Date: 22nd September 2023
Travelled: 120 kms from Souillac-de-Dordogne to Périgueux
Stayed: Périgueux Aire CC, €7.60, N45.18770, E0.73090
Budget: 123 days @ €95 per day
It was drizzling in Souillac when we arrived and it’s drizzling as we service the Hymer to depart. The aire has capacity for 50 motorhomes has almost filled overnight, the French German and Dutch along with a couple of UK plated campers are all heading for Spain so it seems.
Apart from the supermarket up the street we didn’t get an opportunity to explore Souillac.
It drizzles or rains for most of the way along the A20 and A89 which being French autoroutes have a toll. Cannot make myself drive the D roads on a day like today. We take the exit or sorte for Périgueux and make our way towards the centre of town.
Thanks to some diversions and road works the last kilometre takes almost 15 minutes, we arrive at the aire to find the Police and a group of motorhome owners in dispute. Apparently the gate wouldn’t open so someone unbolted the boom to get out. We just drive around the combatants and find ourselves a spot.
Périgueux is the provincial capital of the Prefecture of Périgord. Our guide book describes it as a small but busy market town, full of renaissance mansions and narrow alleys.
About 300m from the aire we cross this lovely old bridge and the River Isle into the old town. We cannot help but be somewhat in awe of the Cathedrale Saint-Front (pictured above) that captures the skyline.
Saint-Front was rebuilt in 1173 after a fire destroyed the original. Its domed roof reminiscent of the Byzantine churches of Venice and Istanbul. The exterior was refurbished in the 19th century adding the nipple like spires to the domes (not my description).
We pay €1.50 pp for access to the Cathedral’s Cloisters. They are a lovely series of gothic columns and arches, but the gardens and lawn have been left to nature.
After some overnight rain it’s cleared enough to finish our walk of the old town centrum. By the time we cross the river we realise Saturday is market day in Périgueux. The locals are swarming up the hill with there shopping trolleys in tow.
The markets here are huge with a fabulous variety of fresh and prepared foods.
An hour or so later we are walking down the hill with dinner and lunch for the next couple of days. Anyway that was Périgueux.
Michael + Pam
A map of our travels so far this year, you can zoom in to find our last location.