Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Bordeaux: Some Words

Spending a couple of days in Bordeaux made me realize how many wonderful "unknown" cities we have in Europe. When talking about Europe, usually the more famous cities like Rome or Florence or Paris or Barcelona (usually the capital cities of our countries) are mentioned. We tend to forget that there are many other smaller cities, not well-known to the traveling public, that are worth visiting.
Bordeaux, in my opinion, is one of those.

I particularly liked the "Quartier Saint Pierre" (the historic part of town) with its old streets and its shops and boulangeries. Most of the shops sell stuff or food that has been produced nearby and you easily find everything to be organic. I loved that. I also adored that in many of the small shops I got to talk to the person who actually "made" the stuff he or she was selling. I loved the friendliness, the openness, the willingness to talk to strangers. That was pretty cool.
What I also loved were the bistrots and cute little bars and restaurants. Oh my, food-wise I could have spent a week there and not been able to try them all out!

I was told that the water front hasn't always been what it is today. There was no boardwalk and the river didn't "belong" to the Bordelais (French name for the people living in Bordeaux). Nowadays though the Bordelais have access to their river and all day long there were joggers and people on their bikes or strolling along the Garonne. Not tourists, mind you ... or at least not many. I saw grandparents with their grandchildren, couples, people sitting on the benches reading the news or a book. Really cool.

If I had to recommend one museum worth visiting, I'd say go to the Musée d'Acquitaine. Wonderful place. It shows the history of Bordeaux (also the not so nice bit with them shipping slaves to the New World). Wonderfully done and very interesting!

And last but not least I was astonished to find the city so biker friendly. I have rarely visited a (French) city where there were so many people on their bikes (and appropriate bike lanes!).

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