|Mad street art in Perigueux|
We parked for free in a little car park down by the river. Dave had researched getting there by the little local Peribus, but it involved a mile's walk at the campsite end, a change of bus and a journey of well over an hour so we took the car instead. The town was busy in the morning as the bi-weekly farmer's market had taken over several of the squares and surrounding streets. The market happens on Wednesday and Saturday mornings, packing up about 1pm, and there was an excellent range of food stalls including fruits and vegetables, cheeses, meats, honey and mead, and breads.
Our first sight upon exiting the car park though was
Perigueux has surviving Roman stonework and lots of
Narrow streets have dramatically tall buildings leaning in towards each other and many of the most interesting alleyways are still unevenly cobbled, rising in the centre to drain water (and originally sewage) to gutters on each side. We spotted signs for a historical town walk which is marked by yellow stripes on the side of various buildings. This led us through a medieval maze of streets including those of the Jewish quarter, and alongside sections of the city walls which are still very much in evidence. We loved seeing buildings with their original thick wooden doors, and some had small stone statues in niches above.
This weekend just gone was a pan-European celebration of
Les Journees Europeennes des Metiers d'Art'. We saw two exhibitions that were part of this - one of pottery in a small gallery and the second of various arts in a wonderful venue. Delphine Viau and Vero And Didou showcased their talents for leather bags and recycled lighting over two floors of the Mataguerre tower. The tower was part of the defensive walls, made of thick stone, and with a steep spiral staircase enabling us to enjoy these fabulous views across the rooftops of the old town. Originally there were twenty-eight towers and twelve gates, but Mataguerre is now the only one remaining.
Lunch was coffee and cake at Le Fournil patisserie which has a good selection and also offers the usual bakery breads, plus salad boxes and savoury pastries. There are a few little tables inside along one wall. Suitably refreshed, we wandered back down to the river so Dave could drop off his waterproof coat at the car. In hindsight, I should have left my wool coat too as shortly afterwards the cloud cover cleared and the sun shone on our canal and river walk.
Perigueux has a short canal built just inside the bend of the
After such a great visit, the downside to Perigueux is the huge sprawling Centre Commercial we needed to drive through to get back to Antonne Et Trigonant. There are so many businesses and such weight of traffic that getting across the roundabouts safely was a pretty hair-raising experience. I wouldn't let that put me off visiting again, but I might choose to camp elsewhere if possible and cycle in along the Voie Verte!