The first time I’ve ever heard of Bergerac was in grade 12 when in French class we read the play Cyrano de Bergerac. I had no idea what Bergerac meant, and I didn’t care enough to bother to find out. That was 6 years ago.
The second time I heard the word Bergerac was at a church service, when the English pastor mentioned that our French pastor’s daughter is going to move to Bergerac. Then it kind of struck me that I’ve heard of Bergerac somewhere, though I couldn’t recall for the life of me where and when I’ve heard it.
Then I began to look up small places nearby Bordeaux to visit on a Sunday with some friends. Near meant less than 2 hours by train, and with my limited knowledge on French geography, I opened up Google Maps, Wikipedia, and SNCF side by side, magnifying the regions around Bordeaux and looking up any towns or cities that seemed promising for a day-trip.
Lo and behold, directly to the east of Bordeaux, we found Bergerac hidden in the map, only an hour and a half away by regional train. Only after checking it out on trusty Wikipedia and reading the short blurb on Cyrano de Bergerac did it hit me that yes, that was indeed why it sounded familiar. As the TGV to La Rochelle was too expensive to book already, friends and I set out for Bergerac on a glorious Sunday morning.
As it turned out, Bergerac is one of the prettiest and most tranquil towns I’ve been to. This is why I enjoy visiting small towns. They give off an inexplicable aura of freshness and “soul”, and you can discover such inner peace by just walking down the old streets and staring at the reflections of the town in the river. In this case, Bergerac is situated along the Dordogne river, and though it may not seem as wide and majestic as our Garonne in Bordeaux, it shows a completely different kind of beauty. Of course, we were blessed with impeccable sunshine and warmth on the day of our trip, and as it was a Sunday, the town was calm and quiet, as if it was taking a break…
A tiny local market taking place among the trees. There weren’t many people, perhaps ten booths/vendors at most, but it was cute and cozy.
Hollow bike sign, filled with the colour of the sky. Unique design!
We stopped by the docks down at the Dordogne before crossing the old bridge to the other side. The water was so clear – a huge difference from the obvious yellow sedimentation in the Garonne – that the entire skyline of Bergerac could be seen in the river like a mirror…
…like such. This was my favourite spot in Bergerac, just down by the river facing the main town. I could stare at it all day and fall asleep to the tranquility.
Of course, ducks and geese are awesome (as if I didn’t see enough geese in Canada…)
There’s what’s left behind from our snack, a ridiculously sweet and delicious cantaloupe. Lunch was in the bag, consisting of salad à la LS style and sandwiches à la LS style. Thanks to LS for preparing everything!
After searching all over the town, I finally found the statue of Cyrano de Bergerac. I actually don’t remember what he was in the book…was he a general or a soldier or something?! One thing is for sure though, he had a big nose, and that was why he was ashamed of himself…:(
I must mention that Bergerac is a town filled with the colours and smells of nature. You can find all types of interesting flowers and plants scattered in different parts of the town, and it’s quite refreshing to stop and smell the roses after a long walk. Here’s a busy bee…
…and a curious ladybug-like insect on a funny-looking plant. I was testing out the 50mm lens that a friend lent me (unexpectedly) that day. As I had to manually focus, it was no easy task…>_<
A friend that went along said that Bergerac is very…purple, and I think she was right. Great observation!
There you have it, Bergerac. I’m now in Belgium, woot! Another 3 months of toil and uncertainty begins here and now, and I am hoping to see some places in Belgium during the weekends. Dinant, here I come!
Great photos. We were there too, not so long ago: http://www.frenchentree.com/france-dordogne/DisplayArticle.asp?ID=43627
Cool! Bergerac is indeed a charming place!