Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Saint Cirq Lapopie - Just up the road from Vers.

Up early and a quick ride up the road was like a new world. A disused railway, a castle carved out of the mountain and a bridge spanning the river that was previously a railway bridge but more about that later. As was my usual habit, I would get out early to explore and then return excited to take Sue out in the car to experience the wonderful sights of my rides.

Early morning ride, looking over the village Vers.

I was high above the valley looking over the river Lot taking this photo - WOW!!!
A bike and a camera - what else?
Sue wanted to see Saint Cirq Lapopie, one of the reasons we picked Vers to stay. We could have stayed at Cahor and I don't remember why we didn't. It may have been cost, you save money here so you can spend more there!!!! Anyway, Vers was a delightful couple of nights of rest before moving on.

After breakfast I couldn't wait to go driving to show Sue some of my ride. On the way we stopped at St Gery, a little village on the banks of the river Lot. A young man in his teens served us coffee and Croissants and we enjoyed a chat. He'd heard of Australia and practised his English on us. We promised to pop in on our return to say hello and another coffee.

How do you drive a single lane bridge that is 300 metres long and give way to an oncoming car?
 The road took us along the railway and the Lot river before we came to a narrow bridge across the river. Our GPS Tommy told us that this is the way were should take, and who were we to disagree, after all he had a French accent and surely he'd been here before. WRONG!

The bridge from the other side - yes we made it across!!

The cut out along the river bank was used to haul the barges from river port to river port.

High above the river you can see the road that our GPS took us. Down below you can make out the haulage track that was used to pull barges up the river. We could have had an easy drive to the left of the river but this was something to remember.
 Rather than take us along the regular tourist road where buses go, he took us along a "goat track", a very scary single lane road cut from the steep cliffs above the Lot river. No way could two cars pass each other until they came to one of those parts of the road where there is a slightly wider section.

The view over the dash of our Citroen C4

Scenes like we have never witnessed in our home of Melbourne
and more to come to delight the imagination.

We are driving below a castle carved from the soft walls of a cliff.
 We did stop at one of those sections where we met another couple taking photos. The view over the valley was something to experience, lush green vegetation, craggy rocks and a flowing river below.
 Eventually we reached our destination, St Cirq Lapopie. BUT to our surprise, there were huge tourist buses and many cars parked in the car park. Where did they come from. We discovered on leaving that there was another way that was no more than a kilometre from the main road. Tommy, we hate you.

St Cirq Lapopie overlooking the river Lot. Photo taken from the car park......

Taken from across the river looking towards the Abbey of Saint Cirq Lapopie.
 In actual fact, Tommy took us on an adventure that we will cherish for many a day. We did return to St Gery on our way home and met our young new friend's family - it was a very good day.
We ate this time at our lodgings - a better meal but not as much atmosphere as eating across the road with the locals. Tomorrow was a day in Cahor before moving on to our next destination.


  1. What a beautiful name -Saint-Cirq Lapopie- and such a scenic area of thhe Lot.

  2. Great Pics leaping - I need to go again soon

  3. Dinne - sent you a link on the Rue Motorguiel apartment - are you back to Paris soon?

  4. Kiwi - thanks for popping in. Join Sue and I in 12 months time next May.

  5. I always look forward to your "Wednesdays in France" and this one didn't disappoint! Great photos of stunning scenery. I love the road with the arches. And small things like a broken language conversation with a waiter can become highlights of your day. Great post, thanks.

  6. Craig - stay with us, it gets more exciting - well it did for us.
    The Dordogne, Loire, Normandy and back to Paris is still ahead.


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