Sun-soaked Bordeaux – Day 1


We were up, bright and early, by 7 am, so D ran out to grab breakfast. If there is one thing I love about France, it is the constant supply of freshly baked croissants and pain au chocolat. Buttery, flaky deliciousness consumed, we got ourselves ready to go and headed out to explored Bordeaux. The sun was out in full force, and, after months of unseasonably dreary weather in Vancouver, it was delightful to be able to soak up the sun. We made our way down to Place des Quinconces, with its fabulously impressive statue adorned with terrifying horses with claw hooves  and cherubs riding giant fish. From there we stopped in at the Tourist Office to grab a map and pick up our wine festival tickets for tomorrow (which came with two souvenir wine glasses!). The day was filled with much meandering, particularly down one of the main pedestrianized shopping streets, Rue St Catherine, where we managed to grab a SIM card for our international phone as well as a cable to hook up my camera to the laptop (because I unfortunately forgot mine).

We eventually stopped for a bit of lunch. David marveled in how great French sandwiches are, while I sipped my pureed strawberries (quite tasty). We soon made our way down to Cathedrale Saint André. The interior, like most cathedrals, always provokes a sense of hushed reverence as you make your way around with its soaring ceilings and delicate stained glass. After making our way out, we set off back towards the hotel, stopping briefly at a fruit market for some fresh cherries and a grocery store for supplies. The sun, while warm and enjoyable, had also baked the energy right out of us, so we napped for considerably longer than we anticipated.

We groggily got ourselves out the door again around 7 pm, but thankfully, being only a few days shy of the longest day of the year, things were still nice and bright outside. We took a walk down to the boardwalk along the water, where much of the wine festival setup had already been put up. Lots of young folk were out and about, lounging on stairs, sharing giant pizzas and beer. We stopped by the Place de la Bourse, with lined with its imposing and stately buildings, as well as the Porte Cailhau and the Grosse Cloche. Even though it was nearly 10 pm (on a Wednesday), cafés and bars were brimming with people, lively chatting and smoking away. We eventually made our way back to the Epicurial festival being held near our hotel for dinner. After some debate, we ultimately settled on Quercy Perigord for a little preview of the gastronomical fare to come in our trip… the selling point was the 3 portions of foie gras as a starter. It was deliciously good, as was our duck entrées; although the pair sitting next to us puffing away on their cigarettes was less enjoyable.  Stuffed to the brim, we waddled back to the hotel and popped in Hot Tub Time Machine to end our lazy first day.

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