de la Malartrie dates back to the 12th Century. It was once a hospital for lepers, then in the 19th Century the Count of Saint-Aulaire, Ambassador of France in England had the Château transformed into the renaissance style that it is today.

Just lazing around on the river. Kayaks and canoes are also available so you can see the river at your own pace.

The largest gabarres were made of oak with strengthening rails along the sides. They had three or four masts and were about twenty metres in length, they could carry about thirty tons of merchandise: coffee, sugar, and citrus fruit were favourite.
 
 

Event:- Sarlat Truffle Festival and market on the 20th and 21st of this month. Not only truffles are sold you can buy truffle macaroons and other delicious cakes, cookies etc. Plus there will be cooking demonstrations by the top Chefs from the Perigord.
 
 

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Joyeux Noël de Daglan.

The 8 à Huit Supermarket started their Daglan Christmas celebrations this morning with delicious mulled wine, cakes and biscuits served to customers.

What a treat, thank you Virginie and Chris.
 

Gorgeous and warming on a cold Sunday morning.
 

Bonne Fête from our Mairie.
 

The Mairie windows are all decorated with parcels and candies.
 

The balcony at the side of the Ancient Presbytery is decorated with a cascade of presents.
 

Daglan Church of St. Martin looks magnificent.
 

The bridge over the River Céou leading into Daglan village is decorated with holly and bows.
 

Christmas is here, Santa and his sledge has landed in the tree outside La Petite Paris Restaurant.
 

What a wonderful display of light and colour illuminating the boulangerie.
 

“Which glittering ball should I play with first?” We have been lucky so far, Cleo has looked and bopped a few balls but has left them on the tree. Angel found the cat presents a few days ago but so far, she has left them unopened.

 
 

This will be our last blog until after Christmas, so a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Paul, myself and all of the villages in Daglan. Bonne Fête.
 
 

An English Themed Sarlat. Part One

On a very cold morning Paul and I decided to visit the Sarlat Village de Noël, well to be honest it was my idea, I just could not wait to see the forty chalets brimming with Christmas delights.

Arts and crafts from all over France descend on Sarlat this time of year selling everything that a person would need for the Christmas season. Lovers of gastronomy are not forgotten with gourmet products to eat on the spot or to take away.

If you would like something warming there are a few taverns selling hot mulled wine and chestnuts. Plus artisan beer, macaroons, and candies. There is also a large open air skating rink and numerous entertainments for the children.
 

Entrance to the Village de Noël.
 

A London black cab and on the right is Santa’s Grotto and elf workshop.
 

Union Flags are everywhere as you walk along the red carpet.
 

Pretzels or candy anyone?
 

Me outside Buckingham Place.
 

One way to attract the attention of British visitors to their lovely honey chalet.
 

Getting ready for the ice skaters.

Sarlat Village de Noël is open until the end of December.

Part Two will be in a few days time which will focus onto the main street and the Medieval Quarter of Sarlat.
 
 

Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel.

We are feeling in the mood for Christmas after our visit to the Noel Fête at Vitrac last Saturday afternoon, which was organised by children and staff at the local school. The workmanship of the arts and crafts on display was outstanding. Plus you could buy home made cakes, puddings and biscuits. Enjoy a cup of coffee or warming soup. Or buy a bottle of beer or whiskey to take home. All accompanied by guitar playing by one of the teachers, a brilliant way to spend an hour and to support the local school.

All hand made.
 

I think that Paul and I need to drink more wine! Wine corks were used in the making of the log houses and a few of the candle displays, superb. I was spoilt for choose on what to buy for Christmas.
 

Brilliant guitar playing, thank you for letting us take the pictures.
The hearts on display opened up for chocolates or other gifts. I was thinking of a bracelet but I can dream.
 

What we did buy was a garland made out of straw and decorated with dried flowers etc. to place on our front door. Plus almond and apple cakes, which were so delicious that I wish that we had bought a very delicious looking chocolate pudding. In truth I do not think that I could have burnt off the calories before Christmas, but it looked so good.
 
 

Event:- Sarlat : English Themed Noel Market from Wednesday 6th December to the 31st December. Forty Chalets selling arts and crafts, toys, paintings, warm woolen mittens, scarves, hats, ornaments etc. Plus a skating rink and Father Christmas.
The English Theme will also be a feature in the many shops of Sarlat along the main road and the Medieval Quarter.
 
 

Amazing People of Daglan

Firstly this week, I have had a steam of people from Daglan knocking at my door asking about Paul and giving their wishes, help and support. Help in the form of running Paul and I to the hospital, well-wishers, taking me to see him, and collecting him. Where would we be without you this week, I just do not know. Thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts, you have all been truly amazing.

I need to add that Paul’s operation was a success due to his talented consultant and his team, not forgetting of course the nursing staff who tended Paul twenty four seven. I can truly say that the French Health Service is the best that we have experienced. Thank you so much for everything, you are brilliant.
 

Secondly, what could be better than Halloween for lifting your spirits. No pun intended. I was feeling pretty low and emotional last Tuesday, but that evening I forgot everything just for a few minutes to sample the village coming alive with ghosts, witches, vampires, zombies etc. All of whom came knocking at my door.

Since we first experienced Halloween in Daglan it has grown from a few children to, well I honestly lost count this year. Absolutely amazing costumes from the children and the parents/chaperones. It must have taken them days if not weeks to prepare. Last year the chaperones where a little shy in coming forward with the children. But this year they were very much involved with the fun and celebrations of Halloween.

These pictures where taken by a friend of ours. Thank you so much my roving reporters.

Look at the way that everyone is posing for the camera.
 

Trick or Treat anyone?
 
 

The following day was Toussaints (all Saints Day) when people go to a service at their local church and then to the cemetery to place chrysanthemums, (which are the flower of the dead), clean the grave stones and to be with their departed loved one

The colours are outstanding.
 


 
 

Events:-

Armistice Day through out France on the 11th November.

Sarlat film Festival 14th to the 18th November