Friday, January 15, 2010

New Year's Eve in Bordeaux

We drove into Bordeaux, France - with the imaginary taste of wine in our cheeks and throats. The vineyards were all around. Even in the off season they were intoxicatingly beautiful! The city of Bordeaux was a site to behold. The waterfront reminded me of England with its proper, royal feel. Yet at the same time is was as classically French as you can get.

Our day was unfortunately an overcast, rainy one. But we bee-bopped out of our car ready for lunch and to take in all we could of Bordeaux nonetheless. The shopping street was packed with after Christmas shoppers. We got a kick out of this street called "Rue de la Merci" - translated Street of the Thank You! How polite!
We found a pasta cafe to eat outside. How very chic and French! The person under the red and black umbrella is me - of course with my camera and the Bordeaux buildings in the background.
The Gironde River was wide and a central feature to the city. This bridge has 17 arches!
It was hard to photograph the immense expanse of the cityscape waterfront. The linear elegance - even in the rain - definitely made an impression.
Doesn't this photo of the grey building with the shutters look like something right out of Les Miserables?
The Grand Opera House.
And wouldn't you know there was a carousel in the Old Town center. Geez! OK Connor, one ride!
These pink peonies were the fluffiest I have seen. They are peonies, right?
We picked up a couple bottles of wine at the Vinoteque for our New Year's countdown later that night.
At the Vinoteque I spotted these St Emilion bottles for 200 euros each (that is nearly $300!) A far cry from our 15 euro selections. We were headed next to St Emilion so it was fun to get a preview.
Bordeaux was a great day stop. The people were kind, jovial and young. I could only imagine that with warmer,dryer weather it would have shown off its character and charm even more. I found these shots of Spring and nighttime in Bordeaux.We drove through the town of St Emilion on the way to our hotel in the Dordogne. Even with dormant vineyards we were seduced by the idyllic town. It wasn't until we were back in Brussels that I learned one of my Belgium friends has a special St Emilion connection. Lisa's husband's family owns one of the St Emilion vineyards! Lisa was completing her Masters Degree in vinticulture when she met her future husband while interning one summer at his family vineyard. They fell in love and were married in St Emilion several years later. When she realized we had been there she pulled out her wedding album so we could spot our overlap. This small world connection made St Emilion even more special. Not sure I will ever buy the 200 euro bottle, but one of the more affordable kinds will have unique meaning.

1 comment:

BelgiumBound said...

Yes, those pink flowers are peonies. They're the state flower for Indiana!! :)