Caves & Castles Comments 2010/2011

What can I say except “merci, merci, merci beaucoup”!  This week was more than I ever could have hoped for! Steve, your knowledge and reverence for the sites and the people were apparent. Your love of archaeology and anthropology brought it all to life for me. It was absolutely fascinating, illuminating and at times, incomprehensible! Judie, your gracious hospitality and warm personality made my stay so very comfortable. Within moments I felt we went from strangers to friends. That is a rare gift. Please accept my sincerest thanks for helping me realize something I have wanted to see and do for so many years.  The food was fabulous (you run a 5 star establishment) the wine delicious, the great fun wonderful and and my time here unforgettable. C’est toutes magnifique!!  
Sue, New York, October 2011

We feel almost dizzy with all we now have to process.  Seeing the cave art was something I’ve wanted to do for more than half a century - and now I have, and we both are so glad we did this trip. We deeply appreciate your kindness, generosity of spirit, and lovely hospitality - a hospitality I feel was in an unexpected way also extended to the cave painters and engravers themselves, spreading out of the thousands of years separating them from us. We see a glimmer of what they have to say, we hear rumors and whispers, but, sadly, so much is muffled and muted. As Emily Dickinson noted about the passing of summer, “As imperceptible as grief, the summer lapsed away…..” You two, fortunately, are here NOW, and your learning and hospitality have been here for us and will be for others.
Blair  &  Meredith,  Massachusetts, USA, October 2011

Hmmm.... Where to begin?  

You have both been fabulous and it is clear to see that you are in your element running Caves & Castles (and ’potters’, this trip) ☺

We are filled to the brim with our experiences of the past couple of days, I wish we could stay longer, alas we must depart for Paris and then home to California.

Steve, your information-packed tours were excellent and it is so easy to spend time with you. Seeing the prehistoric paintings in the three caves we visited was more than we could have imagined it would be - certainly in some moments - bordering on the spiritual. The paintings were beautifully rendered and a joy to the eye - true art in every sense of the word. Out lunches with you and our dinner out, the four of us, were all delightful - good food and great company.

Judie, our home away from home has been most comfortable and all the work you have done in the house is very evident and much appreciated. Breakfast was just what we wanted and you were always right on the dot and ready with everything.

We both feel exceedingly blessed and deeply grateful for our time here with you. Endless thanks for all and everything.
Suzanne & Carl, California, September 2011

Perfect!  Perfect morning birds, bed, cave guiding, library, food - thanks tons - I’ll remember always.
Padraic, New York, May 2011

Thank you both for a superb holiday. We covered many places of great interest around the Dordogne and Lot which would have been impossible without Steve’s great knowledge and impressive contacts.  The holiday was made even more enjoyable by Judie’s fantastic work to make us comfortable and well fed.  It was also a revelation to find how generous you both were in making sure we had everything we could possibly want.  With deep gratitude.
Harold & Mary, London, May 2011

There is an old Van Morrison song called “Enlightenment” - this one word that so well describes my 6 days staying in your lovely home - drinking your Pineau! Eating absolutely splendid meals created both by Judie and also by your friends at local restaurants (beef cheeks? Who knew?!) and of course, being chauffeured and guided by archaeologist extraordinaire - Steve!  The caves, the castles - the emotion and enthusiasm you brought with you to each site was truly infectious and will change the way I view our world, our past, as humans. Thank you both so much for enlightening me with this knowledge and your passions. I truly am changed (for the better!) for this adventure. I will be back someday!
Sandy, Colarado, USA, April 2011

Brilliant knowledge of prehistory, incredible hospitality, the best food, wine and fun - all in one of the world’s most beautiful and certainly historically rich spots - and in a lovely home where my son and I feel at home. And for quite a nice bargain - THANK YOU I will be back!
Steve, Dallas, USA.  October 2010

This has been an exceptional trip! An eye opening mind bending and expanding experience with the expertise, knowledge of Steve and house warming ambiance from Judie. Great hosts! 

The food, whether at the farmhouse or at one of the hand selected restaurants, was to die for!

Would I come back; absolutely yes! This experience will be embedded forever in my mind. 
Natalie, Colorado, USA.  October 2010

Judie & Steve are charming, hospitable and humorous hosts. This is sincerely a once-in-a-lifetime experience. My stomach and mind are full, and I am happily exhausted.  This is surely the best way to experience the cave art, the unique towns, and all that this region has to offer in history and culture. I am truly an improved person! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!
Michael, Hermosa Beach, USA. October 2010

An amazing few days in an amazing place (Fr: formidable!). A mind altering experience without the need of chemical substances! YES.
Max & Barbara, Edinburgh, Scoland.  October 2010

Your generous and kind hospitality was topped only by your wealth of knowledge & passion for what you do. We greatly appreciated all you did for us and the truly amazing sites. Merci!
Nola & Kerri, Vancouver, Canada. October 2010

I appreciated so much about Judie and Steve’s hosting and touring.  The introduction to the abris, the museum and then a variety of sites which covered different styles of cave art.  We saw black & red drawings, charcoal drawings, etchings and polychrome paintings. Steve translated the French guides’ explanation and added so much more from his depth and breadth of knowledge.

I’m also taking away their notes; ‘aide memoire’ to add to my journal entries.

Judie fed us superbly well and kept everything running smoothly. It was a treat when she came out to dinner with us so we could chat and enjoy her perspective. As I said to Judie - I couldn’t have dreamed a better tour. Thanks so much you two!
Monica, BC, Canada, October 2010

Such a good time! Steve - the breadth and depth of your knowledge in so many fields is awesome. Your talks have added so much to my admittedly scanty knowledge.  Judie - what can I say? Your hostessing skills are perfect - but then you’re a remarkable woman. Wish you lived in PA so we could become better friends. I’m so glad to have met you! (I’ll even come up with some veggie dishes - if you dare eat them!)
Bill & Ruth, PA, USA, October 2010

Wonderful accommodation, food, well researched Prehistory. Perfect for our 40th Anniversary reminder of what we first did when we met. Nothing too much trouble for Steve & Judie to organise. Thanks a million.
Jim, Lesley (and polecats!) St Albans, June 2010

This has been the most perfect blend of many things, among them the beauty of the countryside, the vast knowledge of Steve, the wonderful food, and the best of company. Thank you.
Jean, New York City, June 2010

I have learned so much, eaten so well, enjoyed wonderful company: this has been an unforgettable adventure. With many thanks.
Sonya, New York ,June 2010

What makes a good holiday?
A warm welcome
Friendly hosts
New and intriguing places to visit
A knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide
Great food
A comfortable bed

We have had all of this and more on our Caves, Castles & Vines Tour. Thank you Judie & Steve for your wonderful hospitality and for showing us around this beautiful region of France.  Very best wishes.
Mike & Carol, Queensland, Australia, May/June 2010

What to say to express how much you have added to our experience of visiting the caves? To my experience of fulfilling a lifelong dream? Our memories of this week will be always linked with you - your warm and generous hospitality, your vast knowledge and passion for cave art and medieval history, your love of French culture and cuisine (and choice of unique, memorable, and terrific restaurants), your quirky humour, the delightful British expressions (“wheely bin and ‘......porcelain” for example) we will take home with us, and Steve’s ever present supply of Kleenex for Karla’s post-cave visit emotional overflow.

We’ve come to feel like family in this short week, and we hope this life brings us the gift of seeing you again. Many, many thanks and our very best regards.
Jim & Karla, USA May 2010