Saturday, October 28, 2006

Agen on the bikes.

The weather forecast said that today should be warm and sunny again, so we decided that we would take a drive out on the bikes and head for Agen to the south of us. It should have been around 180 miles there and back, as is normal we got a little distracted.
Passing through Belves, we stopped next to this very old church to check that the GPS on the bike was telling us what the map said. It was, but we took the chance to have a breather and let the little old man check out the bikes.
A few miles further on we came into the town of Monpazier. The sign said that it was a Bastide (fortified) town, so we decided to stop for a coffee. The photo above shows the main entrance to the town on the right.
This photo is looking back toward the main entrance from inside the town. On the right is a 13th century church.

All of the above pictures are taken around the main town square, there is no access for cars, but as is the norm here nobody minds where a motorbike is parked and the bollards could not stop us. This is common practice all around this area of France, car parks are there to park cars and bikes are OK to park on pavements almost anywhere.
The town was founded in 1284 by King Edward 1st of England. Most of this area was for many years owned by the English Kings and the people thought of themselves as English at that time.
After a couple of hours looking around we stopped just outside the fortified part of town for our lunch, a 3 course lunch with wine for 12 euro each. The owner asked us to park on the pavement next to the tables rather than in the bus stop.
Off we went towards Agen, our original destination, when we passed this little house on a hill.
It turned out to be Chateau Biron. It was constructed between the 11th century and the 18th century. We did not have time to stop apart from to take these pictures. If we had then I understand that a guided tour is available at a cost of less than 6 euro.
We continued to Agen, but the battery let me down on the camera so I cannot show the place. Maybe next time I will take pictures and create another post.


At 12:38 pm, Blogger Mark said...

Hi Bob

Love the blog, you make the Dordogne’s sound just magic and you make me want to buy a bike. We lived near Libourne for about 3 years so I know the Bordeaux region pretty well. Thanks for the entry on the internet stuff, it was really useful.
I will be back often for a visit.


PS I spent my early years living RAF bases in the Far dad was a fighter pilot.

At 2:09 pm, Blogger François said...

Hi Bob,

been reading your blog on and off ever since you joined BMWST. I have now added a link to it on my Motorcycle page on my own blog.

I enjoy reading your 'discovery' of France and wish we could do it (moving there) as quickly as you managed.

We were in France a few weeks back and have now sort of decided to search in the area between Gap and the eastern border for a place to settle.... but not until next year. We still have to put the house here up for sale and it is a bad time locally for that now.

We are also a bit worried about the cost of living in france... where we live now (the Meribel Valley) it is MUCH higher than in Holland..... we'll have to figure a way to start making more money I guess ;-)


At 5:36 pm, Blogger madman said...

Don't know about your area Francois, but here it is much cheaper than hte UK.

At 1:00 pm, Blogger François said...

Hi Madman *gg*,
Meribel Area is certainly one of the most expensive ones in France, but we've seen cost of living (i.e. energy, food and such primarily) to be much higher in other areas as well. The average supermarket cart is about 30% over what we are used to pay here, even in cheaper areas of France.

UK is very expensive for us too..... ;-)

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