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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Bordeaux, Aquitaine, France

Aug 31, 2010 - The 2 Bs -- Bordeaux and Bonfire

Today was our trip into the big city of Bordeaux. With about 250,000 residents, it is the shopping mecca of this part of France. But, along with shopping, it is a beautiful city. The historic part of the city is a World Heritage site due to its "outstanding urban and architectural ensemble" of the 18th Century. The city is also called "Little Paris" for its stone mansions and smart terraces, as the city adopted the Haussmann city plan that was responsible for Paris and numerous other European cities. After parking near Quinconces Square (I...

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Aug 24, 2010 - Bordeaux - Last Day

This was our last full day at Michel and Fabienne’s house. The kids spent the day finishing their epic tin soldier battle, and then took the fight outside and had a big water gun fight as well. The parents were taken on a tour of the French shopping options. Malls and stores are not too different. The most remarkable big box store though is Decathalon. It is a big box store dedicated to sports. Soccer, scuba, horseback riding, running, canoeing, camping. You name it, they have a department. Yes, even a whole aisle dedicated to windsurfing,...

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Aug 23, 2010 - Bordeaux - Wine Tour

Today we got up and headed to one of the many wineries that together make Bordeaux famous. We were invited for a tour of the small and young winery Saikouk. This winery is run by a young French woman, who recently graduated from Vintner School. She has begun investing in equipment and land and is building a name for herself. Last year she made 11,000 bottles. Her 2007 is good, her 2008 is sold out, and her 2009 will be spectacular; we tasted it directly from the newly made oak barrels it is aging in. We’ll be ordering some when it comes to...

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Aug 22, 2010 - Bordeaux - Downtown and the Beach (again)

After a mellow morning at the house, we headed into Bordeaux to see the “water mirror”. The town has had a renaissance in the last 10 years, with the central core being revitalized by a new mayor, a huge underground parking complex and a great flat water feature that is only 2cm deep, but is 40x 150 meters wide and long. Everyone had fun wading and splashing in the water due to the heat. We then went for a walk around the streets, which were made grand in the early 1800’s during Bordeaux’s slave and ship trading heyday. The grand boulevards...

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Aug 21, 2010 - Bordeaux - A day at the Aquitaine Beach

We got up early to head to the beach. It being a Saturday, the beaches fill up like crazy, especially in the August holiday month, and on a day where the weather would wind up reaching 40 degrees Celsius in the city of Bordeaux. The parking lots were already filling up when we arrived at 10am, and we had already bypassed a long traffic jam heading to one of the most popular beaches. The kids, especially Phillip were excited by the prospect of a 230km long sand beach. Sure enough, there were wonderful breaking waves, roughly 2m high. The...

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Aug 20, 2010 - St. Nazaire to Bordeaux

This was our day to travel. But we had found out the night before about the German submarine base that was built in St. Nazaire, and decided to make that our first stop in the morning. Jean and Sebastian joined us for the visit, even though they have seen it many times, they wanted to go again. The submarine museum was “très cool”. The German U-boats had a safe harbour here, a huge covered parking garage, with room for 20 U-boats. The concrete is 3.5m thick in the roof, and was not damaged despite repeated allied bombing. There is also a...

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Jul 22, 2010 - Good looking and sexually free

With breakfast finishing at 10:00am and check out at 11:00am we got up and headed downstairs for breakfast. I ate two bowls of cereal and packed two bread rolls for the train ride, I couldn’t eat much for breakfast but wanted to try and get some of my monies worth. I figured the two bread rolls would be suffice till we got to San Sebastian as it was only a short train ride. Once we were ready we sat in the lobby to use the internet and to kill some time before our train was due to depart. Rachel had been confused and had found us a good...

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Jul 21, 2010 - Ultimate cow spotter

Talk about sleeping the morning away, lucky for us in summer Europe is light till 10:00pm otherwise we would be screwed. The first thing we did when we got up this morning was to check if we had an email from Rachel, which we did thank goodness. She said that she was unable to help us as she didn't book the tickets but we should ask for an upgrade with the airline and then we might be able to change the date. So with a glimmer of hope we got ready and headed into the main part of town, it was actually quite lovely we were just unlucky...

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May 26, 2010 - Wed 26 - Bordeaux

Bored, oh! (not really, just kidding) In this part of France, back in oh, about 1150, there was a woman named Eleanor who owned a huge part of this region called Aquitane. Two things that are unusual about her story are 1. that as a woman she was able to inherit, and 2. she married twice, firstly to the guy who became King of France and when that marriage ended in divorce (she couldn’t produce any male heirs) to the guy who became King of England (for whom she produced multiple male heirs).Her eldest son was Richard the Lion Heart. Bet...

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Sep 18, 2009 - Bordeaux, France

We've exchanged our sandals and tank tops for closed-toed shoes with socks and fleeces. It is autumn in central France, with a low temperature in Bordeaux in the morning of 9 degrees C (around 50 degrees F), with some grey skies and rain...a shock to our systems after the blue skies and hot temperatures of Morocco, Portugal and Spain. Our timing in Bordeaux was perfect; we arrived at the start of the grape harvest. On our day-long tour of the Graves area, we visited Chateua Smith Havt Lafitte and Chateau Haut Ville, both of which were in...

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Sep 1, 2009 - France

Day 33 When we got off the boat we got another taxi to the Peugeot car yard where we got a brand new car. We didn't know where we were going all we did know was that we were going South. We checked in our magical guide book and we read that Redon is a nice place to stay. When we got to Redon we saw all the amazing things a different way to many people, we got lost. We were looking for a Bed and Breakfast. We then phoned the Bed and breakfast and she gave me some instructions to get to their place. We tried there instructions and obviously...

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Aug 15, 2009 - France

We head off the ferry and say 'bonjour!' to France. Our first stop is Rouen, the final resting place of Joan of Arc. Its a stunning little town with cobbled streets, a gothic cathedral and little cafes and bistros flowing onto the streets. We venture on, a quick stop in a French style deli with meats, cheeses, delicous salads and quiches in Bayeux to recharge and onto the D-Day beaches. The Ohama memorial site displays 40,000 white crosses and stars standing in a final solute. The graves of a small portion of the soliders killed here in...

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