Bordeaux is a beautiful home base for our first few days in France. So much to see, but not yet overrun with tourists, such as ourselves.
Mark and I have been seeing the sights for the last 2 days, hoping to shorten our jet lag. Lots of fresh air and beautiful architecture to distract from the lack of sleep and general disorientation.
Wednesday morning we woke up to a rather moist and grey day. Jetlagged, we ventured out anyway. Our airbnb apartment was perfectly situated in the center of Bordeaux, so we were able to see a few sights like the Cathédrale St-André (left) and the Palais Rohan (center).
After dodging umbrellas on the main pedestrian shopping street, rue Sainte-Catherine, we did some grocery shopping and headed for home.
The next morning, we took a quick stroll across the bridge to the other side of the Garonne river. Our rental apartment was just behind the arch or “porte” at the end of the bridge.
Le Pont de Pierre, literally “stone bridge”, is closed to automobile traffic. The remaining traffic is neatly divided between tram, bus and bicycles, and pedestrians. Bordeaux has one of the largest student populations in France, giving it a very hip and active vibe. I think it was too early for the students to be out on this particular morning.
Across the bridge, we visited a small botanical garden.
Crossing back across the bridge, you really get a sense of the width of the Garonne.
Back on the left bank, we came across another entrance from the old ramparts that encircled the old town, “Porte Caihau”.
A typical Bordelaise cobblestone street lined with 18th Century limestone buildings.
Tucked in the maze of passages and little streets, you’ll find charming little squares filled with cafés. Could the gentleman on the right be any more French with his striped sac and red sweater? He even has a murse - very popular in France!
Looks like a good place to enjoy a refreshing “demi” or half pint and check your phone.