Prospecting the Périgord part 3: A Peek into Périgueux

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to watch a movie in French? Well we found out when we watched “Wonder Park” … or should I say “Le Parc des Merveilles”!

It was another rainy day and we needed an outing. Périgueux’s historical train ride sounded perfect as we’d be able to explore the town under cover. Unfortunately, on arrival, we were told that the train was “hors service” (out of service) for the afternoon so we were left with a little dilemma.

Our beady-eyed brood spied the cinema and begged to watch a film for the first time in France! “Avengers:Endgame” was top of the list and Miss K (10) and Mr D (8) were delighted that they’d be able to watch it here since there was no age restriction. We eagerly engaged with the reservations manager who eventually was able to answer all 66 of our questions.

We discovered that VF stands for “version française” (ie dubbed in French) and VO for “version originale” (ie whatever was the original language of the movie) … “Alhors” (so) it turned out that there were three VO films showing that afternoon 1)”Menocchio” in Italian 2)“Los Silencois” in Spanish and 3)”Ray and Liz” in English but completely inappropriate.

What to do? No one wanted to watch “Avengers:Endgame” in French so I suggested we try “Le Parc des Merveilles” because, being an animation, I reckoned we could follow the story well enough with our limited French just by seeing the pictures. “D’accord”! Everyone was in agreement.

We grabbed Coke and popcorn (for lunch) and set off to find ourselves seats in the enormous cinema with a super-sized screen. We realised too late that the popcorn served at the cinema came in only one flavour: caramel. Some of us only managed to eat half of it because it was so sweet but at 45€ for the lot, that was all there would be for lunch.

Overall it went quite well with all of us getting the gist and others understanding some of the more subtle nuances of the movie. As Mr D put it: ‘It was better than being bored’.

After the show the sun came out and I suggested a “petite promenade” (short stroll) to see the Gallo-Roman ruins that remain in Périgueux.

This arch forms part of an amphitheater, constructed in 80AD. It housed up to 18000 spectators.

The amphitheater now encloses a garden “Jardin des Arènes” with a lovely children’s play area – a great place for a “pique nique” (picnic).

We followed the “linge rouge” (red line) to connect the dots of the ancient city of Vesunna.

La porte Normande” (doorway to Normandy) is one of three original doors leading into the once fortified city of Vesunna.

The doorway to Normandy is the only one in its entirety that can be viewed by the public. All that exists of the Roman door is part of the wall (see later in this post) and the door of March is apparently off limits as it’s located on a private property.

Parts of the original “mur de la ville” (city wall) can still be seen.

The wall was used as a substructure to build houses for the city’s knights in the Middle Ages.

Château Barriere was one of these houses.

“Suivre la ligne rouge“… (follow the red line)

The “Musée Vesunna” (Vesunna Museum) houses the remains of a Gallo-Roman home as well as other items of architectural importance.

We didn’t enter into the museum but found other evidence of Gallo-Roman existence just outside.

Suivre la ligne rouge

The Tour de Vésone was a temple that was erected in the 2nd century in honour of the Gallic goddess Vesunna.

The erosion began where the entrance once was. Who knows how long it will stay standing…

We discovered the remains of the “Romain Porte” (Roman door) to the east.

With more rain on the way and hungry tummies to fill, we set of in search of pizza to top off our short stop in Périgueux.

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