Yesterday we took a little drive just outside our village and decided to make the most of a gorgeous, sunny and unseasonably warm Sunday afternoon – it was 13 degrees, that would be 55 F. Rather unusual for December the locals keep telling us. It has been like this for weeks and is predicted to remain the same for the next 10 days at least. We have had 2 or 3 mornings with frost but nothing like usual. I am not complaining. But enough about the weather and back to our Sunday outing. We had heard about a resistance camp from WW2, The Maquis de Durestal, that was beautifully preserved in the woods not far away, so off we went.
To walk in the steps of the Maquis de Durestal, near Cendrieux, you must follow a long long dirt track shaded by the thick foliage of a forest of oak trees. you are guided by informative panels and transported to the daily life of a French resistant fighter in 1943/44. The kitchen, the sleeping quarters, the ammunition cache dug into the ground, the prison, the command post, the washing area and even the actual post that served as the execution post for traitors. It was riddled with the bullet holes.
This camp was the most important resistance camp in Dordogne, started in the spring of 1943 and used until the end of the war. At its height, it housed 600 men. Everything has been beautifully preserved and you can really imagine what life must have been like as you follow the arrows and wander through the forest to discover a bit of history. A very interesting and thought provoking afternoon.