Cherchez the French

If you wanted to make a film in a picturesque French town you would probably consider Sarlat. The buildings are a honey-coloured stone with stone shingled roofs and rounded turrets. There are winding, passageways and small churches, people sitting outside at pavement cafes and today there is even a small street market. This 8th century town in the Perigord region of France attracts over 1 million visitors a year and this week, I’m one of them.

I travelled  here by train from Bordeaux this morning. I spent two restful days there in  the very comfortable Hotel de la Indendance getting over jet-lag from the long trip from Australia. I was glad I did as Bordeaux’s  St Jean train station is not for the those with brains on Sydney time.  It’s about the same size as Sydney’s Central Station but with ten times double the number of people. The platform numbers are not announced until about 15 minutes before the train is due to leave then there is a mad rush to get a seat. I just followed the crowd and managed to find a seat and somewhere to stow my bag.

When I arrived at Sarlat the reception at the hotel where I am booked was closed until 4pm so I left my bags with the hotel opposite and went for a stroll around the market. That’s when I noticed that most of my fellow strollers were not French. Most seemed to be English and many of them were dressed for a holiday in the hot sun. I had on my jeans and a jumper. I did buy a light cotton dress at the market just in case but it is now raining and still very cool. Maybe I should have bought another jumper instead.

I took this rainy photo from my room and I’m sure I’ll have lots more in the next few days as this is such a pretty place.


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