Sunday, January 30, 2011

Video Impressions of the Lot : Saint-Cirq-Lapopie

Today we visit Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, one of the Plus Beaux Villages de France (the most beautiful villages in France).
It is situated in the regional park Les Causses du Quercy and lies on the way to Santiago de Compostella.
Its location perched on a cliff is just marvellous.

Formerly the crafts constituted the wealth of Saint-Cirq but nowadays it has become an artistic village.

Near St-Cirq-Lapopie is the cave of Pech-Merle, a prehistoric site.
Inside one can find a.o. painted or incized figures of bisons, mammoths and - very famous - horses.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Video Impressions of the Lot : Rocamadour

Today I would like to present you Rocamadour, a small village on the Eastern border of the department with the Dordogne.

Rocamadour is the second touristic site of France, after the Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy, and visited by over one million tourists a year.

Its reputation now is as much due to its fantastic location in a gorge above the river Dordogne as to its being a pilgrimage site on the way to Santiago de Compostela.

Once you are at Rocamadour you should not miss its bird show, called "Le Rocher des Aigles".

Rocamadour has also given its name to a small goat's milk cheese with AOC status since 1996. The locals call it cabécou.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Video Impressions of the Lot : Figeac

Figeac is a lovely small city (10 000 inhabitants) in the extreme East of the department on the borders with the Aveyron and Cantal department.

It is world-famous for its Champollion museum, the museum dedicated to Jean-François Champollion, the decipherer of the Egyptian hieroglyphs, esp. the Rosetta Stone, and born here in Figeac.

The museum has several theme-based exhibitions, all around the art of writing, from its very beginnings some five thousand years ago. The exhibitions, called "Scripts of the World", look back at the great diversity of writing, from the four founding scripts – cuneiforms, hieroglyphics, Chinese characters and Maya glyphs – to the writing systems of the present day.

On the "Place des écritures" a giant reproduction of the Rosetta stone can be admired.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Video Impressions of the Lot : Cahors

Beginning of a New Year, a new start and new resolutions.

For the blog this means that I want to make it more multimedia with the start of a new series :
video impressions of the Lot region and its most famous cities, places and products.

I begin the series of course with the capital Cahors - a Roman and medieval town that is also the capital of the black Malbec wine.

(video source : Youtube)

Sunday, January 2, 2011


First of all we want to renew the best wishes for 2011. We hope everybody had einen guten Rutsch into the New Year on Friday night. After a white Christmas it was lovely weather for the start of the new year.

Especially for those of you who can still enjoy wonderful food and wine even after the perhaps at times "heavy" end of year celebrations
I would like to start the blog in the new year with a very interesting report on Cahors wine and truffles. It is called "The Scent of Black". The documentary is mostly French spoken with English subtitles.

Just enjoy. And we hope that it gives enough pleasure or calls back memories to (re)visit the region (again). Cahors here we come (again).

Some background information :

In the Cahors region of France, black truffles are almost literally as valuable as gold in the culinary world. Prized for their glorious scent, black truffles are fungi that grow exclusively on the roots of oak trees. Found in late autumn and winter, the truffles cannot be seen since they grow under the ground. Pigs, or specially trained dogs have been used to search for these elusive truffles. About 20% of the French production comes from southwest France, which possesses the limestone soils and dry hot weather that truffles need to grow.

In the late 19th century, an epidemic of phylloxera destroyed many of the vineyards in southern France. Large tracts of land were set free for the cultivation of truffles. Thousands of truffle-producing trees were planted, and production reached the peak of hundreds of tonnes by the end of the 19th century. Wars during the 20th Century decimated the fields. After 1945, the production of truffles plummeted, and prices rose dramatically. In 1900, truffles were used by most French people, and on many occasions. Today, they are a rare delicacy reserved for the wealthy, or used on very special occasions.

Originally a common grape in Bordeaux, Malbec has lost popularity as one of the five varieties in the Bordeaux blends. Meanwhile, Malbec increased its status in the French region of Cahors, an area southeast of Bordeaux, where it creates distinctive wines that now require 70% of the variety.