France and Portugal Vacation: 5 May 2023 - City Walks in Bordeaux


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Friday, May 5 - A Day in Bordeaux

We got downstairs to breakfast just after 9:00 am. Breads were already on the table, and on the sideboard were cereals and a tea selection. Friendly employees brought out coffee and a small meat and cheese tray with some fruit, yogurt, and jam.

Photos from Friday morning (8 images)

Our travel book recommended a city walk that would pass by points of interest, so off we went, making use of our transit passes for a short tram ride. The first stop on the walk was the Grosse Cloche bell and clock tower; then it was on to the oldest house in Bordeaux, then to the "other" oldest house in Bordeaux. The city walk ended with the Porte Cailhau, one of the original city gates. The tiny but beautiful edifice actually has three levels, accessed by narrow staircases allowing passage by just one person at a time. The second level is a micro museum, and the top of the tower provides quite a view of the city looking East over the Garonne River. Well worth the visit.

Photos from Friday morning's city walk (35 images)

In the early afternoon, after a stop for a kebab for lunch from Elysée Doner Kebab and some ice cream, our self-guided meandering took us into two impressive churches, the Basilique de Saint-Michel and l'Église Sainte-Croix. After strolling through a park called Place André Meunier, we tried to find an attraction the guide book pointed out, a raised garden area built on top of ruins of the city wall, but unfortunately it was closed. The Marché des Capucins market seemed to be closed as well; this was in the gritty part of town, so we continued on toward what was regarded as more of the touristy area, ending up at Place de la Victoire, a plaza with an arch monument, an obelisk, and cool turtle sculptures. A short tram ride took us back toward familiar territory; we stopped at Carrefour City (a well-known grocery food store chain) for some snacks and drkinks before getting back to the guest house for a break.

Photos from Friday afternoon (48 images)

Later in the afternoon, we ventured across the Garonne River via a tram ride, visiting Église Sainte-Marie-de-la-Bastide before walking through the botanical garden ("Jardin Botanique") and on to the Parc aux Angéliques along the river.

Photos from our trek West of the Garonne River (13 images)

For dinner, we ended up dining at POKÉO again because it was so good the night before. Since it stayed light until at least 9:30, we continued walking down Rue Sainte Catherine, a main pedestrian street, where Ginger spotted a paper crafting store that made the "we have to come back to this tomorrow" list. We hopped on a tram to get back toward the house and turned in for the night.

Photos from Friday evening (5 images)

On to the next day >