Have you got a Bucket List?

Posted by Steve and Judie Burman of Caves and Castles

A scene from Lascaux, the 'Sistine Chapel of Prehistory'

A scene from Lascaux, the 'Sistine Chapel of Prehistory'

Our season has started again!  It’s great to be back in the swing of things.  One of our present guests came up with a great expression that we’d not heard before. She said doing this Tour ie visiting the incredible cave art here in the Vezere Valley, Dordogne, France, has been on her ‘Bucket List’ for ages. You probably already know the tale; the two guys who meet in hospital, one makes out his Bucket List (ie list of things to do before he dies) and the two of them end up going round the world making their way through his list.

Enigmatic cliffs in the Vezere Valley

Enigmatic cliffs in the Vezere Valley

The Vezere Valley is well worth having on your Bucket List.  The French call it the ‘Cradle of Mankind’, Cro-Magnon man (us!) was discovered here.  The site is at Les Eyzies. It is surprisingly unassuming and often overlooked which is amazing when you consider the significance of it.  In ticking the ‘Vezere Valley’ box on your list, you could tick numerous sub-boxes too.  Lascaux II, called the ‘Sistine Chapel of Prehistory’, is awesome. Don’t be put off by the fact that it is a facsimile.  It is accurate to within 3 millimetres and was produced using the same techniques and materials our ancestors used!  Font de Gaume is the only polychrome cave of its type open to the public in the world; surely you don’t want to miss that?  Les Combarelles has 600 plus engravings including the ‘Drinking Deer’. Rouffignac is 10 kilometres long – what compelled our ancestors to make their way that deep within the cave, not knowing what dangers they faced? The National Museum of Prehistory is in Les Eyzies too; it’s a wonder house, but is so full of information, where do you start?  A quote from one of our guests sums it up: “I really didn’t know what I was looking at until I went around the Museum with you Steve”

If you don’t have a ‘Bucket List’, perhaps you should draw one up – and make sure you put the Vezere Valley, Dordogne, France right at the top!  It all started here in the ‘Cradle of Mankind’, so why don’t you?

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Steve and Judie Burman live in the beautiful Vezere Valley in the Dordogne region of South-West France.  Together they run Caves and Castles, specialising in prehistoric Cave Art and medieval Castles Tours.  Small groups tours (up to six people) are based at their recently converted farmhouse.  Alternatively, they offer non-residential tours for a day or longer.

Professional archaeologist, Steve and his wife Judie love to share their passion for the ‘Cradle of Humanity.’  Its history and culture are awe-inspiring.  The area is also famed for its gastronomy and wine. You won’t be disappointed!

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