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Saint-Amand-de-Coly

It is probably obvious to anyone by now that our Dordogne itinerary was heavily influenced by the list of the Prettiest Villages in France. Dordogne department has 10 of them, the most of all departments in the country. I admittedly subscribe to the notion that existence of a formal recognition…

Saint-Léon-sur-Vézère

In between exploring prehistoric caves, we made a lunchtime stop in Saint-Léon-sur-Vézère, another of the Les Plus Beaux Villages de France. The little village has about the same population as La Roque-Gageac, but its more “huddled together” topology makes it feel smaller. Its highlights are the 12th-century Romanesque church, a…

Domme

Domme is the quintessential hilltop village, sitting 250 meters above the river Dordogne. Its elevation gives it a sometime moniker of the Acropolis of Périgord (the latter being the natural region roughly corresponding to the present Dordogne department, so the two names can be almost used interchangeably). A bigger village…

La Roque-Gageac

We have already had glimpses of La Roque-Gageac in a couple of recent posts. The small village nestling under imposing rocks along the bank of Dordogne river has got to be considered picturesque even by the elevated standards of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France. Here is another look at…

Jardins de Marqueyssac

Château de Marqueyssac is likely part of the quintet that gives “the valley of five castles” its moniker – it has a commanding position on top of a hill overlooking the river Dordogne. But the castle itself is not the main event on its own grounds. In fact, almost no…

Beynac-et-Cazenac

Driving along the banks of river Dordogne, it is impossible to miss Château de Beynac. From its perch atop one of the highest hills in the area it presides over the stretch known as “the valley of the five castles”. Here is the main road approach view. And a longer…

Sarlat-la-Canéda

We started our exploration of Dordogne with one of the larger destinations in the area, Sarlat-la-Canéda, or simply Sarlat. Its charming medieval core is a maze of honey-colored buildings, narrow streets and passages, and hidden squares. The most photogenic views, as is frequently the case, are found on the few…

Back from France

Those who follow my better half on Facebook are well aware that we have just spent over a week in France. Those who don’t know that now as well. We explored for the first time the department of Dordogne and then re-acquainted ourselves a bit with Paris. Walked over 20K…

A postcard from Vernazza

For me, Vernazza is the most beautiful of the five villages that comprise the incomparable Cinque Terre. It could be because Vernazza was our base when we explored the coast and, subsequently, we got acquainted with it to a larger degree than with any of the other villages. Or it…

A postcard from Zurich

This is one of my favorite pictures from the simpler times when I traveled with a pocket-size point-and-shoot camera. The setting is the banks of the river Limmat near the mouth of Lake Zurich, with the twin towers of Grossmünster providing a recognizable point of reference. Zurich is a nice enough…

A few more glimpses of Scotland

While criss-crossing parts of Scotland in search of not yet tasted whisky, we occasionally stopped to admire the surroundings. Here is a collection of glimpses. The first shot can be filed in “in the middle of nowhere” category, but I can very definitively place it in the hamlet of Carbeth,…

Edinburgh

A day set aside for exploring Edinburgh offered me a chance to see sights that I did not manage to see three years ago, and just to walk around town. On-and-off wet snowfall conspired to make the walk challenging, but I can nonetheless share a few highlights captured in between…

Stirling Castle

Our trip to Scotland was structured around whisky, but we did not completely neglect the country’s history and culture. Among our non-drinking stops was the majestic Stirling Castle. The storied castle was a main royal center at various points in history, and nowadays offers plethora of educational exhibits on the…

A few Islay impressions

If you start with a middling photographer who is still learning the finer aspects of a new camera, deliberately mix it with scotch, and garnish that with intermittent cold rain, your concoction will not be a tremendous photographic portfolio. I duly tried my hand in capturing the sights of the…

Wee drams galore

Just as I did three years ago, I will start retrospective of the recent Scottish trip with the brief run-through of visited distilleries. We stopped by 15 distilleries over the course of 6 days, in Highlands, in Lowlands, and on Islay. Only one was a repeat visit to a distillery…