Europe 2014

Brantôme, 1-3 June

 

  The journey from Rochefort to Brantôme was quite short, so we took some detours along the way. The first was to the Abbey of Fontdouce, now in private hands and being restored with assistance from various bodies. †
  Ducks playing in a stream through the garden. *
  The chapel is austere and beautiful. *
  The Chapter House had become almost entirely silted up and had to be dug out. *
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  We then moved on to see the Château de la Rochefoucauld, but we were sidetracked in the village by red awnings under a plane tree. *
  Chez Steph served excellent Limousin beef steaks. *
  A satisfied customer. *
  After lunch, we set off towards the castle, going over the bridge and past weeping willow. †
  It is quite impressive in a sort of Captain Haddock way. *
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  However, we found that the entry fee was rather high so, probably wrongly, we decided not to go in and contented ourselves with the view of the town from the castle. *
  We resumed our journey along country roads through woodlands. *
  Eventually we arrived at Brantôme in its picturesque situation on the Dronne River. *
  There were some more spectacular roses. *
  The Dronne River. †
  Flowers growing by the river. †
  View of the river as we had our dinner that first night. *
  And the buildings across the river. *
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  An evening view of Brantôme Abbey. *
  The Dronne from the main bridge in the morning. †
  We set off for Aubeterre to see the underground church, companion to the one at St Emillion. Massive, and only a portion of what it once was, some having collapsed. This is the entrance. *
  It was very impressive inside. *
  The stone reliquary said to contain soil from Golgotha. †
  Judging by the state of some of the pillars, it is not surprising that there had been some collapses. *
  We went past a shop selling old linen and an amazing collection of really old wines. *
  Aubeterre is a very pretty small town, although many of the people there seemed to be British ex pats. *
  We visited the parish church, with impressive romanesque frontage. †
 
  Statue in the church. *
  We wandered back down to the main square ... *
  where, once again, we were distracted by tables under umbrellas and trees. *
  Nick contemplating lunch. *
  Then back towards Brantôme along tree-lined roads. *
  Following the Dronne river away from Aubeterre, we found the church of St Jean Baptiste de Dronne. *
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  The next day, we set out to Jumilhac-le-Grand. We had wanted to visit the château when we stayed in this area in 2008, but found it firmly closed for lunch. This time, we were luckier and were given a tour, apparently by the owner. †
  The château gardens. The owner knew everything about the château, and was determined to pass on all of it. The tour lasted two hours! *
  The courtyard from the main balcony. *
  View from the balcony, across the village square, to the Mairie. *
  On the way back, we took a short detour into the pretty little village of St-Jean-de-Cole. *
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  The château at St-Jean-de-Cole, with the little market hall. *
  We had an excellent dinner that night at Charbonnel, just across the river from our hotel. *
  And then one last look at the Dronne, with Charbonnel on the left. *

In the morning, we set off on the short journey to Vers.

 

Copyright © 2014 by *Lynn Booth or †Nick Booth. Please contact us if you wish to use a photo.