We picked Bordeaux as one of our destinations for our travel around France this year of 2017. When June arrives we always hit the road to Hellfest, a Heavy Metal festival in Clisson, France. To not make it too hard on us, since last year we decided to extend our travel and enjoy more the French territory or some cities that are on our way – or even a bit out of it. Last year we have chosen to visit Le Mont Saint-Michel and the surroundings. This year we stopped by Luxembourg City before the festival and extended our Holidays to Bordeaux for one entire week. Keep reading to know how it was like and Join Me There.
The Little Paris
This is the title that this charming city in the French cost has and we must say that in some ways it has indeed the Parisian charm. We decided to stay a whole week in Bordeaux because we decided to invite also Simon’s mom to join us in this small holiday. She had been working too much and we thought that nothing like a week sightseeing with wine and baguette to make her relax a bit from the hard work. Of course, she didn’t join us to the Hellfest, but in Bourdeaux, there is an airport where we picked her up on the very next day.
By the way, she was the one who picked our apartment for the week and it was indeed a great choice! We stayed in an apartment from a lovely couple that was preparing to take their toddler to visit the Grandparents in Canada. Lucky us, because their apartment was simply stunning. It had two balconies, one to the front and one to the back. One to watch the sun waking up and the other one to sit and enjoy one of the most beautiful sunsets. The location was also amazing, really near to the city centre and very near to the “Marché des Capucins”, a nice very nice market.
What to do in Bordeaux
I can say that our only plan to Bordeaux was to try out their wine, taste their baguettes and enjoy some walking around. We really didn’t have any plans on what to do or see around there. This strategy worked pretty good with Bordeaux because the touristic part is small and nice to walk. Another thing that we knew for sure was that in one of the days, we wanted to try out going to some nearby beach to feel like a real holiday. The fact is that we discovered Bordeaux just by walking around and the experience was pretty cool. We really recommend it!
National Music Day
In one of the days, we got out of our apartment to find the city possessed by all kinds of musicians. They build up small stages all around the city and at every corner, there was a small band playing something. For our surprise, we visited Bordeaux at the National Music Day, a very special thing for the locals: the government encourage all the amateurs and professional musicians to go out and play whatever they want to play. It is like if you are in the middle of a huge party, where they play all kinds of music. I must say that for sitting down in a square and have an ice cream this was a bit annoying, because the different kinds of music really fuse together and can be just a loud mess, but if you know where to go and which band to follow, then the party can be all yours as well. Just for you to know, the National Music Day happens every 21st of June every year.
The way of St. James
I already knew about the Way of St. James (or Camino de Santiago de Compostela in Spanish), what I didn’t know was that there are several ways to go and one of them is the French Way, which in the longest option, crosses Bordeaux. In one of the city gates, there is an inscription welcoming all the peregrines, that adventure themselves on those long walks. Some going out from Paris, others making it shorter and starting their route at Saint Jean Pied, almost in the border to France.
The routes of Saint James are already registered as UNESCO Humanity’s Cultural Heritage and three churches in Bourdeaux were also connected by UNESCO to the way: Saint-Seurin Basilica, Saint-Andre Cathedral and Saint-Michael Church. So for people making the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, those three places are a must-see, connected to, of course, the main gate to the medieval Bordeaux.
A day at the Beach
Very near to Bordeaux, there is a huge sand beach where you can lay back, relax and wash your soul into the Atlantic waters. This area is called Lege-Cap-Ferret and you can really go on the map and pick the best place for you. I am going to pin in the map below the one we picked:
It was a very pleasant day, but we missed the lunchtime. When we went to find a restaurant, everything was closed. The fact is that, like the small cities in Italy and Spain, in that area, the restaurant also just work for the lunchtime. After that, they close and just open for dinner time again. Some of them remain open, serving some drinks, but no food. What saved us was a Carrefour on the way, where we could grab a ready-made salad.
Bordeaux is a very beautiful city, with narrow streets and stunning constructions. If you are searching for an alternative to crowded Paris, Bordeaux is the perfect city for you. You are going to find it lovely and the wine is simply delicious!