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Published: August 3rd 2015
Friend got a great deal for an vacation apartment in Bordeaux, 30 Euro/day rent, so we took to the road and heading down south for a short vacation in the wine Sanctuary in France. A great surprise to find the apartment is armed with a small pool and a pantry stuffed full with food!!! What a bargain!!!!
Bordeaux is the capital city in the Gironde area, with may vineyard and chateau spread out from both side of the Gironde River that leading out to the Atlantic Ocean, but on those high tide period, one could observe the unusual scene of sea water shuffling up river! Medoc certainly is the main wine production area in Bordeaux, especailly with the name Lafite Rothschild and Mouton Rothschild right inside the area near Pauillac. Almost on every mile whichever direction you drive in Gironde area you will find a chateau for wine tasting, most of them charge around 5 to 10 Euro including a tour of the winery, after being lecturing for about an hour for the history, the technique of their production, you simply couldn't resisted to take home couple of bottle of their wine! We pick the Chateau Castera simply
for its less known but the chateau could date back to 14th century, beside...the 5 Euro price is the big motivation!!! But wine tasting not just only happened inside the Chateau, sometimes on the street, in the market and in many shops, you could really get into the action especially in the lovely village Saint Emilion, almost every shop provided wine for taste from the area around, of course...for selling as well! but hold on...Saint Emilion has much better thing to offer, the world heritage village is so pretty that you wouldn't mind walking up and down those small lane that was criss- crossing the old town, and the view from the King's Tower is superb! The area around Saint Emilion is full of small family run winery, great to searching for hidden gem within the many brand of Bordeaux wine! or simply just drove around through vineyard and small villages is a great pleasure! We also took the car-ferry to visited Blaye on the right bank of the Gironde River, where a well preserved 17th century Fort, a world heritage site since 2008, stood right next to the harbor. And travel down further to Bourg where we find an
open event setting underneath the town Chateau to promoted the local wine and awarded the year outstanding winery, together with food stand provide yummy food and a band stand pumping up the atmosphere. the quiet little village of Bourg is very pretty with a platform overlook the red-tile roof top beside the Dordogne River.
The Atlantic, the beach, surfing....also the main attraction in Bordeaux. We walk into the Montalivet market by the Atlantic Ocean accidentally followed the local advice, said it is the biggest daily open air market in France that will serve food and alcohol, yes indeed, beside those standard merchandise, the food quarter took up a huge proportion of the market, with all sort of ready to eat products, fresh oyster, salami, cheese, olive, fruit, vegetable and bread, what more do you need for a great lunch bundle! well....you got it right...a lot of wine-stand where you could sip on different brand of wine before buy it. Undoubtedly a great atmosphere in the Montalivet market. The beach is also one of the reason that made Montalivet a tourist's summer destination, the stretching white smooth sandy beach, and the big Atlantic wave for surfing. But the
top on the knot attraction I would say is the more than 100 meter high "Dune du Pilat", the highest active sand dune in Europe, a favorite family outing destination, no matter how long the line of incoming cars queue on the road and how stuffed the vehicles in the car park, and how dense the footstep on the path before the dune, one still can find your own space to run...roll...dive...or simply just stretch out. there are even parachute gliding, one could free floating and surrounded the Atlantic coast from above. Another possible sight is the nearby summer seaside resort Arcachon, the town still preserved many elegant 19th century villas. And the weekly market in La Teste-de-Buch offered the same style of food quarter like in Montalivet that attracted a lot of holiday folks too.
The old city of Bordeaux is a world heritage site, and it really live up to the honor. we hadn't see much of the city as we stay out in Medoc area. but even just a short day trip we already felt the beauty of the city. Just take a look from the Place de la Bourse by the Garonne River,
the long stretch of magnificent old building, the unique 15th century Porte Cailhau, the beautiful 13th century clock tower Grosse Cloche, the 18th century Grand Theatre and many more other monuments, we regret for not able to spend more time for the city. The city also boast an interesting lifting bridge, the Jacques-Chaban-Delmas Bridge, whenever a big boat come into town center, a section of the bridge's body could lift up so the boat can pass through, unfortunately there was no such kind of boat call into town, no chance to witness the interesting action.
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