Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Cave Art

Breakfast at the b&b is an assortment of fruit, croissants and ham, plus Welsh Rabbit, which to Ray's surprise has nothing to do with rabbits, but is bread with cheese and small dollops of beaten egg whites, toasted. Not quite the breakfast we were expecting-you can't beat China for breakfast buffets or Germany for their assorted meats. It is unfortunately another rainy day and we decide it is the kind of day to spend in a cave.  There is a wide assortment of caves in the area, many with prehistoric cave art, and we choose to see Lascaux. The visit starts in Montignac where tickets are sold nd where there is a small nterpretive museum. Lascaux was discovered in 1940 by a bunch of kids and their dog. The original cave is no longer open to the public due to deterioration of the artwork, but an exact replica of 80% of the cave and art has been made, and it is stunning. Cro Magnon man 17,000 years created these drawings of animals using their hands and handmade brushes. Black, brown and ochre were created using  ground up minerals mixed with water or saliva. The artist's ability to depict 3dimensionality, movement and depth is astonishing. The guide says such use of perspective is not seen again until the Renaissance. They used reindeer fat lamps in the dark caves. Little is known how long  the artwork took to create or how they were able to paint on the ceilings. Seeing the actual art is breathtaking and the impressiveness of the work is not adequately conveyed by pictures in a book. We are unable to visit the Prhistoric Museum Les Eyzies de Tayac as parts of it are closed due to rain.

Further down the road is Le Roc St. Christophe, 5 large limestone terraces carved by the Vezere River, that sit high above the current roadway, which has passages and openings worn into it. It housed prehistoric people for 50,000 years, 

We consider canoeing tomorrow when the weather clears but the flow looks like the flow may be too fast.  We don't see any boats out today. The river is rather muddy, and looks like milk chocolate!

Dinner tonight is at a not so good place, La Petite Borie, a bit greasy and with not so good service

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