Sunday, August 04, 2013

BORDEAUX



We made a day trip to Bordeaux this weekend. While I wanted to leave at an early hour to start exploring the city, reality in this house is different. So by the time we leave, not only is there massive holiday traffic going south, it's almost going to be lunch time by the time we make it....
Anyway. Unlike in the country, bigger cities keep their shops open during lunch hours, so there was no real loss. 

During my years in the cruise industry, on one of my itineraries I visited Bordeaux  a few times in the mid 1980's. And while the cruise passengers usually took a nice day long tour of some famous Chateaux in the area, us the crew, usually only made it into town for a drink or meal.
My impressions back then were not all that good,  it seemed a grimy place, dark and not inviting at all. 

Things have changed obviously, mostly thanks to the current long time mayor, Alain JuppĂ©, who rejuvenated this city of wine and made it to what it is today. A modern transit system, buildings all cleaned up, lots to see and do both cultural and shopping wise, Bordeaux is now a very well visited city in Europe. The wine of course helps. While nothing compares to Paris when it comes to tourism, I'd say we heard a lot of Dutch, German and some Scandinavian languages throughout the day. Air Transat has a seasonal flight from Montreal even. 
We saw some decent looking hotels advertising rates from 60.00/room in the city center.  Inviting enough for a weekend city trip from Frankfurt or Rotterdam it seems. 

While we walked by some very inviting Bistros, we did not feel running the gauntlet of explaining the Celiacs issue during the lunch rush hour and opted for a small Vietnamese restaurant instead. we had mostly good experiences with that cuisine in Calgary and lucked out here too.  The young crew understood the issues and we had a great meal.

In the afternoon we stopped by a wine shop where you can get small tastes of famous Grand Cru wines by the glass. Run by a Sommelier from Vancouver (!), we tasted two reds from the same area, but different growth and years. Yes, there is a huge difference, not just in price, but in flavor, color, smell and all. Lauren bought me a book about wine and I have to reread the Bordeaux chapter now to understand it all. 

On the way out we stopped along the Gironde where old warehouses were converted into shops and restaurants. You can see the new bridge crossing the river, which lifts horizontally when cruise liners arrive in the summer time.
The drive home along the RN 10 was much less busy and we made it to Jarnac in one hour and 15 minutes without speeding. 

Enjoy the images.




BIG BOULEVARDS




A GREAT PUBLIC TRANSPORT SYSTEM

RUE ST CATHERINE, A SHOPPING MILE

SOME REALLY NICE SQUARES

LOTS AND LOTS OF RESTAURANTS




BUSY PLACES AT LUNCH

CHURCHES

REVITALIZATION CONTINUES


 EVERY FRENCH CITY HAS AN ARCH

GREAT GREEN SPACES


ANOTHER CHURCH

A COURTYARD

PLACE DE LA BOURSE

SOME KIDS PUT DETERGENT INTO THE WATER



I REALLY LIKE THAT UNDERGROUND GARBAGE COLLECTION SYSTEM

THIS GALLERY NEEDS RENOVATION

 THIS ONE LOOKS NICER


AT THE WATCH REPAIR SHOP

HE'S BEEN AROUND FOR A WHILE

APPARENTLY A HOT BRAND IN THE US

EARTH FRIENDLY......

WHILE WE CHOSE VIETNAMESE

GIVEN THEIR HISTORY WITH VIETNAM, 

YOU DON'T FIND A LOT OF THAT CUISINE IN FRANCE

IT'S GLUTEN FREE

ARTIST DURING THE DAY, GRAFFITI  REBEL AT NIGHT?

COOL BIKE

I TAKE THE SCOOTER


NOT AS EXPENSIVE AS OTHER PLACES

TABLE CLOTHES

UP AND COMING LOCAL APERO, RICARD BOUGHT THE BRAND. SOON YOU WILL GET IT IN AMERICA

WINE EVERYWHERE

AND OTHER LOCAL TREATS

A VERY VISUAL STORE



A GREAT WINE CONCEPT

GRAND CRUS BY THE GLASS

YES, 30.00/SIP


THOSE ARE WINE GLASSES HANGING FROM THE CEILING

WITH THESE AMOUNTS OF WINE YOU CAN DRINK AND DRIVE....

A GREAT IDEA REALLY

THE SAME ARTIST WHO DID THE SCULPTURE IN FRONT OF THE BOW IN CALGARY

LES GIRLS

THIS SCULPTURE IS MADE OF LETTERS


A WEDDING

A LAST DRINK ON THE WAY OUT THE CITY

THE NEWEST BRIDGE, LIFTS HORIZONTALLY LIKE AN ELEVATOR

THE ROAD HOME WAS LESS TRAVELLED


5 comments:

Nadege said...

Great photos! I've only been to Bordeaux once with my sister, for lunch. Not a bad looking city at all. I wish some US cities would be that nice.

H.Peter said...

It is an exciting city. Perfect for a couple of days or a weekend.

Jennifer F said...

Looks like you had a great day in Bordeaux! Welcome!! Nice photos! I love the sculptures downtown now.
You are right - my husband remembers "Old Bordeaux" and was not impressed either - but returning twenty some years later - he/we now loves the city and all it offers!
You choose one of our favorite Vietnamese restaurants for the family! It's good, fast and open earlier in the evening than post places - a good thing with kids!! Glad you had Aa great day!...You are right about the traffic - during the summer - YUCK!...Everyone is headed South or to the Atlantic..and the rocade around Bordeaux is the only route! Enjoy August - hope you visit Bordeaux again soon.

H.Peter said...


Hi Jennifer,

yes, that Pho place could come handy for a good bowl in the winter.

There was one (of many) Bistro that i really liked and I should have taken an image, full of wine bottles, all the walls, the bar, etc. Need to find it next time again.

we will be going more frequent now and not just to the airport or IKEA....


Francesca said...
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