Saturday, May 29 - Perigueux

This was the last day of the Elderhostel. We went to north to Perigueux, the capital of the Perigord, on our way back to Bordeaux. As we entered the city I was able to get a view of the Cathedral of St Fort from the bus, showing its multi-domed look, similar to that of St Mark's in Venice. We then stopped at a medieval tower,the only one remaining from those in the city wall. There we met our guide for the day, Marie-France Bunel, who had prepared for a slide presentation on The Renaissance in the tower. She had also provided us with snacks and cold drinks. After the talk we explored the tower and viewed the city from the rooftop. Then we had group pictures taken by Marie-France, using many cameras, and were ready for a walking tour of the city.

We took a long walk, with many stops to look at the architecture, including a visit to the Saturday market that was taking place in the square before the Cathedral. After a while we stopped for a very good lunch at the Au Bien Bon restaurant. The dessert was incredible, and I took a picture of it, even though by then it was partially consumed. Then we continued our walk. Our guide took us in to see an interesting feature of these renaissance buildings, the internal stairways that are still in use in some apartment buildings. Then we toured the Cathedral.

The cathedral of St Front was built after 1120 AD and restored in the 19th century. The history of the church has given rise to numerous discussions between archaeologists. Some claim that St Front's was a copy of St Mark's Basilica in Venice; others that it was copied from the church of the Holy Apostles of Constantinople. Radical changes to St Front's in the 19th C are no longer appreciated by architects or local residents. The cathedral is part of the World Heritage Sites of the Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France.

After our visit to the cathedral we were back on our bus, heading back to Bordeaux. We got there about 5 and checked in again to the hotel we had stayed at before. We had dinner at Le Chapeau Rouge restaurant again and were off to bed.

Sunday, May 31 - Travel Home

Our flight was at 10:30, so we left about 8 for the airport, taking a taxi. Most of the elderhostelers had left much earlier and some were staying on, so we didn't see anyone at breakfast in the hotel. Our flights were OK although we had little time to spare changing flights at CDG in Paris. We got home more or less on schedule and took a taxi home, since all the family were in New York for Ned's 50th birthday party. It's fortunate we got back just before news came, next day, of the Brazil-Paris Air France flight that mysteriously fell out of the sky.

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