FRANCE 2004
8/14/2004
11/13/2004

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From July 24–31, 2004, I traveled in the Midi-Pyrénées region
of southwestern France, with a night in Paris at either end.
The journey I took can’t really be seen in photographs,
but I did capture images of some memorable sights.

The farm in the Lot Padirac
Figeac Montal
Highway D940 Autoire
St. Céré Carennac


Paris en Route to the Southwest


 
A far view in the Jardin des Plantes, a public botanical garden just up the street from our hotel.
At the Jardin des Plantes. We had just an hour to stroll there before catching our train to Gramat. It was beautiful and worth a longer visit.
A statue in a side yard caught our eye. It shows a sage or philosopher contemplating an egg. We didnt know what person or story it represents. If you know anything about the subject of this sculpture, please click the loon above and write to me. (Never mind the ghost in the photo below. Just pretend you dont see it and it wont bother you..)

 

 
Very happy to be on our way to the countryside of the Lot. It was about a 5 1/2-hour journey from Paris by train.


The Farm in the Lot


 
This was my home for a week, a small stone cottage on farmland owned by a retired professor high on the Causse in the Lot departement of France. I stayed in the house straight ahead. To the left is a smaller guest cottage. The large house to the right is the owner’s residence. Click the picture to see more of the house.
View of the valley from just below the farmhouse. The stone structure to the right is the barn. Click the picture for a larger view of this surpassingly peaceful scene, the first of my three favorite photos taken on the trip.

Figeac


 
 
Our first destination was the medieval town of Figeac, where we picked up the Avis rental car. It was also an important destination for me because I wanted to see the birthplace of one of my intellectual heroes, Jean-François Champollion, the scholar who decoded the Rosetta Stone. We visited the Champollion museum in Figeac, up that little alley.
 
This is where the ducks were supposed to be, by the pretty Hotel le Pont d’Or on the river Célé, in the region known in ancient times as Quercy. I know that because I saw them in a picture on a Figeac website. I even looked up a site on animal sounds and found out that when ducks quack in French, they say “coin, coin.” But when I got there, no ducks.
No ducks in that direction either. (You can click the picture if you’d like to see what I was imagining.)
Street in Figeac.
Church in Figeac.
Figeac cobblestones.
Door of the France Télécom office in Figeac.

Highway D940

 

View from the roadside on the way to St. Céré. This is the second of my three favorite shots. Click the picture to see what this scene looked like just off there in the distance, without framing or zooming.

 
 
Main highway, seen from the spot where I took the roadside photo: looking north toward St. Céré on D940. The roads are narrow but well maintained and clearly marked.
   

 
 
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