Sunday, November 5th, 2000 Sarlat
The hotel told us that Mass at the Cathedral was at 11 am. So after breakfast we put on our coats and took the walking tour of Sarlat with the map from the information office. Very informative! We really enjoyed the hour or so that the tour took. Weather was cold but sun was shinning. But, near the end of the tour we were near the Cathedral, which was still locked, and asked about Mass. They said there was no Mass. This didn't surprise us as the outside is full of scaffolding for the repairs that are going on. So, back to the hotel and off to the Lascaux II, the caves with the prehistoric drawings on the walls. Located about thirty minutes North of Sarlat.
We arrived at Montignac, the town nearest the caves, and saw a church! Checked
the Mass times and saw 11 am... checked inside and found the priest giving the sermon. So, we were able to attend Mass after all. Beautiful church that looked very modem in a very old building. Restoration was more of a remodel. Reminded me of St. Bartholomew's in Columbus, Indiana, my hometown. Old Parishioners must have hated the changes!
Lascaux II is a recreation of pre historic cave drawings. Due to damage by tourist affecting the humidity in the actual caves, they were closed in 1963. They were only discovered in 1940 by two young boys chasing their dog. But, the deterioration was so bad that they closed them and then began recreating the caves. They opened the new ones in 1984. These are the most famous of the caves in the area. There are several other caves but this one was the only one open in November. The others were close the end of October. We left about 1 :30 pm. The actual tour took about 45 minutes and was entirely in French. Highly recommend that you arrange for an English tour! But, the painting was very interesting. They used natural materials for the paint and used the contours of the cave walls to accentuate the paintings. The original paintings are considered to be somewhere around 15,000 years old (per Rick Steves)!
Then finally off to Rocamadour. It was a ninety minute drive from Sarlat so we had about a two hour drive. But we arrived about 3:30 pm. Beautiful town clinging to a hillside. It is known as a Pilgrimage's medieval town because of the miracles that started to occur after the discovered the preserved body of St. Amadour in a crypt near the church that is associated with the Chateau on the hill. It is visited by thousands of people each year. We took the longer way of going. Used the ascender to get to the top (an elevator up a stone shaft) and then walked the stations of the cross on the walk back down to the village after visiting the chapel with the Black Virgin. Lit a candle for our special intentions.
Stopped at a store in Rocamadour and purchased two wallets with chains. One for each of us. Jim to put in his front pocket and I attached mine to the inside of my purse. Now we won't have to worry so much about pick-pockets!