08.04.2008 14 °C
Oh dear these tired weekly updates are getting a bit of a regular thing...but for all the very best reasons, has been another excellent one. Parents have been here and we had a really good week, great to see them, weather a bit changable but could have been worse and they hired a car so got to spend lots of time out in the countryside around me which was really cool! Am tired today, have felt a bit down, really looking forward to seeing Joe now and just seems quiet here for a day or so, and doing washing was a bit of a pain as machine was broken and, being a Sunday, getting change was a right old cuffufle...so anyway yeah just going to try and write a quickish overview of a really good week.
So yeah worked on Tuesday morning and got the superduper 2eur bus to Bergerac to meet them. We did the tour of the town...old square, little shops, Cyrano de Bergerac statues, Maison de Vin etc, and then timed it just right to jump onto a boat tour aboard one of the traditional gabarre boats. Was really nice to go up and down the river, and got to see a heron and lots of black kites, really enjoyed it. I managed to navigate our way home in the car later. We found all the driving pretty easy actually, roads in France are really well signposted etc and all the roads were lovely and quiet. We cooked dinner at my place and had a realllllly yummy selection of cakes.
On Wednesday we headed South in the car (after a nice breakfast at their hotel), a lovely journey through the country and little villages, going through the Les Eyzies area where all the Dordogne prehistoric caves and stuff are centred. Sarlat is the cutest place evvvvver! Can imagine its absolutely heaving in the summer, just really picturesque little squares and roads and sooooo many cafes and restaurants. We arrived intime for the market which was full of the local walnuts...covered in chocolate, made into cake, oils etc etc etc, free samples! Was one of the nicest busiest markets I've come across. We checked out the Lanterne des Morts and the church, wandered around and stopped for a nice lunch in a little cafe. In the afternoon we drove back through Les Eyzies and stopped at one of the many caves, Les Grottes de Grand Roc, which was really cool. Firstly a nice little French lady took us into a darkened room and showed us a video all about the excavation of the caves and stuff which was interesting. Have found my French really good this week, like not doing anything complicated but can really feel a big difference just ordering food, buying tickets etc from the beginning, people generally understand me exactly the first time now so I guess my accent or whatever has improved a bit. Anyway, after the presentation we got to look around the prehistoric living "shelter" and see the various levels of rock formation, and then went on a half hour tour of the caves which were full of staligtites, staligmites and 'eccentrics', very cool.
Thursday I had to work in the morning, which was fine and made better by the fact my last lesson was cancelled. Mum and Dad had a relaxing day in town and reading etc, then when I met them we had a wander around a few shops and got an ice-cream. After a drink and a siesta we went out for a yummy dinner.
On Friday (after a good morning's teaching) Dad gave me a lift to Lidls and L'eclerc which was really useful and meant I could stock up on all the essentials and also got to show them my Trelissac school. Mum cut my fringe for me and I packed up a little bag of stuff to send home with them...yup have started the homeward transportation of "stuff" now, wooooo! We had another hour sat outside having a holiday drink, spent a couple of hours reading which was lovely and chilled-out and then cooked a chilli at mine for dinner.
And then Saturday another really cool day out in the car...it was like the world had died and we were the only people left in the Dordogne, all the little villages were just soooo quiet. Excideuil first which was very cute with a nice church and interesting restored chateau. Through another couple of little villages. Unfortuately the apple museum was closed and we got absolutely soaked at one point, but otherwise was really nice to be out in the fresh air...can't believe there's so many miles of beautiful countryside so close to me really, all the little houses and farms...
Then onto the highlight of the day, Hautefort. It's another lovely little town, with a funny old garage and museum of medicine in an old hospice, but the highlight is it's castle and beautifully sculptured gardens. We did the "visite libre", was just a shame the weather wasn't a bit better to do all the gardens, but the clouds make for some impressive photos. Back via a stop at a very closed-up old monestary, check out the road they needed for their early flight back to Berg this morn and finished off a lovely week with an excellent dinner at their hotel.