Rocamadour The Lot

Jan Leeming

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Me looking brave before taking to the air (and the wing) of the plane. Wow, it was cold !! But the whole experience was totally exhilarating.

 

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Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.

ROCAMADOUR - the Lot

Date: 3rd November 2014

DORDOGNE - Rocamadour

I love Provence and spent holidays for over a decade in that lovely Area but had no idea how beautiful is the countryside comprising the Dordogne and the Lot.

I could hardly credit that at almost every turn of the road there’s is yet another ‘fairytale’ historic chateau, a Gouffre (underground cave usually containing incredible and large stalactites) or a mediaeval village. Of course, the chateaux are an inevitable result of all the wars which took place in this region between the English and the French.

My first outing was to the amazing ROCAMADOUR - a monastery and village clinging to the cliffs in the Alzou Canyon. Although it was mid October the day was simply perfect - bright sunshine, brilliant azure skies and a minimum of tourists.

Late Spring and Autumn are ideal times to go sightseeing in France. I am not a ‘queuer’ and having to join long queues puts me off visiting many places.

There is a tremendously long history regarding Rocamadour and I don’t intend to give you a history lesson. Two of the main reasons for the site being of such significance are the tomb of St. Amadour and the Black Virgin. (There are 300 Black Virgins in the West and France holds 150 of them)

The Black Virgin at Rocamadour is so old they can only assume that the carving has gone black with age.

I was particularly interested to read that Henry II visited the shrine and wonder if his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine was with him. I have a particular interest in this couple which I might share with you at a later date.

Just to the left of the main stairway up the rocks there was a small hexagonal chapel which fascinated me. Unfortunately it was locked but, as the shop had no postcards appertaining to it, I took photos through the iron grille gate. I think the paintings must have been refurbished because they were in almost too good condition. Immediately ahead was a representation of King Louis 1X - known as St. Louis and the King responsible for the incredibly beautiful Chapel of St. Chapelle on the Ile de la Cité in Paris. To his left is a painting of his Mother Blanche of Castile - both having made pilgrimage to Rocamadour as did Charles le Bel.

Although there is a lift which takes the fainthearted for part of the tour you really do have to be relatively fit because there are hundreds of stone steps.

I have to say that the ‘tourist shops’ were of a very high calibre - particularly a beautiful ceramics gallery aptly named 'Art Tentation'  which offered much temptation in the form of Raku ceramics, wood sculptures etc.  Fortunately for my wallet, most of the items for sale would have been too heavy to transport by air. And despite being an obvious tourist trap, the restaurants were not prohibitively expensive.

I took so many photos that it is hard to choose just one for this blog so I won’t do the obvious and post one of the gorgeous photos of Rocamadour but one I took of the little chapel which particularly grabbed my interest.

  

ROCAMADOUR - the Lot

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