Au revoir Bordeaux et bonjour Bayonne

Winding streets
Winding streets

It has been a fast two days of sightseeing and touring pars of Bordeaux and the surrounding wine country. Temperatures have been anything from windy with a bit of a chill to very hot and humid… and it’s all good considering I could be home in rainy Calgary! Regardless, we are enjoying new places with exotic sights and tastes. I will say though that not everything we have eaten has been great; such as sautéed kidneys that left me with a stomachache for two days. However, just skip a few meals and I am back to normal. Besides, is there anything that a little wine cannot fix? I don’t think so.

Thursday morning found us wandering an area around the corner and up a few streets; a place that brought back a flush of Tunisian memories of foraging and the souk. The shops, butchers, patisseries, little marché’s complete with harissa, it was as if I had stepped back in time. Talk about déjà vu moments! Then after winding our way through narrow streets, we happen upon the grand central market. What a feast for my eyes to behold! If there is one thing I love, it is wandering through a central market and seeing all the fresh foods. This is not from the hothouse; this is right out of the garden and onto your plate. The taste of such freshness…well, I do not even have words for describing it as I just turn into the proverbial Pavlov’s dog upon seeing it all.

Fresh pasta
Fresh pasta
fromage
fromage
olives
olives

et des fleurs
et des fleurs
The meandering art work flourishing the streets of Bordeaux is quite interesting. Firstly, the buildings and cathedrals alone have immense historical happenings and stories to tell, but juxtapose that with the random pieces of modern art in the middle of plazas, such as this massive face, whereby if you change your position it is as if the face changes also. Or the polymer lion on the right bank of the quai.
Modern face
Modern face
Polymer lion
Polymer lion

Cathedrale St. Andre
Cathedrale St. Andre
Bell tower of St. Michel
Bell tower of St. Michel

Église Sainte-Croix
Église Sainte-Croix
Inside cathedrals
Inside cathedrals

Peaceful settings
Peaceful settings
The cathedrals of St. Andre, St. Michel and Église Sainte-Croix have all been a sight to behold. Yet it was at Église Sainte-Croix, last night after dinner, that we just happened to stop in and catch a bit of the church concert. There was a reason they built the insides of these ancient cathedrals so high; the acoustics were utterly amazing.

Next stop on the tour of Bordeaux are the châteaux and wineries surrounding the area. We visited two of them. One a large facility, Château Gruaud-Larose, and the other, Château Baudan, more or less a family run business yet still managing to bottle 50,000 per year. An interesting fact of the wineries in France concerns the flowers planted beside the grapes. If you see red roses, then the wine will be red, and if you see white roses planted, well then, the wine will be white.DSC00524

Château Gruaud-Larose
Château Gruaud-Larose

Château Gruaud-Larose
Château Gruaud-Larose
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Red roses--red wine
Red roses–red wine
A 1945 bottle...wow!
A 1945 bottle…wow!

How many casks you say?
How many casks you say?
It was a long day and when the bus arrived back at the tourist office all we thought about was a full glass of wine, not just a sip, and where to go for dinner. With that note I shall leave you with final shots of Bordeaux and what we devoured for dinner a mere block from the hotel. Until we meet again, adieu
Bridge across the Garonne
Bridge across the Garonne

Along the route of shops
Along the route of shops

Need a knife?
Need a knife?
Fresh tagliatelle at Terrasse des Arts
Fresh tagliatelle at Terrasse des Arts

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