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Saturday, November 17, 2012

100 years war










There is a stretch of the Dordogne river that runs from Sarlat (oldest medieval villige in France) to Beynac.  Along this 10 or 12 mile rambling part of the river stands many of the castles built during the 1400's ...during the 100 years war in France.  Too view this part of history is best seen by canoe.  The canoe provides a freedom from tourists and the sounds of the road that often distracts from the ageless beauty and history that fills the Dordogne valley.

If you have ever read the book "Timeline" by Michael Crichton (my favorite book)...this is the setting for the novel.  In the book, there are battles fought by the English and French during the 100 years war.  The two castles in the book are Castleguard and Larogue.  The actual castles are the bottom image (Beynac - which is Laroque in the book) and the third image from the bottom Castlenaud (Castlegaurd in the book).  I had read this book 5 or 6 times before traveling to this part of France but found myself reading it again on my kindle while I was there.  Like a child playing a role...I imagined myself as a knight in 1453 traveling this river searching for Lady Claire.

There was a part of the valley in which I could turn 360 degrees and could see multiple castles perched on the ridge-lines high above the river's edge.  Some were shrouded in the early morning mist so common in this valley.  These were battle castles...not the refined Chateaux of the Loire Valley but true vestiges with keeps and drawbridges, moats and dungeons   There were cobblestone roads worn by huge stout war horse hooves and by time itself.  From the river's perspective...it was at times overwhelming.  And yes everywhere...it was Green, Very Very Green.

4 comments:

DawnTreader said...

Very green indeed! I think my favourite in this post is No 4 though, the close-up of the roofs.

ADRIAN said...

It is a wonderful area and you have done it proud.

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