Saturday September 19
It was market day in Sarlat. We expected to see merchants selling many types of food, and we saw cheeses, meats, fruit, and veggies. We didn’t expect that the streets would be closed to vehicular traffic and lined with booths selling not only all that food, but many other things including handbags, sweaters, and jewelry. It seemed as crowded at the Feast of San Gennaro in New York City! A French woman tapped us on the shoulder and handed us our pedometer. The crowd was so dense that I didn’t know how she could have seen or heard it fall on the ground.
Rather than following Rick Steves’ suggestion to buy some food and have a picnic, we found a small café down a quiet lane. Nick enjoyed a lunch of local fois gras with white wine, while I had a mushroom omelette. An English couple sat down at the table next to us. The four of us began chatting about all the English murder mysteries we enjoy on PBS, including Midsomer Murders, Foyle’s War, Scott and Bailey, and Death in Paradise. Said the wife, “You must think that all we English do is kill each other.” I replied that TV makes it seem that living in small towns in England is perilous. At that point the husband said, “In your country they kill school children.” I felt appalled and embarrassed for my country and horrified for the victims of gun violence. I could think of no response.
Back at the hotel, Toni and Rich had set up a cocktail party. Along with a variety of wines including one flavored with walnuts, they provided nibbles including fresh fruit, cheese, and salami.
Nick and I had a dinner reservation, so off we went. Not being very hungry, I ordered a “three course” dinner of duck pate, duck breast, goat cheese salad, and crème brulée. Nick had all that with an additional course of duck liver. The cost of my dinner was fifteen euros, which converts to about $16.75. Oh, and the cost of wine was three euros or $3.35.
As we walked back to our hotel, we discovered that there was a special celebration going on, and there were glowing candles on the ground all around the town. Real candles! That would never pass the U.S. fire codes, but here in Sarlat, it just added to the magic.