Date: 15th July 2023
Travelled: 25 kms around Vézac on the scooter
Visited: La Roque-Gageau and Marqueyssac
Stayed: Vézac Aire CC, €13, N44.82450, E01.16950
Budget: 54 days @ €85 per day
It was hot last night but our AC kept the Hymer relatively comfortable until a cool change swept through in the early hours. The forecast today is a much milder 25°.
As usual Pam’s keen for a walk and La Roque-Gageau is only two kms away, around the next bend in the River Dordogne.
From our guide book the Most Beautiful Villages in France you’ll find La Roque-Gageau on page 236. La Roque-Gageau stands on a narrow strip of land nestled beneath huge limestone cliffs and the River Dordogne. Our guide book tells us La Roque-Gageau was an important river port and trading centre during the 16th century.
We walked back from La Roque-Gageau along the Dordogne which was a lot easier than how we got there. A late breakfast and another coffee and we scooter off to explore Marqueyssac. The Chateau and gardens of Marqueyssac are only 5 kms from our aire and we are soon in the top car-park.
Marqueyssac stands on a long narrow ridge 130 metres above the Dordogne, we pay €11.90 pp entry to visit the chateau and gardens. Marqueyssac is privately owned, the chateau was originally built in the 17th century, extended in the 19th century when the majority of the boxwoods were planted.
First up we go off to explore the gardens of Marqueyssac. The handout describes it as a ‘folly of boxwoods’. The garden has 150,000 boxwoods trimmed in all manner of hedges and shapes. Not the topiary you find in English gardens that were planted and shaped into animal figures. The free flowing areas divided by strict hedging. It’s simply beautiful and unlike anything we’ve experienced before.
Even more remarkable we sit and watch a documentary on the gardens and how they’re maintained. Remarkably we find that no power tools are used to trim the boxwood, only hand shears.
The garden has a number of paths the longest running for 800 metres to a viewing point overlooking the Dordogne.
Eventually we find ourselves back ay the chateau, there are five rooms available for inspection. So we spend some time wandering the house and terraced front garden.
So that was Marqueyssac done. It’s amazing to think most of these shrubs and trees are well over a hundred years old.
We scooter on to the Château de Castlenaud another of the villages out of our book. Frankly all we find is cafes and tat, so thirty minutes later where back on the scooter for the aire, Our day of exploring done.
Michael + Pam