Rocamadour – The Town & The Hike

I had wanted to go to Rocamadour for weeks and one thing or another kept stopping me – mainly problems with my fridge, and bad weather. But I got here eventually!

The night before I looked up some more details online, read a little of the history and read about the ‘grand staircase’. I had looked up where I could park and there were several options but I choose a large area reserved for motorhomes right behind the castle.

I decided to take a path that winds its way down to the town, explore down there and then take this ‘grand staircase’ back up to the top.

The path was fairly steep but easy enough and I was down to the first level in around 15 minutes. I found some steps and took those down. I found a little fromagerie which was very cute and bought some Rocamadour cheese.

The cute little fromagerie where I bought some of the famous Rocamadour cheese.

I followed some more steps down to the lowest level which was the main street running through the town, bustling with touristy little shops on either side. It was quite fun to poke around and have a look at everything for sale, but I was a little shocked at the prices!

I spent a while in some kind of biscuit shop. The owner gave me a few samples to try and I did not have the heart to tell him that I didn’t really like them. When he then explained that a small box of these biscuits was 20€, I made an excuse and left! Seriously, 20 euros for a few biscuits? Back home you can get a nice big pack of yummy biccies for less than a quid! No thanks.

I did still end up buying a few goodies though. There was a nougat shop that had massive wheels of nougat but also had a massive selection of glace dried fruits. This is something I can’t resist so I selected just a ‘small amount’ of each thing, thinking it might work out around 6€. Nope, it was over 17!

I also bought some saucisson. This is a French delicacy that I am very partial too thanks to my Mum. I got a good deal on this though – 5 of them for 15€ so just 3€ each which is better than in the supermarkets and the quality was much better.

After I had finished exploring the town I decided to head back up to the Castle and so needed to find this ‘grand staircase’. Eventually I realised that the steps I came down earlier were it! Not exactly a staircase and certainly not grand. I found that a little disappointing.

It was still a tiring climb back up the steps and the windy path and I took quite a few short breaks to take in the views which were very good.

The not-so-grand-afterall staircase

Back at the top I went back to the motorhome to eat some lunch and then explored the Castle – well the outside of it anyway. You can’t go in, but 2 euros gets you through a gate where you can explore the ramparts and enjoy the views over the town below and the valley.

That evening I decided to move the motorhome to a different location to stay the night. There was another right down at the bottom level and it was far more secluded, less other vehicles and up against some trees.

That evening was nice but I was in for a surprise a bit later. As I was closing up my blinds as the sun was setting I suddenly saw a glimpse of the castle through my skylight – it was all lit up and it looked gorgeous against the dark blue sky. I had to go outside and snap a picture of it!

If I’m honest, although I enjoyed visiting Rocamadour, I think I was expecting a little more as it had been hyped up a lot. It was a tourist trap, and my favourite moment was actually the evening when I got to see the Castle lit up from my motorhome.

Going on a hike

The next day I went for a hike. It was 4 miles around the landscape going around the town. It started and finished pretty steep and some of it was a little boring but it did give me some fantastic views and burned off a few calories I’m sure!

 

I had planned to do a second hike the following day but alas, I had to leave Rocamadour early as when I came back from my hike, I found that I had run out of gas. My only spare was the English Calor gas bottle and in order to get that connected I would have had to change the orange hoses and there was no way in hell I was touching that thing now that I finally had it all connected!

Instead, I ended up driving back to Gramat as I knew there was an E.Leclerc there and they have plenty of gas bottles. To my annoyance they did not have my one so that was no good! I then drove another 30 miles in the opposite direction to an Intermarche that had the ‘Le Cube’ so I was able to exchange my empty one for a full one.

The next day, I went back to the Intermarche and bought myself a second bottle of the same type so that next time I run out I can easily swap them and wont have to go driving around for miles.

View the photo album on Flickr

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