Bordeaux

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We’ve now spent a week in Bordeaux. It’s a university town, with a huge campus sprawling right across the outskirts of the city. The bus and tram ride from the campsite to the centre of town takes around 40 minutes, though this would probably take less than half that time if the bus didn’t wind its way around so many university buildings and halls of residence.

The city is built along the west bank of the River Garonne, with old town situated in the Saint-Pierre district, the focal point of which is the famous Place du Bourse overlooking the river. There are a couple of other nice districts within walking distance – Saint-Paul and Saint-Michel – which are also worth visiting. To the north of the city lies La Cité du Vin – the wine museum, located next to the amazing Pont Jacques Chaban-Delmas. At a height of 77 metres, it’s the tallest lift bridge in Europe. Unfortunately the road is only lifted once a month at the moment so we didn’t get to see this, but there is a picture of it here.

We spent four days in the city centre, exploring the different areas, and Saturday turned out to be an interesting day. We’d just got on the bus from the campsite when we noticed that the display boards were warning that tram services would be disrupted because of demonstrations, at which point the penny dropped that this would be the Gilets Jaunes who have been marching in the big cities at weekends protesting against the policies of the Macron government. Later in the day we did catch the tail end of the Gilets Jaunes march through the streets, and whilst the protesters seemed to be in good humour there were plenty of riot police about barricading side streets at key points along the route, and we even passed some armed soldiers. The next morning we read that it did all kick off the previous evening, with cars overturned and set on fire and the police using water cannon – fortunately we were back at the van by then!

Tomorrow we have a driving day, nearly 250 miles/400 km to Tours, where we’ll be spending a couple of days before moving onto Calais.

Mike

Place de la Bourse

Cathedral Saint-André

Hôtel de Ville

We found some more stolpersteine

The Marché du Capucins food market in the Saint-Michel district – well worth a visit

A fish stall in the Marché du Capucins…

… and oysters…

… and of course du fromage!

Pavement cafés in Saint-Michel…

… and the Saturday market there…

… with a stall to help you pimp your home

Physical Graffiti – Bordeaux style!

The Grosse Cloche

A cheeky glass of wine in Bordeaux costs twice as much as in Spain

Warning – Gilets Jaunes!

Gilets Jaunes marching

A police blockade where they were filming the proceedings

Army patrol

The Monday morning paper

One of the banks trashed by the Gilets Jaunes…

… and another

Pont de Pierre

Porte Calihau

Pont Jacques Chaban-Delmas

The Cité du Vin – it was closed when we went, but at €20 each we didn’t feel the need to return!

The WWII Nazi U2 submarine base

Look at all those pastries!

The local delicacy here is the canalé – they’re very popular, but we couldn’t see what the fuss was about

Something wrong here… by our reckoning it was wine o’clock, but this place was closed!

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