Last night I was woken up by a thunderstorm. This is always a great spectacle, because the thunders are so loud and the strokes of lightning are so strong and so clearly visible from the plateau where the house is located. Next morning the 30-35°C temperatures had dropped to around 20°C, and it was raining, which gave a kind of subtropical feeling. People here in Les Eyzies tell me that the warmth of the past days is not really normal, and that temperatures should be much lower during this part of the year.
Today Thursday is the last day of the excursion. This morning we visited the cave of Rouffignac with its fantastic paintings of mammoth, rhinos, horses and ibex, made by manganese oxide, and the beautiful engravings. I have visited this cave so many times now during the past years, but each time I discover something new and each time it feels exciting to climb on the little electric train and to drive deep into the cave. The owners of the cave, the Plassard family, are great and are always prepared when we come; usually their son, who is an expert in cave art, will guide us and explain the different paintings in great detail.
Lunch at Laugerie Basse at the restaurant Chez Jugie was good as usual and all our students very much enjoyed the food, the nice views and the beautiful setting below the high limestone cliffs.
The last part of the excursion was the talk by Francesco d’Errico from Bordeaux University. Francesco talked about symbolism in Neanderthal and anatomical modern human cultures, and answered many questions posed by the students. I am really glad that he takes his time to come from Bordeaux just to give a lecture in our course, and each time his lecture is highly appreciated.
We celebrated the end of the excursion with another grilled beef and a great salad prepared by Per, who had a hard time making a fire in the grill with damp wood! Another successful excursion and another successful collaboration between Stockholm and Lund!
Tomorrow we will leave Les Eyzies, but already in September we will be back here, with another group of 40 students, touring the same sites.