rocamadour, france

About an hour from our last (very brief) stop in Bouzies and 30 minutes from our visit to Padirac Cave, Rocamadour is a pretty little cliffside town popular with pilgrims and tourists.  So popular in fact that some sources say that it receives more than a million visitors a year, pretty sizable for a town of 600 people.  Many are drawn to the village because of a black statue of the Virgin that is housed in a church important to pilgrims making their way along the Camino de Santiago, and others because Rocamadour was chosen as France's favorite village in 2016.  

We weren't particularly interested in the Virgin or the church, but we did walk the Grand Escalier, which is a path from the top of the cliff into the main parts of the village, taking pilgrims (some of whom traverse the steps on their knees...) and visitors alike past eight small important religious buildings.  Once in town the main street led us along medieval homes and touristy shops.  We also split our first ice cream of the trip as I believe this was the first place where temperatures really started soaring (or at least it felt that way with all the steps and walking up steep paths).  

D - And again, here's another town that forced me to come to grips with the limits of our current photography equipment (read: a point and shoot camera).  Rocamadour looks really formidable on the drive up to it and it has a really unique set up being built into the side of a cliff.  After all our walking, I was glad for the ice cream, though the shop was unfortunately situated at the bottom of the Grand Escalier, instead of at the top, so we still had to go back up.  Overall, this wasn't my favorite town we visited, but it was definitely worth a quick stop.

We saw all that we wanted to in Rocamadour pretty quickly, and we were a bit motivated to keep moving so that we could get to our next destination: Padirac Cave, which has opening and closing hours (as many do), and we were determined to make it on time!

See more of our French road trip: our first day in France was spent in Toulouse (see more here) and our stops on day one: Cahors, Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, and Bouziès.