Urban elegance and provincial charm, this beautiful port city of Bordeaux situated on the Garonne is truely a cocktail of 18th century, high tech, urban street life. The worlds major wine industry capital and sadly I am unable to drink red wine, however have enjoyed their fine Rose.
Priscilla and Eddie encouraged me to visit Bordeaux, Priscilla especially loved this fine city, the easy tram transport, the elegant 18th century architecture which so remind you that you are in Europe) and generally appealing atmosphere around the city. Thanks for the tip, Priscilla, I am enjoying it (though not so interested in the miles of shops, happier to sit outside like Eddie with a glass of Rose and watch the passing parade.
I caught the train from Paris early yesterday morning with an overnight bag remembering how much I enjoy European train trips, (fond memories of many hours Ellen and I spent on European trains a couple of years back) seeing all the old stone farm houses which are so typical of the European countryside. It however was obvious that Europe have experienced a harsh summer, certainly not the usual European lush green countryside expected.
The croissants have now been dumped for the famous Bordeaux Canele, a small pastry baked in a scalloped mould with vanilla, rum and cane sugar, a bit sweet for me and not a patch on a Paris croissant.
The weather was again a pleasant 23 degrees and I walked another 18 plus kilometres, all good training for my pilgrimage at the end of this trip. It is a lovely city to walk around in as it is compact and an elegant building on every street corner, just loved the little passageways and alleyways, tending to stop for breaks sitting outside at the cafes off the beaten track.
I walked along the Garonne River to be able to admire the Place de la Bourse, the fountains, a beautiful monument, the best. I watched the tourists and birds playing in the famous Miroir d’Eau (Water Mirror), supposedly a masterpiece of creativity to reflect the beautiful buildings creating mystical and ever changing reflections, however in my opinion, definitely just an elegant puddle for the tourists to splash about in!
Lorna, I have already started our Camino pilgrimage as I visited the Cathedral Saint-Andre, a UNESCO grand 12th century Cathedral which formed part of the Route of Saint James pilgrimage trail on their way to Santiago de Compostela. This cathedral is compared to the Notre-dame and was most impressive.
There is certainly heaps to see here, however I am saving the best part, ie. a visit to the wine museum for when I return with Intrepid in a weeks time as they have organised a tour.
I enjoyed dinner at a tiny little restaurant not far from where I am staying overlooking the river, it is still daylight saving so am enjoying being able to stay out later on these beaut balmy evenings.
There is obviously a heavy military presence both here and in Paris, the police and military are everywhere checking anybody looking even slightly suspicious, buskers, anybody really, and walk around with their rifles, finger on trigger in groups of four.
Back to Paris this afternoon.