May 29 - Perigueux
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.
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 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.
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.
May 31 - Travel Home
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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