We have arrived in Marcilhac sur Cele in the heart of the beautiful countryside. The flat landscape giving way to medieval clifftop towns and villages that cling precariously to the rock faces. We have tried to imagine how they built these incredible structures of stone. We discuss how they would have had to cut away the cliffs and then cut the stone they had removed into blocks to make the Churches, Abbey and houses and that it would all been done by hand.
Ian kindly met us just outside the village and escorted us along a track to Le Picarel, a beautiful house offering B&B. The house is high above a secluded valley in the Parc Naturel Regional des Causses de Quercy. When we arrived Linda opened a bottle of Champagne to celebrate our arrival and we laughed and chatted for a while on the terrace catching up with all the stories that the 7 year interlude can tell.
We had a wonderful evening, retreating into their huge kitchen dinning room for a fantastic meal which they had kindly prepared. We had mozzarella and tomato flan to start, then pork loin in fig and prunes with cubed roast potatoes and broccoli. For desert creme anglais tart with fresh raspberries. More wine flowed and we moved into the lounge, Linda had lit the enormous wood burner and we had coffee and sat comfortably talking and laughing for a few more hours. Finally going to bed after midnight. From the bedroom window we could see the milky way above us and a million stars in the dark sky.
When we awoke this morning the sun was shining brightly, the temperature was rising fast as we made our way to Rocamadour, this was always on my bucket list of places to visit. I had heard and had seen photos of the Village but nothing can prepare you for majesty of the place. It is like many other small cliff top villages but the majority of the structures are religious buildings reached via the Grand Escalier staircase. There are lots of different chapels and religious rooms/buildings, all different and of varying importance. We lit candles for those who are no longer with us in a small beautiful chapel, the back wall being hewn out of the rock rock face itself.
The beautiful stain glass windows and carvings made the photography challenge today easy as everywhere you looked there were pictures to be had.
We walked back down to the relative coolness in the street below and after having cafe creme, got back into the car and drove back. Ian and Linda needed to do a bit of shopping and so we went to the LeClerc supermarket. So different From Tesco…. why is this? It’s exciting looking at the foods here even Mike enjoyed wandering around picking up this and that.
We got back to Le Picarel around 4.30pm the sun was still very hot and some friends of Ian and Linda’s who were also wardens were waiting for us when we arrived. After more apertifs on the terrace, we had another tasty meal. We all joined in and cleared away and then once again retreated to the lounge and spent the evening laughing over various platitudes and stories we each told. Until it was late and we said goodnight.
A wonderful day and one I shan’t forget in a hurry.