This is the Pilgrim town of Lauzerte and our villa was about 6kms away. From the bedroom window and the terrace we had this view. Very beautiful.
The first afternoon we arrived and walked around 'our village' we found the Barbacan - or art Gallery - and you can imagine my surprise to find, here in Lauzerte, a contemporary art gallery. Furthermore, I noticed that Kitty Sabatier, and lady whose work I have followed on tumblr for some time was one of the artists exhibiting. Of course a return trip during opening hours was warranted. The next visit to the Gallery was marvelous - I was able to see Kitty's work and was also entranced by the work of Pierre Cambon. I spoke with the lady looking after the exhibition and mentioned that I was a printmaker and book artist. The serendipitous outcome of that conversation was that a few days later I was able to meet Kiity Sabatier, Pierre Cambon who came in from Agen also had an appointment to meet with Marjon Mudde and see some of her etchings *a couple of which are coming home with me) and some of her inspiring artist's book. She is a true talent and very proficient in all she does.
We visited the town of Auvillar which was another of the market/pilgrim towns and loved it. These sculptures were in this village and in Lauzerte and provided a lovely touch of whimsy.
I loved this little town of Auvillar as it had a beautifully preserved/renovated market building (once a grain market) and it was far less full of tourists than other villages we wandered about.
Everywhere we drove there we glorious avenues of trees - this one taken through the car windows whilst travelling. Mostly I was way too absorbed by the beauty of these avenues I forgot to take photographs but there were abundant in this region.
I love the way these simple little chapels perch on hills overlooking breathtaking scenery.
Back in our the village of Lauzerte,we attended a free classical concert in the square. Not quite a full orchestra though close ..... The strings were missing but all else seemed to be there an we were astounded that so many people and children turned up for the concert which started at 8.30 and ran until after 10.30 when we departed. Seeing children of all ages enjoy the music was a thrill. Many of us listening were sitting further back on restaurant tables. Some people brought picnics and used these tables as well. No one seemed to mind at all.
This is the approach to our villa 'Montage' which was jsut below the village of Sain Amans de Pellegal and as mentioned, only 6kms from the beautiful hilltop town of Lauzerte.
We could have lazed here all the time, and had intended to (well in my mind anyway!) but there were so many lovely villages and towns close by to visit and long walks to be done.
My favourite town was Moissac and again it was a Pilgrim village and thus was full of those hiking or riding Pilgrim routes. Some years ago I foolishly though there was only one Pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostella but found out there were pilgrim routes from many directions.
The Abey here was particularly beautiful as were the cloisters. I told Steve I would be happy to spend a week in there drawing!
You can see why ...... So many gorgeous things to draw and linger over.
I loved these sculptures and grew to love them more as I saw more and more people come to sit on the benches. We had dinner in Moissa and as we were sitting there two different choirs were singing, this one below around the corner of the church and another along the road leading up to the Abbey entrance. A bond was setting up in the local square as well, no doubt to entertain the French who seem to start having their dinner at about 9pm. We have been in Moissac for hours so we're ready to leave before the band started. Both choirs kept us beautifully entertained though.
Another of the towns we visited was Cahors and apparently there is some devilish story about this 12th century bridge which I have yet to find out. It was written there of course, but my French was by no means adequate to translate the story. Google here I come ....
And the gardens along the river were quite beautiful. We found the secret garden behind Saint Etienne's cathedral as well - and many other pretty gardens about the town.
Again, a beautiful interior and lovely quiet cloisters but they were in no way as restored as the cloisters in Moissac.
It seemed that restoration had begun in one of the fat corners .... Something to be said about the old and the new I think. I loved both.
Beautiful detail of the side of the main entrance.
We drove quite some distance to see Cirq Lapopie which indeed is a very quaint little village but on this day full not only with tourists but also demonstrators. We didn't stay very long as it seemed like the French equivalent of Montville!
On our last evening we did a gorgeous 11km walk in a circuit and joined in the last 6kms of one of the pilgrim routes heading towards Lauzerte. It was such a beautiful walk and I may post on that next time. I fell in love with a home on the hilltop ..... Dreams too large!