On Friday night we left Toulouse in our rental car and headed north for Cahors, the first stop on our road trip around southern France. Cahors caught my eye because of its pretty bridge, the Pont Valentré. We got in to our Airbnb as it was getting dark, which wasn't our plan, but we decided to stop for groceries before leaving Toulouse so that we could have some picnics in the coming days, and that set us behind a bit. There wasn't anything too noteworthy about our stay that evening except it did have the best WiFi of our trip.
D - One of the surprisingly delightful things about our trip was the abundance of pretty tree-lined roads, especially when you travel like us and avoid the toll roads. Highways in France are heavily taxed, and the back roads are way more scenic anyway, so no complaints here.
In the morning we headed straight for the Pont Valentré, and I tricked Danny into thinking that this first bridge was the one we were going to be seeing...
D - For my part, I did a pretty good job of hiding my disappointment when Shannon told me that this was the really cool bridge we were going to see. "Oh really? Wow! Um...cool!"
...I don't think he believed me for more than a few seconds, especially once we turned the corner and saw the beautiful Pont Valentré.
The Pont Valentré crosses the Lot River and took 70 years to build, beginning in 1308, although it was opened for use in 1350. There's honestly not much more to be said that you can't see with your own eye or through photos: it's made of stone, has three towers, and six Gothic arches. For most of our visit we were the only ones there, which was great, as it's really quite a beautiful place.
I had planned for us to go into town and check out their Saturday morning market as well as the Cathédrale Saint-Étienne, which is a bit unusual in that it has two massive Byzantine-style domes in its nave and no transept, but we opted to skip town and continue to our next destination in the interest of time. We had gotten a bit of a late start between talking to our host, breakfast, and so on (this would be a pattern for us throughout our trip - our hosts were just too kind!) that I knew something would have to give or we'd have to skip a destination entirely later in the day.
So, sadly, all we really saw of Cahors was the Pont Valentré, but we didn't really leave feeling too sad, as the bridge was pretty neat after all. From Cahors, we were off to one of Danny's favorite stops of the trip, Saint-Cirq-Lapopie!