|Cahors sits in a big loop of the Lot River.|
We spent two nights in Cahors in late July, on the end of our trip to the Pyrenees. It is a small city with an attractive old central quarter which has been largely restored in recent years (and some older restorations). The City has gone down the route of restoring medieval buildings and thus providing a lot of social housing. The neighbourhood demographic of this section of town is pleasingly mixed.
We stayed centrally, opposite the train station. There is a good range of restaurants and cuisines within walking distance. Many restaurants have large terraces, and there are lots of take aways. Cahors is the centre of an increasingly well regarded wine region, considered these days by many to be better value than Bordeaux (certainly for 'daily drinkers', although they don't yet compete in terms of the really high end product). Cahors is also in foie gras country, with many producers in the surrounding farms. Foie gras means lots of other duck dishes too, especially smoked fat duck breast (magret de canard fumé), which often features on salads in the city.
|The Tourist Office, on the main square, Place Gambetta.|
There is a large hospital in the area and clearly a bit of a substance abuse problem which put me on alert when I was alone in the evening. During the day there were plenty of tourists and it was entirely safe.
The medieval quarter is full of impressively historic and nicely crumbly brick merchants houses and warehouses. There are many narrow alleys with jettied first floors nearly touching above you as you walk down them. The cathedral has an intact cloister which is a lovely cool and calm visit.
It's not a city I would recommend for first time visitors to France, but if you are here for the third or fourth time I would suggest it as an option, particularly if you use it as a base to explore the Lot Valley and are into hiking and water sports. The river plays an important part in the life and history of the city and the gorge it flows through is quite dramatic, with its towering sandstone cliffs. For those of you who are French speakers, the local accent can be a bit difficult to understand, especially in these masked up days.
|A medieval building.|
|Creation story wall painting in the Cathedral.|
|A pedestrianised shopping and residential street in the old part of town.|
|The Cathedral cloisters.|