Caves, Castles and Chapels: In the Footsteps of the Feminine in the Dordogne
Deep in the heart of the stunningly beautiful Vezere Valley, called the "cradle of European civilization", we trace the ways the feminine has been honored in France. Our journey begins with Lascaux and the prehistoric cave paintings, including caves used for female initiation by the Cro-Magnon. We'll journey to the Medieval pilgrim village of Rocamadour and learn about the history of the Black Madonnas, images of the sacred feminine that proliferated during the Middle Ages. We'll explore Beynac Castle and learn about the Troubadours and the Art of Courtly Love that flourished in this land of Eleanor of Aquitaine. A visit to a bustling country market will provide us with a delectable feast to eat during a gentle kayak trip down the serene Dordogne River , and we'll bask in a candlelit tour of one of the great gardens of the world. On our last day, we'll visit two Unesco Heritage sites: St. Leon-sur-Vezere, a church built by the Knights Templar as a place for pilgrims to rest and pray en route to Santiago Compostella and La Madeleine, where followers of Mary Magdalene continued to worship in the centuries after the Albigensian Crusade. Every day will begin with a short, gentle silent walk through a verdant forest to chant in a 12th century chapel. After breakfast, our classes will either be taught in the garden of our bucolic hotel or onboard a mini-bus as we are carried to our day's destination. In the late afternoon, there will be time for swimming, a yoga class, art journaling or a rest before a gourmet dinner and an evening chamber music performance.
Included All classes taught by Kayleen Asbo All evening concerts Entrance fees to all sacred sites Six night’s lodging at a four star Relais and Chateaux All breakfasts Four course dinners every evening Round trip transfer from airport in Brive to Manoir Hautgente All minibus transportation to sites Not included Lunches (many participants find breakfast and dinner so bountiful that no other meal is required during the pilgrimage) Airfare Double Occupancy with private bath: $4900.00 Single Room with private bath: $5800.00