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Cave of Font-de-Gaume

Level Contributor
159 posts
95 reviews
Cave of Font-de-Gaume

Can anyone tell me how to pre-book tickets for these caves?


Le Bugue, France
Level Contributor
14,097 posts
4 reviews
21. Re: Cave of Font-de-Gaume

Font-de-Gaume has a history, particularly in summer, of hiring students to give the English-language tours. The students are nice as can be and know the history of the cave quite well, but their English is often deplorable. I have been on at least 8 French-language tours (not with students but with regular guides) of F-d-G with English-speaking groups and served as translator for those groups. Though the tours take much longer when someone is translating, the English-speaking groups are always grateful, as are the guides.

Names of the animals are the least of it. Most of the animal names are pretty understandable in English. It's the nuances of how the artists came to be in the caves to begin with and how they used oil lamps and mineral powders to create the images, and their understanding of how to use the contours of the rocks, etc., that's really fascinating and hard to translate if you're not used to the terminology.

But take a tour in French if you can't get one in English and just read up in advance. The maison de la presse in Les Eyzies has infinite information on the F-d-G.

Level Contributor
19,083 posts
16 reviews
22. Re: Cave of Font-de-Gaume

A really good book that I read before I went was Stepping Stones by Christine Desdemaines-Hugon. I got it from my local library, but it's also on Amazon. It's almost like a guidebook to the caves. I agree that it made a big difference for me to have read some books on the cave paintings before I went. I read a couple of other books just on the cave paintings in general, but Stepping Stones was the one that stood out. In fact, if I were going to take a French tour and didn't speak any French, I might take the book with me and read the section on the cave I was going to visit the night before I visited.

Your comments on translation were interesting, as it was the names that stood out to me, but maybe that was because he was translating those so it stood out more that they were French. I'm substantially more impressed with translators since that trip, as I discovered it's really hard to listen in French and speak in English without missing some of the French.

23. Re: Cave of Font-de-Gaume

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