Bordeaux – a place for a break, but not much else.
It must be said that Bordeaux is as relaxing as when you arrive as it is when you leave to move on. The contrast to Paris is almost difficult to describe; just imagine many, many less tourists, fewer cars and congestion and less ambient noise altogether. People seem friendly and welcoming and it feels somewhat safe to stroll the streets too. The only slight issue was a man supposedly drunk one night shouting some incomprehensible phrase repeatedly to himself as he walked on by. Apart from that? Nothing else negative arose.
Soon after leaving the station we hit the hotel – Citotel Le Chantry to be precise. The location, look and feel to this place was calm, tranquil. The staff were very friendly indeed and the hotel itself was well kept. The weather was mildly hot and most certainly nicer than Paris was the day before. The streets were clear and handfuls of people could be seen plotted around talking to one another. Small parks and strips of grass broke up the slim avenues and restaurants were plentiful in numbers. The streets were clean, tidy and not so much congested as to cause issue either. As for tourism? Read on.
Straight away the architecture and street structure is a sight to take in, so is the canal front. A huge statue and fountain dominate the center part of the strip and a long marble stone floor sits across the road. This marble floor fills up with water to precisly 2cm in depth before cycling to be emptied, then spray up to 2 metres high of fine water through nozzles. Tourists crowded this magnificent feature all day, everyday having endless fun with the water cycle. It must be said that in the heat this feature was a god send to anyone feeling a little hot under the collar. Up the canal both sides rows of similar buildings line the street facing the canal itself – supposedly a historical reason being built in place of the walls some 100 years ago or so. The view was amazing from anywhere and is a must see for visitors. The royal gardens and museum of flowers, as it is, seems to bring an unbelievable feeling of peace and serenity over anyone who walks the winding, British style park walkways throughout.
In all fairness the tourist aspect of Bordeaux is one of strange views. If you enjoy architecture and city streets, you will enjoy even walking anywhere in Bordeaux. Similarly, if you enjoy nice views and peaceful strolls Bordeaux is a great place for a short stop as such. This feels like a must go but perhaps not a repeated visit sort of place – unless for a weekend or so but maybe further south I would say.
Ciao for now.