Blogs from Bordeaux, Aquitaine, France, Europe

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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
Ceremony
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

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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 ho...tel 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

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Bordeaux July 15th 2013

Somehow, overnight I've managed to do something to my neck. It's damned sore and hurts to move. Some medication required I think. Since we are in the region we figured we should visit Bordeaux which is about one hour away. Sue gave us good instructions on how to get to the Park and Ride but somehow we got ourselves off track off the motorway and with no idea of where we should actually be. After reassessing we got back on and eventually found (I don't know how) the place where we should be. Poor Lindsay was a little stressed with all the instructions and traffic in all directions! Duncan, Anita and Cherie in the other car had also gone off course and somehow got themselves back on track too. From there, we got a tram across ... read more
Modern and old

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Bordeaux May 27th 2013

Rip off train fare purchased and off to Bordeaux for the day I go. Lovely clean trams leave the train station which is quite a long way from the city centre but a great ride passed many of the main sights which leave me with an idea about areas to walk to. Bagging myself a map of the city I walk round the monument aux girondines which has dome lovely fountains and sculptures at the base of it. Over the next 2 hours I walked through the old part of the town and it's glorious buildings. The Place de la bourse was simply stunning but due to a festival of the sea all along the river bank, the water mirror feature wasn't working... quite gutted as this is Bordeaux's most famous site and something I have ... read more
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Europe » France » Aquitaine » Bordeaux April 28th 2013

Bordeaux. The final leg of today's adventure took us north, about 200km to the City of Bordeaux. Along the way, Cindy advised that we were going to drive through the longest stretch of pine forest we have ever seen (she has never been to New Brunswick.) This was where I discovered the remarkable application of a beret over the eyes as a mobile sleep aide. Bordeaux is considered by many to be the wine-producing capital of the world. It lies along the Garrone River, almost 100km up-river from the Atlantic, but has a major sea-port presence. The twelve deck residential ship "The World" was tied up alongside the Bourse while we were there. During the war Germany kept a fleet of submarines in Bordeaux from whence they would transit to the Atlantic to harass allied shipping. ... read more
Off to be Married!




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