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In today’s episode, we’ll be talking to Anne-Lise. Anne-Lise is a tour guide from the Dordogne that we met for the first time a couple of years ago. We hired her for a couple of days when we were putting the finishing touches to our Dordogne trip. We wanted to speak to someone to just talk through the trip and make sure that all the calculations that we had made regarding the itinerary would work and that we were making the maximum use of the time we had.
The benefits of using guides for your vacation
We also wanted to meet her as we had booked her for the week of the trip to Dordogne to be the tour guide for our trip. This is one amazing thing about joining a group trip is that depending on the trip, you can have a tour guide taking you around. Not only do you have someone that is extremely knowledgeable about the destination, but they also have incredible storytelling skills, but they are also trained in customer service and have incredible interpersonal skills and advocate for you. We always like to find the best guides for our trips and get a chance to meet them first which is why we wanted to meet Anne-Lise.
A bit about Anne-Lise. French of course, after having lived in England for a year as a Literature student, and having worked in Spain for another year as a trilingual secretary and guide to promote a medieval association, she got her guiding License in Nice, before settling for 5 years in Paris.
While in Paris, It was an opportunity to approach many subjects and periods, from Versailles and the splendors of the Sun King Century, to the Paris of Hemingway, with a passage through the folies of the cabarets at the turn of the 20th century.
During this period, Anne-Lise also worked in the medieval building site of Guedelon which is an incredible project in Burgundy. A castle is being built here, using all traditional methods, you can actually visit this incredible place. It was here she learned first hand about Castellology (the study of castles), and many crafts such as masonry, carpentry, stone cutting, etc.
Eight years ago, Anne-Lise fell in love with the extraordinary heritage of Dordogne and dove headfirst into prehistory and cave art.
But Dordogne isn’t only about prehistory, it is rich with Romanesque architecture, perfectly preserved medieval villages, and an incredible amount of castles and fortresses, and Anne-Lise considers it her duty to honor and share this wonderful heritage.
Anne-Lise adores animals
When we initially met Anne-Lise , we of course told her that it was a vegan trip and she surprised us by having a lot of knowledge about the vegan lifestyle. Likewise, Anne-Lise is also a vegetarian and animal lover. We discovered that she does some trap neuter and release work in some of the villages around the Dordogne, it was not until after our interview that I realised that she actually fosters, socialises and get adopted stray cats and kittens adopted and educates and inspires others to do the same through her YouTube channel which I linked to in the show notes. It’s in French but you can see how hard she is working to rescue and improve the prospects of kitties in the Dordogne area.
In today’s episode, we will be learning about Dordogne as a destination. Why would people want to go? Is it worth going even if you are not a huge history fan? Why it’s good for families, Anne-Lise’s favorite castles, towns, and the activities and destinations you simply must not miss and of course they are all vegan-friendly.
00:45 Introducing Anne-Lise
05:10 Points we’ll cover in today’s episode
08:59 How Anne-Lise ended up in the Dordogne
10:36 What are classified villages?
11:49 How Anne-Lise became a tour guide
13:07 What is the Dordogne like?
16:18 How to get to the heart of the Dordogne quickly
17:55 Why visit Bordeaux?
21:11 Visiting the caves
23:13 Lascaux caves
28:07 Pech Merle Caves
32:46 Castles, castles, castles
37:14 Anne-Lise’s favourite towns, villages and hamlets
39:49 First visit to Dordogne – what to see!
45:00 Is the Dordogne vegan-friendly?
Learn more about what we talk about
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