Last weekend, I was planning to go to La Rochelle with some of the ladies, but due to some unexpected changes in scheduling, it had to be cancelled. Boo 😦 I was extremely looking forward to it too!
So what did I do? I moved the trip to Sarlat with my friend ahead by a week. It was originally planned for next Saturday, but construction work on the railway on that day made it so that it’d take three and a half hours to get to Sarlat from Bordeaux instead of the usual two and a half, WITH a transfer to “autocar” (or bus) in Bergerac. If we went on the 12th, it would be an earlier, direct train, giving us the advantage of convenience and WAY more time in the town than expected. Score! No La Rochelle, no problem!
Sarlat, or Sarlat-la-Canéda, is a medieval town in the Dordogne department in south-western France, a place known for its unspoiled countryside and villages. It is situated in what’s known as the Périgord region, which is further divided into four parts: black, green, purple, and white (Périgord noir, vert, pourpre, and blanc respectively in French). The four colours each describes a different characteristic of the regions they represent – black for the oak trees and chestnut trees, green for the hillside and meadows, purple for the luxurious wine, and white for the limestone plateaux. Sarlat is in black Périgord, the most famous and popular among tourists out of the four regions. (References here and here.)
Our journey started at 7:03 in the morning – on a Saturday! For a night owl like me who struggles to get out of bed even at 8:30, it was quite a challenge to start getting ready at 5:45 and take the 6:29 bus to the train station to catch the train. But both of us made it despite worrying that we’d oversleep! Heh, a 2.5-hour train ride gave us sufficient time to rest before reaching our destination, and we certainly took full advantage of that. Allons-y 😉
The walk from the train station to the old town of Sarlat took a good 15 minutes or so. Bright red wild flowers were in full bloom along the road, adding such vibrant contrast to the scenery.
Arriving in the old town of Sarlat, we stumbled upon a huge Saturday market that was taking place around the town. First impression of Sarlat: it was very yellow! If there is a yellow Périgord (Périgord jaune), then Sarlat would definitely be part of it instead of black Périgord!
Here we were headed for the “Lanterne des morts” (lantern of the dead…?) which turns out to be the name of some tower, according to trusty Wikipedia. Friend and I were more interested in the little house behind me in this picture, which turned out to be our favourite point of interest during the entire trip.
I should probably comment on the red shirt. My sister gave it to me last year when I went home and insisted that I wear it sometime. Every time she asks why I don’t wear it, I tell her it’s not summer weather yet. Well, the weather for Sarlat was PERFECT, so I fulfilled her request and wore the shirt for the outing. Looks nice, no? 😀
And here we are at lunch! We spent almost two hours at a restaurant, sitting outdoor because the weather was too gorgeous to miss. The appetizer was “salade gourmande” with duck gizzards, bacon, and walnuts. I love duck gizzard salads but I must say this is the best one I’ve tried yet! The bacon and walnuts complement the gizzards really well. Yummy!
For the main course, magret de canard, or grilled duck. Perhaps this is nothing too special compared to what we have in Bordeaux since duck is popular here, but the “pommes de terre sarladaise” (Sarlat-styled potatoes) were truly unique! I couldn’t get enough of it! However a lady at the next table was complaining that the potatoes were poorly made. The waitress offered her another plate and she still wasn’t satisfied. Bah, give it to me if you didn’t like it, hehe~
The two-hour lunch was well spent as I chatted and laughed with my friend. First outing since I’ve been back in Bordeaux in April on such a lovely, relaxing afternoon 😉
As we continued our stroll in Sarlat after lunch, we noticed this sculpture of a man staring into a distance, into the uncertainty of his future. It reminds me of someone I know, perhaps not so far away, but far enough away…
A last look at Sarlat behind the spinning crafts of a merchant before we headed back to Bordeaux.
This was not the end of the journey! I went out again on Sunday, in the same direction as Sarlat, actually! Of course I will write about it very soon. À bientôt mes chers amis ❤