Here is a wonderful suggestion for a trip with a young person or your grandchild. Get to Bordeaux and pick up a car. From there, drive east into the Dordogne River Valley. There are several very interesting sights to see: castles, caves, hill cliff towns and chateaus, all to excite the imagination and hearts of a young person.
For example, Rocamadour is a small sacred city which hangs on the edge of its impressive cliff 500 feet high and dominates the pleasant valley of Alzou River. The town is easily accessible except in winter. There is a saying,
The churches over the houses
The rocks over the churches
The castle over the rocks.”
The best time to visit Rocamadour is in the morning as at this time the lighting effects are best and a great time for a balloon ride – what grandchild wouldn’t like a balloon ride?
The history of this little town is much the same as France as a whole, with wars, religious crusades, abandonment and restoration. Numerous excavations have occurred in the region, which is scattered with caves and shelters. They reveal that the valley was already inhabited in 17,000 B.C.
A bit further to the east of Rocamadour is Grotte de Lascaux, a cave containing one of the most an outstanding displays of prehistoric art. Lascaux, together with some two dozen other painted caves and 150 prehistoric settlements in the Vézère valley, was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979. The cave was discovered by four teenage boys in September 1940 and consists of a main cavern, some 66 feet wide. Today, because of the fragile nature of the cave, a replica has been made for us to visit.
Can you picture the imagination of a young person seeing paintings this old?
To write more about the castles and chateaus would make this story too long, but do check out “Chateau de la Treyne” very near Rocamadour and Lascaux.