Subject: South West France (Was New Member in France)
Dear Carol,

I'm so sorry that I'm only writing now, but I've been extremely busy and just didn't get around to my personal mail. It's great that you will be coming to the south west of France and that you will take some time to enjoy it. The area is beautiful and worth a closer look.

Let me first answer your question as to where Roquecor is situated. We're about one hours drive south/south-west of Sarlat (if you have a more detailed map, you may find Montaigu de Quercy, that's 8 kilometres from Roquecor). So you see, we can well get together, and I'd be happy to meet you.

End of September / beginning of October is usually a good time to travel, the climate is very pleasant, not too hot to drive around and visit.

As I don't know you yet, I'm not quite sure what to suggest to you as far as things to see are concerned. The only indication was that you hope to see many chateaux as well as some wineries in the Loire Valley, and that you would be interested in visiting wineries in the Dordogne area. Should you have any professional interest in wineries, I might be able establish some contacts, if you want to. If it's just for fun, there are wine areas around Bergerac and of course further down Dordogne, at St. Emilion. A little more in my direction, by the river Lot, the Cahors wine is grown, also one of the famous French wines.

As to places to see, I just give you a few different ones that come to my mind.

First of all, there is Sarlat, a beautiful small medieval town, built around an abbey founded in the 8th century. The tourist office will give you a free brochure including a map that will guide you through the historic centre of Sarlat. If you can arrange to be there Saturdays # they have a wonderful market.

A few kilometres south you may want to see La Roque Gageac, a small hamlet nestled under a cliff by the Dordogne river. If you like canoeing, that's a good place to start a trip.

A little further west you could visit the Chateau de Mirlande, that's Josephine Baker's ex-home. They present a Josephine Baker, Woman of the World exhibition, quite interesting. If you'd like to see a life show of falconry you'd have to be there around 3:30 pm, in October it's only once a day.

Prehistoric paintings at their best (15,000 to 17,000 years of age) you can admire in the Grotte de Lascaux.

And one of the most impressive caves with a subterranean river is the Gouffre de Padirac. You can still make it, they close visiting season on the 2nd Sunday in October each year. It's some 50 Kilometres east of Sarlat, but while you're in the direction, you might also want to go to Rocamadour, that's pilgrimage site on the famous Chemin de St. Jacques to Santiago to Compostella in Spain.

However, if you'd rather not go that far, there is so much to see just around Sarlat. The walled village of Domme for instance, high above the Dordogne, the Hanging Gardens of Marqueyssac at Vézac (about 10 km from Sarlat) with some of the most beautiful views you could wish for.

Dear Carol, I could go on and on, there are so many wonderful things to see. Of course, you shouldn't forget to take lots of time for one of the French's favourite hobbies: a good meal and a good glass of wine. The south west of France is renowned for their cuisine, and many of the world famous delicacies come from the area.

Well, I hope I could give you a little idea. If you tell me a little more about your interests, I'd be happy to give you more details and mail you some URLs so you can have a look yourself. Please, don't hesitate to ask.

Bye bye for now and all the best,

Christine Minnée In love with South West France