Cahors is the capital of the Lot, with all of 20,000 souls.
It's in a meander (boucle) of the Lot river. Its mediaeval cathedral
overlooks the street market on Wednesday and Saturday.
There's an interesting old bridge (the Pont Valentré)
on the West side of the city.
The "H" and the "S" in Cahors are silent,
so it is pronounced Ka'or.
Within easy driving distance are world famous prehistoric cave paintings at
to the East and Font de Gaume to the West (near the Perigord town
of Les Eyzies-de-Tayac). The genuine Lascaux caves are
now closed to the public (but "Fauxscaux" is still good).
It is probably only a matter of time until Pech-Merle and Font de Gaume
are closed also.
East of Cahors is Saint Cirq Lapopie, selected
recently as one of France's most beautiful villages.
Rocamadour, a famous cliffside
pilgrimage site, is less than an hour to the North. North West of
Cahors, Perigord provides a selection of
mediæval tourist spots, notably Sarlat.
The Aveyron area
to the South East is noted for its spectacular gorges and
classic hill towns, such as Bruniquel (left).
A little further away, Cordes Sur Ciel (arguably the very first
bastide town) is well worth a visit -
park at the bottom of the hill and walk up to the top.
The Millau viaduct and the home of Roquefort cheese
are over a hundred miles to the East, but a day trip there is worth considering.
Art lovers may be interested in the Toulouse-Lautrec museum
in Albi: you can't miss the amazing brick
The Ingres museum in Montauban is worth a visit, even if the paintings
of Ingres are not your favourites. The basement was part of the Black Prince's
fort and contains a mediæval rack utiliseé pour l'élongation
des condamnées. There are some nice Roman mosaics.
Take a look at the ceilings on each floor.