Friday, July 8, 2022

Arriving in Bordeaux

We spend a weekend in Bordeaux, taking the train from Montpellier, a rail line that runs from Marseille on the Mediterranean to Bordeaux on the Atlantic, and see our trip on a map on the wall of the Bordeaux train station as we arrive.

Marseille to Bordeaux

The Bordeaux train station has a piano for anyone walking by to play (as does the Montpellier station).  This one is in use, entertaining the passers by.

For anyone to play ("A vous de jouer")

Our hotel is near the Bordeaux Cathedral, Cathedral Saint-Andre, and Tour Pey Berland, the freestanding belfry for the cathedral.

Cathedral and tour

Across from the cathedral, the Hôtel de Ville (city hall) faces a plaza with restaurants, museums, and our hotel.

Hôtel de Ville

Walking over to the Garonne River, we reach Pont de Pierre (Stone Bridge), the first bridge to cross the Garonne, completed in 1821 with 17 arches.

Pont de Pierre

Looking up and down the Garonne River, we see a restored river front, with the sea port a little to the northeast, beyond our view.

Up and down the Garonne

Walking from the Pont de Pierre, the riverfront has been transformed into a beautiful esplanade, with gardens, ships, ferries, fountains, and something for everyone.  A short ways down the esplanade, Port Caihau is a magnificent fragment of the old city walls, leading into old town.  A little further along, the Mirror d'Eau is the largest reflecting pool in the world, only 2 cm deep, just enough to mirror the Place del la Bourse across the street.

Waterfront, Mirror d'Eau

Port Caihau, Place de la Bourse

Gardens along the river

Looking out from Place de la Bourse

Walking through Place de la Bourse into the old town, we find narrow streets with tempting shops and restaurants and small squares every block or two packed with outside shopping, dining, and drinking opportunities.

Streets of old town

In the squares

Fabulous food to go

We stop at a small restaurant in a square an relax for a while.

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