|Tuesday 29 May
So we arrived in Bordeaux to find more semi unpleasant weather. The great thing was that the hotel was directly opposite the road from the train station. We had a great view from the windows down on the station hall. We toured around town and made contact with our friends Bruno and Stef who live in Bordeaux. We met them at Toybox 2006 during the Mardi Gras Festival in Sydney. They both are Flight Attendants with Air France and it was a miracle that their schedules allowed them to be home at the same time. They invited us around for dinner and we had a great time at their lovely apartment just out of the city centre. They are both coming to Madrid next month too with their entourage of friends for Europride and we will relive Toybox and NYE 2006-2007 again with them (we were in Madrid last NYE with them too). Can't wait to party with you boys again real soon!
Wednesday 30 May
We desperately tried to get on to a wine tour but found that they were all booked out (you all know the Bordeaux is one of the MOST famous wine regions of the world) so after touring around Bordeaux for the morning we decided to head out to St. Emilion for the afternoon. It is one of those picture perfect postcard towns set on green rolling hills with rustic buildings surrounded by vinyards. The town itself was full of wine stores and one store was so pushy they tried to sell us a case of Chateau Lafite Rothschild for no less than 4,500.00 euros! (They were going to throw in the shipping for free ... how nice). We went to the Tourist Office and found that there were a few places left on a tour out to a local vineyard so we jumped at the chance. The trip was to Chateau Haut Lavallade www.chateau-haut-lavallade.com and we met the owner, Monsieur Chagneau. His family has been producing wine in St Emilion for 5 generations (1846) and the plot is only 9 hectares large. We had a brief tour and tasting and we came away with a few bottles of his 2001 St. Emilion Grand Cru and a bottle of 1989 St. Emilion Grand Cru that we are going to save for our 6th anniversary in a few weeks. There are different grades of wine according to each regional appellation and this chateau was an equivalent to grade 4. The top grade 1 winery in the region is Chateau Cheval Blanc and their bottles start retail at 450.00 euros EACH. Back in Bordeaux we had a great dinner on Place St Jullian at this amazing little bistrot/restaurant that was very cheap.
Thursday 31 May
Bordeaux is a great place. It is very modern and it seems that it has had a real clean up in the last few years. The public transport system is good and the most memorable thing about the city is the HUGE column and fountain at Place Quinconces (too many pics posted). It is one of the best fountains we have ever seen. With all of those wonderful wineries at its door and great food really cheap too, we are wondering why we aren't living here. We've thought about it and perhaps it is a 15 year plan to live (retire?) here in Bordeaux ... time will tell. Off to Toulouse today, this time we have treated ourselves to First Class tickets on the TGV ... will happily give you a comparison to Second Class.