Blogs from Bordeaux, Aquitaine, France, Europe


Europe » France » Aquitaine » Bordeaux July 12th 2014

Listen very carefully, I will say this only once... Saturday, 5 July, 2012 - en route to Bordeaux. I will warn you right now that the next week was filled with unpleasantries regarding travel and accommodation, and if you are squeamish at all about whines and rants, perhaps now is the time to turn away on this blog… After our experience of getting to our first hotel on arrival in Paris, we decided to take the Metro to the station. Getting the suitcases on the train was a bit of a struggle but we thought all would be good in Bordeaux. Not to worry…I then looked at my car rental agreement which said (as I had told them) that I would be picking my car up at 5:15 PM, and the office closed at 6. I ... read more

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Bordeaux June 14th 2014

This is our final day of the cruise and we have a very exciting day planned. We took the optional tour today to attend a cooking lesson with a Michelin 3 star chef of the Bordeaux Grand Hotel. Only 12 participants. We took the city tram to the hotel in the city center with Katell the cruise director. The Grand hotel is the finest in the city. We were taken to the kitchen of the Michelin restaurant. We were greeted by the head chef, sous chef and pastry chef. We were each given chef aprons to wear with the hotel name and logo! How fun. They explained what we would be cooking and dining during our 4 hour lesson. To start we each peeled and broke a large white asparagus in preparation for the soup we ... read more

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Bordeaux June 6th 2014

We arose at home at 4:15am so we would be ready for the pick up by Anthony's limo @ 5am for our ride to DIA so we will catch our 7;26am flight to JFK airport as the 1st leg on our journey. Our driver was prompt as usual and got us to DIA in good time. We went to the Delta counter and checked our 2 bags all the way to Bordeaux. Jim bought us 1st / business class flights for this trip. My bag weighed 35 lbs. and Jim's was at 40 lbs. We both really cut down on what we brought and tried to travel lighter. So far, we did good. The flight Denver to New York was uneventful. For some reason delta chose me as TSA pre check. We were in seats 1A ... read more

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Bordeaux November 14th 2013

The last weekend before leaving Rochefort I used for visiting Bordeaux. It was good timing because it was also a long weekend (don’t know why though). Bordeaux, the world's major wine capital is one of France's oldest and largest cities (its history can be traced as far back as 300BC). It's a port city on the Garonne river. Anik (my host in Rochefort) put me in touch with a friend of hers (Sabine) that was driving to Bordeaux on Saturday, so I didn't even have to buy the train ticket to get there. As far as places to stay go, during the week I wrote to about 5 people in Bordeaux to see if they could host me through Couchsurfing. I usually never write more than 5 requests and always do it one at a time ... read more
Night out
Riding a pretty pink bike
Capucins Market

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Bordeaux October 17th 2013

It was probably only about ten metres from the entrance to the elevator. For inspiration I tried to bolster my confidence by recalling a scene from the movie Blow, “When you’re carrying drugs across the border, the idea is to remain calm. The way I do it is to think of something pleasant, a fun party, a moment of triumph. A sexual encounter. I actually project myself to that place. Anything to keep your mind off the fact that you’re going to jail for a very long time if they find the fifteen kilos of cocaine in your suitcases.” Okay, I'm not smuggling drugs; this is far more traumatic. I’m trying to walk through the lobby of a hotel, in France, without anyone talking to me, in French! There’s a young lady at reception, I try ... read more
Tower Bridge
Millennium Bridge
Jennifer out for lunch


Europe » France » Aquitaine » Bordeaux September 24th 2013

We'd done the stag - now it was time for the main event. Kelley and Penelope were getting married in the south of France and I was on my way down there aboard the Eurostar from London to Paris. I always love going to Paris - I have seen a lot on my travels but few cities match the beauty of France's capital and I never tire of going there, even if the people on the metro seem utterly miserable. Arriving at Gare du Nord, I made my way straight to a restaurant by the Louvre, where Kelley and Penelope's union had created a reunion of old friends - a high school reunion. A Roskill reunion on the other side of the world. My old high school and uni buddies Stevie, Dino, and Jonny had flown ... read more
Medieval Building, Sarlat
Grand Theatre, Bordeaux

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Bordeaux September 5th 2013

First, biking is faster than walking, and definitely easier on the knees! So, we can actually get "somewhere" in the course of the day. We would not be having the experience looking down from an airplane or out a train window. We are certainly more aware of our surroundings. First, we must be vigilant about the path ahead, to avoid potholes (not any so far on the biking path) and people along the way. We hear more sounds: the church bells, the birds, the crunch of our tires, the gaggle of geese hissing at us as we passed by their water hole, the brown lumps of clay that turned out to be resting ducks! We have seen the lonely chicken, clearly lost from its flock. Often I have to stop to take photographs...the crops vary: vineyards, ... read more

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Bordeaux September 3rd 2013

It’s Sunday and Suzy the motorhome is sitting parked up in the caravan park at Yvre L’Eveque waiting to get on the road again. We had a fairly quiet night. Well at least I slept the sleep of the woman without a care in the world. I believe there were some noises but I didn’t hear a single bit of it. We woke early , showered, breakfasted and then set off on the road to our next destination Bordeaux. The mornings are quite dark much darker than back home but I guess that is the hour making a difference. The roads were fairly empty being a Sunday. The lorries if carrying non perishable goods were parked up for the day unable to move until Monday morning. Our plan as always was to drive two hours and ... read more
Miles and miles of empty autoroute
On the road to Bordeaux
French bridge building as usual on a grand scale

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Bordeaux September 2nd 2013

What a wonderful morning! We followed our host, Celene, to near her workplace in historic Bordeaux, first settled by the Romans in the 1st century. She helped us make reservations for the 2 hour wine tasting class...which we thoroughly enjoyed! No wonder Bordeaux wines are so complex...all are blended, each by the local chateau or winery. So are the American wines. A couple from Southern California explained that if an American wine is labeled "merlot," then at least 85% will be from the merlot grape. Most of the wines in Bordeaux will include the percentage of each of the three wines that are used in the blend. Although we did enjoy the dry wine wines from the "right bank" of the Garonne River, we both very much enjoyed the red Cabernet. In fact, after we lunched ... read more

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Bordeaux July 21st 2013

It's almost 3pm Sunday afternoon and I'm already back at the hotel because it is so hot (35 degrees) and humid today. Saturday was not quite as bad (33 degrees). I caught the tram from near the into the city centre - a great service and at a reasonable price (if you buy the right ticket - unlike me on my first journey!). A single journey costs 1.40 euros, a full day ticket 4.30 euros or a ticket for 10 journeys 10 euros. The city was alive with people - buskers, Mormons (looking a bit confused as to where to set up their stall), markets, beggars (with cat!) and unusual modes of transport! I wondered around, taking in the atmosphere, and visiting the belfry of St Andre's Cathedral (231 steps to the top for the ... read more

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