Bordeaux, land of wine and…

As we left San Sebastian we left the rain behind. We made a lunch stop near Biarritz at Hossegar Beach on the Atlantic, to see a French surf beach. The surf was a little dumpy, so the skate boarders were out, practicing their maneuvers.

We used a short driving day to delve into the countryside a little. We made a stop at Dunes de Pilat, near Arcachon. As the wind constantly blows off the Atlantic it has pushed sand inland, forming the tallest sand dune in Europe, that is encroaching on the surrounding countryside. It was a fun climb to the top, and windy there. Of course as a tourist destination there was a myriad of souvenirs available.

It took weeks to get the sand out of my shoes.

Red wine and entrecôte steaks. Ummmm! However Bruce started his visit to Bordeaux with a healthy serve of moules (mussels).

Bordeaux is a bright open city set on the Garonne river. The older part of town is opened up to show off it’s beautiful 18th century architecture. In fact, to Bruce’s delight, they have managed to run the trams through the centre of the city without the unsightly overhead cables. It was a photographer’s paradise.

Beside the river and in front of the Place de la Bourse is the Miroir d’Eau a very shallow pond which empties out and sprays mist periodically. It wasn’t just the little kids who enjoyed puddling around in the shallow water or running through the mist.

In the Place des Quinconces we found the monument in memory of the Girondists who fell victim to the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution. It is massive, representing triumph, ignorance, happiness and much else.

Bordeaux also boasts the longest shopping street in Europe – Rue Ste Catherine.

Of course no visit to Bordeaux is complete without visiting some wineries. We choose the most famous village, St Emilion, where we had lunch and tasted some reds. Nice to have a car, and carry some wine with us.

The Bordeaux countryside is very pretty with castles and chateaus at every turn on the road.