France and Portugal Vacation: 4 May 2023 - From Nantes to Bordeaux

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Thursday, May 4 - A Train Ride From Nantes to Bordeaux

With all the visiting and conversation, Ginger got a real kickstart to speaking French with actual French people! Our visit to Nantes was fantastic, albeit quick. After breakfast around 8:00, we had some time to stroll through more of Nantes before moving on to our next destination. Because Ginger had unfortunately left her rain jacket at home, we decided to go shopping for an umbrella, making a short walk to the Monoprix a few blocks away. We strolled through the Passage Pommeraye, Place du Commerce, then made our way to the city garden, Jardin des Plantes.

Photos from Thursday morning (14 images)

After our morning walk, we returned to the hotel, checked out, and made our way to the train station, arriving shortly before our 11:55 train was to leave for our journey to Bordeaux. As the clock ticked on, we noticed our train's status changed to "supprimé", which led Ginger to ask a station employee what that meant. A "manifestation" (protest) was apparently going on in Bordeaux, so our train was cancelled. The train station employees told all of us that we did not need to change our tickets, since they were going to add extra cars to the next scheduled train set to go out at 15:55. So, we went back out into the beautiful Jardin des Plantes, which is fortunately right across the street from the train station, to relax away from the station chaos. After grabbing a sandwich lunch and an afternoon coffee from Brioche Dorée in the train station, we successfully began our journey to Bordeaux. So it was four hours after the original schedule – not bad, all things considered.

Photos from le Jardin des Plantes (9 images) Photos from Thursday afternoon (16 images)

A little research at home had informed us about the Bordeaux public transit. Upon arrival in Bordeaux's Gare Saint-Jean, we rather easily figured out how to get 24-hour transit passes and catch the bus to get to our hotel. The bus dropped us off at the Palais de Justice stop in the city center, just about 3 blocks away from our hotel. It turns out our hotel was actually a guest house – Au Cœur de Bordeaux. Thankfully, the hostess was downstairs with her puppy and heard us when we arrived so late, about 9:30 pm. She gave us a quick rundown of the guest house and the area and where we might be able to find dinner at this late hour. Dropping our stuff off in the room, we quickly were off to find something to eat. We ended up at POKÉO, a poké bowl establishment where you build your own dinner bowl from various selections of rice, proteins, and veggies. It was delicious! Then we trekked back to our hotel to turn in for the night.

Photos from the trip to Bordeaux (15 images)

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