I think I’ve been to Domme four times. It’s one of those places I seem to be drawn to.
It’s not easy or convenient to get there, although with the terrific French rail system, you’re never that far from anywhere.
From Paris it’s a two-and-a-half hour TGV ride to Bordeaux and another two hours on a much slower local train to Sarlat. At that point, you either rent a car or get one of the local taxis to take you the last 15 or 20 miles to Domme.
It’s a medieval town that’s built of a promontory overlooking the Dordogne River Valley.
This is the view from the patio of the Hotel Esplanade. It’s what you see when you wake up in the morning if you have a choice room on that side of the hotel. And I must tell you that this view extends around to the right for probably a total of 250-degrees.
Just a few kilometers away, and nestled right next to the meandering river, is the charming town of Baynac. There’s a castle here and, of course, several very good restaurants. I’m not sure why, and no one there seemed to know the reason, but in addition to a variety of other dishes, all the restaurants in Baynac feature duck as a specialty item on their menus. They’re all wonderful, of course.
Back in Domme, and prominent in the town square, is this memorial with 19 names of townspeople who, in one way or another, were victims of World War Two.
The six people in the first column were “deported”, presumably to work as slave laborers in German factories.
The seven men listed in the middle column were killed in combat.
There are six names in the right hand column, which is headed by the word “FUSILLÉS” which translates as “shot”. I never felt comfortable in asking, but I do believe a more precise translation in this case would be “executed”. If you take the time to look, every town in France has a similar memorial.
There’s just something about this little out-of-the-way town that continues to draw me back . . . to that small hotel . . . and that huge view . . . and the cordial people . . . and the wonderful food even in the smallest out-of-the-way restaurant. Ah, oui. j’aime beaucoup la France.