A Day in St Cirq Lapopie - From Munich to Spain to France - CycleBlaze

May 29, 2024

A Day in St Cirq Lapopie

A Magical Town

Our 5 bedroom inn, Maison Lapopie, perches on the edge of a gorge in St Cirq Lapopie, which is a magical, medieval town that appears to be out of a Disney set. I am sure 500 years ago it was damp, dark and smelly, but today our attic room was lovely, dry,  with all plumbing in order and a charming view out the window. The two winding flights of stairs to get there were nerve-wracking and you wouldn’t want to do them after a bottle of wine.

A couple of views of the town as we approached.
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Karen PoretAnd a crowd to welcome you from afar! ;)
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1 week ago
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Getting up to the room was a bit of a challenge, especially when lugging a pair of heavy panniers.
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Karen PoretBut…not bikes :)
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1 week ago

We arrived to be greeted by no innkeeper but a guest who happened to be there said we should just walk in and find our name on the door. Sure enough, after the aforementioned two flights we found our attic garret. 

Because there was no innkeeper there was no way for Dave to get the usual post-ride beer. In the meantime, it was around 5 pm and we were concerned about fuel - let alone dinner- because it was Tuesday night which, among many nights in France is often an indicator nothing is open. Our concern was heightened by the fact that all we had to eat post breakfast was a slice of bread, butter & jam. We quickly googled a few spots and Dave called but they were closed - contrary google data notwithstanding. Dave skipped his post-ride shower and opted instead to go into town to find something to eat or drink. After a fruitless 30 minute search he reported one really fancy restaurant opened at 7 and we could walk over there and see if we could get in: this strategy was disturbing because the place was on the far end of St Cirq (a longish walk) and was definitely the kind of place you don’t  just show up without a reservation. As he was arriving back, he ran into the innkeeper Charlotte, who had three suggesions: 1--A frozen pizza from the convenience store at the bottom of the town; 2--The Musée de Vin, a store in the old center which primarily sold wine but had some gourmet foods like foie gras and 3--The quiche place back up the road which was closing soon but we could probably get some takeaway.  We opted for option 3, primarily because we had passed the quiche place on our way in, so we knew where it was. (Dave reported St Cirq was extremely confusing to navigate which, before I explored it for myself, sounded odd given the town only has 200 residents.) We were very tired from our 75 k ride and just wanted to be fed. Fortunately, although the woman at the quiche place was starting to close, she kindly sold us a salad, a chèvre and lardon quiche and an apple tart. Dave had some success in town and was able to buy a €9 rosé. This take away dinner made up for our loss of 85 euros this morning. We sat on the terrace with the flowers and bees, gawked at our view, and were just thankful to be fed. We cleaned up and went to bed around 8 in our attic and were fast asleep by 9!

Navigating the town's narrow and winding pathways was often difficult, but the resulting explorations were fun.
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Our take away dinner on the patio terrace.
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Laura ClarkPretty good fare for not much available!
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2 weeks ago

The next day they served our pre-ordered breakfast in our room because it was rainy and cool. French presentation is something to behold: a picnic basket with a bunch of little jars and plates, nothing disposable at all, all charmingly presented. We spent the morning working on our journal, waiting for the weather to clear and then went into St Cirq to explore. This town has stone streets, few cars, lots of stone stairs and would be a non-starter for anyone with physical mobility issues, but it is fantastically beautiful and we loved it. If only one of us had a third cousin twice removed that left us a St Cirq flat in their will! Oh well.

Room service!
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On our exploratory afternoon we managed to find a place to book a dinner reservation, and climbed to the top of the old castle fortress ruins for wonderful views of the valley. Afterwards, we treated ourselves to some ice cream, meandered back into town and had a very nice conversation with the owner of the Musée de Vin where we  purchased a Cahors Malbec wine to sip in our room. 

The Celes river which runs alongside the town as seen from the top of the fortress.
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The view of the backside of the town.
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Oh, good. More steps to climb!
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French tourists enjoying lunch with a view.
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A particularly handsome couple photo bombing my shot of the valley.
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Rachael AndersonHow dare they. But they very attractive!
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2 weeks ago


At dinner that night we had a fine but not particularly distinctive meal at Restaurant Le Bolat and sat next to a rare group of Americans, a family of 4 from Washington State. They were gregarious and chatty and we’re sorry we forgot to ask for a picture. So far, the tourists are primarily French with a few Brits, and mostly older - like us, I guess.

Tomorrow we have a ride to Rocamadour, a pretty stiff one at that, so we hope to be on the road early, for us.

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Rachael AndersonI’m glad you got to explore the town. I’m sure you will love Rocamadour!
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2 weeks ago