There's a lot that's interdit en France (forbidden) but, for the most part, Les Francais just ignore signs like these. However, there are somethings that you can't get around and some things that are unspoken when it comes to the forbidden...no sign really needed. At the top of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Lascaux II, it is toddlers peeing inside the cave. Yes, it is a replica, true, but that makes it all the harder to mix human pee in with that of paleolithic cave bear urine and that belonging to anything else that might have wandered in during the last ten thousand years or so. M. le Bubby did his little pee-pee previous to entree, but you know how being in an enclosed space with no lights on can inspire one to ruminate on urination. Yet, the announcement came and Jason, being a good outdoorsman said, "can't he just go in the corner?" Dear God, No!!!! was my first response, the second was, Dear God, I am going to have to stop the entire tour and ask, in French, if we can leave this place early, somehow, without getting lost in the many side caves, to faire le pee pee?, which was swiftly followed by some sage, motherly advice: take this sweater and make him pee in it in a dark corner.
Have any of you ever peed into a sweater in a cave in France? Me neither. Cormac neither and he wasn't having it. Hey, Mac, look at that reindeer over there!!! Anyway, his need subsided and we pushed it to the darkest recesses of our consciousness and instead focused on Mossy, whose barking cough reverberated off the cave walls, oh..about every 5 seconds or so, interrupting the guide, who tried to slip a quick syllable in during Moss's intake of breath. I think he's really going to miss us.
The picture below is the seminal picture of the Perigord Noir found in all guide books and blogs and tourist photos. It is of the Dordogne river winding its way off to the interior of France, having begun as a large sleeve pouring in at the Atlantic. Here it passes by innumerable towns and villages of wine country and on in.
One of many winding, steep streets in Domme
You know where Johnny Depp comes floating up a river to ogle Juliette Binoche in Chocolat? Well, here is the town. Built right into the cliff along the river, its streets are steep and charming, buildings packed together, on top of one another with lush gardens spilling over every free inch. More drop offs and erratic running and no listening. Normal day, in other words. The amazing thing about these little famous medieval villages is that, not only are they important historical sites and tourist attractions, but people actually live everyday lives here.
Oh..and I was just feeling lonely for Cabela's, when we stumbled into a tiny room on the chateau grounds filled with cases displaying the local carnivorous relationships. Mossy mourned over each dead animal carefully, "Poor_______", why, Mama?". Well, it was cool in there and peaceful and there were dead things...what a nice breather. Then, we scooted outside to find a peacock calling to its friend on the rooftop of the chateau. Finally, Ruby and I retreated to the little outdoor cafe to sneak an espresso while Jason to the boys to the living labyrinth for children. He got this shot of M. Le Bubby before his back permanently stayed bent to toddler size.
Then it was home for a dip in the Ceou. What an incredibly clean, beautiful little river.