Pictures with comments
Bordeaux, the regional capital, dazzles with its exceptional 18th century heritage. Place de la Bourse, which overlooks the water mirror and the river, is the jewel in the crown. This is the starting point for a beautiful stroll along the waterfront, the essential meeting place for all the residents of Bordeaux, whether 7 or 77 years old.
Anyone fancy a colourful walk to admire the façades along the quayside of the Nive? A visit to the markets to sample Basque specialities is also a must. Don't forget to put some of those delicious nougats, kanougas, and other chocolate specialities in your suitcase. The city has been renowned for these for almost four centuries.
Need to escape? Join the Boulevard des Pyrénées by taking the funicular, sit on the terrace of a café and enjoy the panorama, the most beautiful views of the Pyrenees.
Explore the pedestrian medieval area around the Saint-Front cathedral with its quaint alleys leading into pretty squares. They come alive on market days and during the "Mimos" festival.
The town tourism package
Gudrun Geist won a trip to Bordeaux with a suggestion to mark the reopening of the Vienna to Bordeaux air link. She used it to extend her trip to the coast, in Médoc. Here is her enthusiastic account and constructive comments...
"Thank you for this wonderful prize and useful advice before leaving. We had a very pleasant stay in Bordeaux and took every opportunity to explore the city that has more to offer than its size suggests. The people are incredibly nice, friendly, willing to help and determined to contribute to a great stay for tourists.
We started on Thursday with a quick tour of the centre, as all the museums, guided tours etc. were closed or not available at the time we arrived. This gave us the opportunity to taste our first glass of wine and admire the water mirror day AND night. We also booked the walking tour and a trip to the vineyards of Graves & Sauternes for the next day at the tourist office.
The walking tour started at 10.00am on the Friday and the group size was really good, being quite small. Information about the reconstruction of the city was really interesting, as well as discovering the little hidden corners we would never have been able to find ourselves (like, for example, the little cinema in the old church). At 1.30pm, we took the bus south to see two very different wineries. In the first, there was unfortunately little to see, the production taking place in another building nearby. So it was more about being told than shown. In the second, however, we were shown all the stages of production and told about the differences between the traditional method and the modern method. Back in Bordeaux, we walked along the right bank of the city, with its botanical garden. On the guide’s recommendation, we chose the "Petit Commerce" restaurant for dinner – it was a dream.
On Saturday, we took in two markets (the Capuchins and the one near St Michel), then we went up to the top of several towers (Porte Cailhau, Flèche Saint-Michel, Tour Pey-Berland). We also had time for a quick tour of Aquitaine Museum. Finally, we made a last tour of the city by Visiotour, before continuing to Lacanau, where we spent a few days of splendid surfing.
As for the wine, I have to "congratulate" the region: I only used to drink white wine until then and systematically avoided red wine, but all the red wines we tested or drank in Bordeaux were really good. It was more difficult for us to find a white wine to our liking, as the region’s wines are sometimes very sweet, but we always found wines we liked.
To add a little constructive criticism:
The fact that the sites open only from 10.00am, are closed around noon and shut completely at 6.00pm makes it difficult to do a complete tour of the city with the CityPass. So we were a little rushed for time, but eventually, we could see everything we wanted to.
A very good addition to the CityPass would be free bikes (in the same way the batcubs, in addition to trams and buses, are already part of the offer), allowing you to explore the city in a different way."
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