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Thursday, August 11, 2011

My Magic Kingdom: An Introduction

Coming to the Lot is a magical journey for me. The Department is part of what many French people still refer to as Quercy. We have had our house here for 12 years now and each time we come we have had to drive. We have visions of one day being able to hop on a plane and arrive with a minimum of luggage -- however, that day does not seem at all imminent!

Castelnau, Bretenoux: Could house 2000 soldiers and their horses!
But for as long as we drive the journey will be magical. The geological history of this area is that it was once an ancient sea that came inland to the granite plateau known as the Masif Central, the oldest place on earth -- or one of them! So when we come to Perigord we come from the direction of Limousin, which is on the Masif Central and down, down, down to my magic kingdom of golden colored limestone buildings, mysterious caves and glorious caverns and chasms, gorges and plateaus. A land of castles and rivers, green valleys and limestone cliffs, rich with stories and wars of princes and kings -- English and French. All of Quercy was once part of Acquitaine, the battleground of Eleanor and Henry II in the story of The Lion in Winter. It was also the land of 'Oc' not 'Oui'.

Turenne
So we drive down and down into the Brive Basin and then through a tunnel and, for me, the beginning of the 'magic kingdom' even though we are still technically in the Limousin for a few winding miles. After a few beautiful winding miles we pass gorgeous Turenne. The road this was taken from is the D940 and goes from Turenne all the way past Aynac to the fortified town of Lacapelle-Marival and has been there in one form or another for hundreds of years.

Further along a few miles and we come to Vayrac and there off to our right is the way to the Puy D'Issolud site of the battle of Uxellodunum between the Cadurques and Julius Caesar. (We tried to buy a house in Vayrac -- a mill in need of renovation -- it's one of those stories about 'the one that got away'! Lucky for us really!) Still further along, on our way to St. Cere, we pass a Museum to the Neanderthal. So far whenever we have made our long journey to the Magic Kingdom of Ancient Quercy, the sun has shone and the skies have been blue -- for 12 years. There is left the big climb from St. Cere to our ancient little farmhouse. And that feeling of being a million miles away and somewhere 'other'...

9 comments:

  1. Thanks for taking us with you on your journey to the Magic Kingdom....

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  2. G'day Broad. I do like the sound of your Magic Kindom. You took us on a lovely journey there with you. I would like to visit one day. Take care. Liz...

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  3. Thanks for a magical journey, Broad! I really enjoy sharing your adventures!

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  4. It looks and sounds spectacular. I always fancied a mill too but I think you're quite right... a lot of work!

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  5. Lovely journey! I can just see the landscape unrolling in my head :-)

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  6. That's lovely, Broad. It brings back a lot of memories for me as well.

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  7. Great Photos! A magical trip around the countryside indeed :-)

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  8. Thanks everybody for all your comments. It's good to be catching up with as many of you as I can in the short afternoon session I have today. One more on Friday, I hope and it's 'cold turkey' for a week :-(

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  9. What a beautiful, evocative post, Broad. You obviously love your corner of France very deeply and it shows :-)

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Receiving comments is a joy and I thank you all for taking the trouble and showing your interest. Makes me feel all gooey and stuff!