Bordeaux – Part 2 of 2

October 13, 2009 By: erik Category: France, Photos, Travel, Wine 763 views

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Strawberry and Raspberry PiesThis is the second post about our visit to Bordeaux, France on October 10, 2009. Please start with the first part if you haven’t read it yet.

Church Square Panorama
We stumbled upon this gorgeous little square. Worth viewing large.

Do you think this pub is British?
Do you think this pub is British?

No Parenting Allowed!
Luckily we didn’t have Nora, so we could enter this “No Parenting!” zone. After seeing this sign in several places, I came to the conclusion that it really means “end of pedestrian zone”.

OMG, they're alive!
Anthropomorphic candy…never a good thing.

Marga wants a white gorilla
“Please win me this big white gorilla!” “No.”

Cool Ball Fountain
I loved this ball fountain. I’d never seen anything similar. This kid was pretty good at catching them in the air.

Duck Fishing Stream
I was never any good at these carnival games.

Sponge Bob Hell
Gah! A manifestation of my Sponge Bob nightmare.

Montesquieu wasn’t amused by the carnival activities in the square in front of him.

Copyright Infringement Ride Panorama
When you view this large, how many copyrighted images can you spot?

Worst. Claw game. Ever.
Worst. Claw game. Ever.

Had to move this potted plant
On the way to the wine museum, Marga asked me to move this potted plant. No problem.

Cellar Barrels
Wine barrels in the cellar-turned-wine-museum.

Wine Museum in Bordeaux
I wonder if you could just park yourself in the dungeons of the wine museum and pull out a cork screw…

Count the English mistakes
Wine museum Engrish.

Spiral Staircase
Cool staircase we couldn’t go up in the wine museum.

My kind of bottle
This is my kind of bottle!

Marga on park bridge
Pensive Marga on the bridge in the park.

French geese.

Neighborly Facade Repair
Marga’s keen eye spotted this wonderful display of neighborly boundaries that would make Robert Frost proud. The owner of the house on the left paid to clean its facade, and the cleaners followed the property line right up the chimney. Might need to view large if you don’t see it.

Not something you see every day
While in the park, we saw this parade of cyclists, each with a musician in the front basket playing a different instrument. Seems like a perfectly reasonable thing to do in the park on a Saturday!

Bordeaux Cathedral
The Bordeaux Cathedral.

Prayer Candles
Prayer candles provided an interesting photographic subject.

Prayer Candles
Focus on the back.

Prayer Candles
Focus on the front.

Strawberry and Raspberry Pies
This shop window made my mouth water. Strawberry and raspberry pies! Mmm!!!

Our general conclusion about Bordeaux is that it is a very beautiful city with quite a lot of character, much more character than either of our two neighboring cities of Santander and Bilbao. After living in England for several years, and then in Spain for several years, when I visit France, I find it shockingly British, when compared to Spain, in the style of shops and houses and the way people act, etc. I mean that both in a positive and negative way. Several times during our visit, I said, “Bordeaux would really be very nice…if it wasn’t for all the French people.” While that sounds offensive, it’s really entirely a reflection on my frustrations with the language and understanding of the culture. Both Marga and I left France with a desire to learn French…not that we have any time to do so…

In the next post, we travel to Saint Émilion, the quaintest medieval wine village ever!

  • Ines

    Do you mean tarts? Strawberries and raspberries tarts… 😉 Thanks for sharing the pics with us but honestly, how much did you miss the little one?

    • I won’t lie, we slept like proverbial babies. It was nice to sleep ten hours straight. But yes, we missed her a lot.

    • Josh

      Reminds me of a particularly literate café I used to frequent. They would advertise “apricot strumpets”. Those were tarts too.

  • Ah, the bittersweet childfree trips; a giddy mix of guilt and exhilaration.
    When you say that you find Bordeaux “British”, do you mean in a genteel, quiet, civilised kind of way?

    • Not really. It’s a bunch of little things. Ways France reminds me of Britain when I cross the border from Spain:

      • The drivers are more courteous
      • The beers are bigger
      • There’s no one in the streets at night outside of the very center of the city
      • The shops in the suburbs are all one story tall and very garish.
      • The pedestrian “high” streets are all filled with name-branded chain outlet stores
      • Lots more pizzerias

      I could go on if I thought more about it. It’s a sum of a bunch of little things. I suspect that Germany or Italy would remind me less of Britain than France.

  • It’s true that when I moved from Italy to Belgium it felt much more like “home”…
    So Spaniards aren’t that much into pizza then?

    • We have pizzerias, just not as many of them. Especially coming from the US and England, one really surprising thing about Spain is how few “ethnic” restaurants there are. There are hardly any Italian, Indian, Chinese, Greek, Mexican, etc. restaurants in Spain. I think they think that their food is so good that they don’t need to import. The most successful infiltrators have been those most intrusive viruses: the Irish Pub and the Chinese Restaurant. Even McDonalds is still struggling to break into the Spanish restaurant market.

      • Sounds exactly like Italy.