Bordeaux, architecture, restaurant and boutiques.
You may think I am taking you on a tour to visit the vineyards and taste some wine. However Bordeaux is also one of the largest cities in France, listed in the UNESCO world heritage.
Allow yourself to be tempted by this city with its amazing architecture. The historical buildings, the churches, the squares and the pavement alleys were all built with coherence and uniformity: a unique visual harmony. I walked for 3 days, got lost in a meander of streets, without getting bored of discovering a new hidden spot, a restaurant or an artist boutique.
Once you’ve landed, you have several choices of transportation from the airport: bus, car, train or taxi, from 1.5€ to 20€, depending on the size of your wallet. The trip varies between an hour and 20 minutes if you are in a hurry to reach the center of the city.
Since I am pretty sure you’re an aficionados of our My Big Elsewhere posts, it won’t come as a surprise if I can give you a couple of accommodation tips. A cosy 70m2 flat, located in the centre of town: one bedroom, an equipped kitchen, a living-room, a dining-room and a bathroom with a bathtub. You are a few steps from the Sainte-Catherine shopping street. A perfect location. Click on Airbnb and start packing.
The guided tour may begin: the Big Theatre, the Saint-André Cathedral, the Bourse which reflects into the biggest water mirror in the world, the long stone bridge… if you love architecture, your eyes will be well fed. Talking about food, right next to the Porte de Cailhau, my dream came true: an oyster restaurant. Le Cabanon Marin has a good menu, a choice of oysters, edible crabs, lobsters, scallops, and bouillabaisse – the specialty of the restaurant. A young and friendly waitress with a big smile. Everything is good, coffee and chocolates included.
Address: 24, Quai Richelieu.
After this meal, I suggest you walk towards the Parliament square to digest a little. On the Lauriers street, I met with Axelle, a fashion blogger in charge of the Adelaïde boutique: a Parisian spirit in Bordeaux according to her own words. You will find a couple of wonders such as dresses, hats, shoes, sunglasses and even a couple of beauty products for your skin. I am sure you will appreciate this place as much as you will appreciate her columns.
Adresse: 1, rue des Lauriers.
At this point, I kept on walking when I suddenly felt the urge of renting a bike to get around a bit faster. The pavement streets may be challenging for the bike ride but the city of Bordeaux has many bike paths that allow you to discover the city centre and the docks. You can rent a bike anywhere in the city with the Vcub. May I advise you to cycle and cross the stone bridge to reach the opposite side of the Garonne river. You can rest at anytime or enjoy a picnic under the shades of the trees or cycle until the Chaban-Delmas bridge, a modern construction which can be lifted up to the sky to let the boats pass. It’s very impressive and beautiful lit at night.
Far away, the city of Bordeaux and its shores: a sense of tranquility away from the swarming city.
This ride opened my appetite so I came back to the city centre where I found the Café Japonais. Sashimi, bento, hot meals… A big salad and a grilled octopus satisfied by a hungry stomach.
I could go on for ever but I am about to fly to Nantes, which might become my next post… It’s time to say good-bye but before I do so, let me share with you a few more tips.
Grab a coffee and a book at Books and Coffee, 26, rue St James.
Discover a local artist called Eric Besson, 57, rue des Remparts.
A second-hand shop? Madame Plus, 22, rue Castillon.
And enjoy an organic ice-cream at the Maison du glacier, 1, place Saint-Pierre.