Eyzies Dordogne Perigord France Cro-Magnon Prehistoric cave Font de Gaume Combarelles

At Les Eyzies – 400,000 years of human history in the Deep Heart of France

I’m bent over to half my height, but it’s not enough to protect my head from a hard thump from a stone hanging in the dark reaches of the cave at the Font de Gaume.  The light flickering on the wall is from the guide’s flashlight; we try to imagine how much darker it would have been 15,000 years ago, when one of our ancestors crawled deep into this hillside with nothing more than a smoldering torch to cut through the perfect blackness.  As the smoke collected in the narrow spaces around him, he somehow must have wormed his way onto this shelf and, lying on his back, started to daub pigments in the image of a bison on the […]

MuPoP in Montlucon is a must for music lovers

If you’re a musician – or someone who loves music – you should get out of Paris for a day and head south to MuPop , the Museum of Popular Music in Montluçon. (And yes, I know there’s enormous competition for your time, attention and money when you’re traveling in France.  Trust me, though – this is worth the day away from the capital!) MuPop is an exceptionally well-curated collection of instruments, songs, and stories about musicians from the past 200 years or so.  You’re given a set of headphones at the entrance, with a simple point-and-choose control to let you listen to what you’re seeing.  In each of the exhibits of musical instruments there are good demonstrations of how […]