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Dordogne, France

Serenity Is the Order of the Day
The Scenic Southwest

DAY 3

Chateau des Milandes
Château des Milandes

Begin your third day with a visit to Château des Milandes, the private home of Josephine Baker which has recently been opened to the public. Baker was an African-American singer-performer in the 1920s who couldn't succeed on Broadway because of her penchant for on-stage nudity. She emigrated to France, where rebelliousness is encouraged, resulting in her becoming a national icon (similar to Edith Piaf). The château houses a fascinating display of stage bills and posters that bring to life her many triumphs. Most memorable are the photos of numerous adopted children whom she seemed to collect instead of fancy jewels and Maseratis.

Then it's on to the Gardens of Marqueyssac, which are in the direction of Sarlat, an architectural masterpiece you can save for another visit. The drive is about 60 miles south and passes through Périgord Noir, earning its name because the road passes through one dark forest after another.

The Gardens of Marqueyssac are situated along a high ridge planted with approximately 150,000 box trees coaxed into fantastic topiary shapes, an art the French have mastered since the days of Louis XIV. In the middle of this verdant fantasy sits a 17th-century manor. On evenings in July and August, all the paths and balustrades are lit with candles to provide a scene worthy of a royal wedding.

Your final night should involve a return to Brantôme to dine at the riverside restaurant at Le Moulin de L'Abbaye. The menu is created using the very best of local produce and prepared with a lightness which is unusual for such a recognized restaurant. Hopefully it will be a beautiful evening to watch the sun go down behind the river while you indulge in delights like river salmon trout in the most exotic of sauces, foie gras, truffles, and desserts to die for…just be sure to live long enough for a return visit to the Dordogne.


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Regional Tourism of Aquitaine

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(Updated: 06/02/08 MG)

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