Welcome to the A-Z Guidebook Link Up. If you would like to join, read the A-Z Guidebook tab at the top of the blog and write a travel post relating to the letter of the month.
* Remember, if you don’t have a location that starts with the letter, you can select the alternate theme. This month:
I or Indigenous
Issigeac (Izzy-Jac) is a tiny village in the south-west of France in an area known as Perigord of The Dordogne. It is a bastide or fortified medieval village with quaint half timbered houses and cobbled laneways. Unusually for a bastide, it’s built in a snail shell spiral, winding around the church and Bishop’s Palace rather than the traditional grid pattern. Ancient houses lean jauntily over the narrow laneways and tiny alleys have little gaps so you can squeeze through to the next ring in the shell. Despite the surge of globalisation and mass tourism, it remains a charming little town with the same population it had 50 years ago of around 650 people. This is in part because it has very basic services with only a couple of bars, a small shop and real estate agent. Having said that, the property prices are astronomical as many Brit ex-pats try to buy into the ‘A Place In The Sun’ lifestyle.
So how did I find myself in Issigeac? We were lucky enough to do a home exchange with a lovely couple from the US who have a holiday home in the neighbouring town of Eyreneville (pop: negligible). Issigeac hosts the local Farmer’s Market on Sunday mornings and we visited on several occasions. And what a market it is! Should I buy a punnet of fresh local raspberries? (yes) Or a bag of local hazelnuts? (yes) Or maybe I should watch the local farmer giving away unpasteurised milk in protest of EU regulations (double yes). The region is known as ‘The Greedy South-West’ and it’s easy to see why. Whilst Issigeac is not exactly on the beaten path, I can’t possibly imagine visiting southern France again without making a detour to this town and at least enjoying an aperitif in the bar and reminiscing.
Read more about my visit to the Issegiac Farmer’s Market.