Night Location: Sarlat, France
Song of the Day: The Lazy Song - Bruno Mars
Mumisode of the Day: In a gorgeous French restaurant overlooking the rockface town of Rocamadour, the waiter approached the table and looked expectantly at Mum awaiting the dessert order. Mum simply gazed up at him, paused and then said, "Hello!"
Although when we woke up this morning we all felt like being lazy, as the song of the day suggests, we set off for an adventure to Rocamadour. If any of you are familiar with Mum's Rocamadour purse, then you will know that this day had a lot of significance for us. Since her travel here in 2006, when Mum bought a small brown Rocamadour purse, a large amount of items/events have been 'funded' by this purse. It has been a long-standing joke in our family. We would ask Mum, "How are you going to pay for this?" and she would respond, "Rocamadour!"
This town, literally built into the rock, has captured Mum's heart and so it was with much excitement that we wound our way along one side of the valley, waiting for our first glimpse of this mystical place. At last there it was. With the village well camouflaged into the grey rock, you see it first hugging the base of the cliff, then the basilica, and then high up on the sheer rock face there looms a great fortress.
Rocamadour has long been a place of religious pilgrimage. It is a tiny place and yet has six chapels, and various places for pilgrims to visit. The most revered item in the town is the Black Madonna. Apparently we shall all receive a special blessing having been here.
The genius decision was made to use the funicular to access the churches and so we made our descent and ascent in comfort. As it was Sunday, mass was being held in the Basilica and so the magical sound of singing voices greeted us as we stepped into the square. Quite incredible to listen; I don't think any of us could believe that we were there. We missed out on seeing all the six chapels as some were closed, so we returned back up the hill and into the castle.
The visit to the castle was an absolute highlight as you can climb up on the castle ramparts and feel completely suspended over the cliff. Fantastic view of the town below and further up the valley from here. Mum was a bit alarmed during some of the stair climbs as the stairs were fairly steep and the handrail was quite loose in patches.
Quite hungry by this stage, the group gathered and went in search of somewhere to eat. There has been quite a lot of difficulty finding anything vegetarian so Gemma and Amber have been eating a lot of fish. This trend was continued here, however it was superb. From our table in the sun you could look down the valley to the town against the cliff. Mum looked so happy here, we won't forget it in a hurry.
After returning to Sarlat, Gemma, Amber and David set off to wander the streets in search of internet and shops. We had no luck with the former, but did manage to sit down in two different cafes. The macaroons were to die for, as was the giant truffle (pretty much a massive Ferrero Rocher only better) enjoyed by Gemma. She did go so far as to say, "Best chocolate experience of the trip so far!"
Planning to cook a vegetable soup, complete with fresh baguette for dinner tonight, then we must pack our bags for our transit to Carcassonne tomorrow.