180 – Mériadeck

If you’re caught short sightseeing in Bordeaux, the shopping centre at Mériadeck is the place to go. Clean, warm, friendly toilets with an attendant on hand to pass you lavender scented towels as you leave.

Redeveloped in the mid-sixties, Mériadeck is the quartier d’affaires (business district) of Bordeaux. A world away from the neoclassical-baroque-Roman architecture of the city, but still strangely pleasant. Continue reading “180 – Mériadeck”

179 – French Coffee

French Coffee

I’m about to destroy the myth about French coffee. But before I do, I’d like to make a statement.

I love France.  They do things better here than in a lot of countries, including my own. From campsites, to employment laws, to healthcare, to public transport, to food, to wine, to films, to beaches, to mountains. It’s a joy to live here and if I was French, I’d be proud of my country.’

Except for one thing. Continue reading “179 – French Coffee”

178 – The Palais Gallien Amphitheatre

The Palais Gallien Amphitheatre half a stride away from the Jardin Public is one of the oldest looking things I’ve ever seen. A two thousand year old crumbling ruin built from what looks like broken biscuits stuck together with chewing gum, it’s no wonder the Bordelais call it le vestige – the relic. Continue reading “178 – The Palais Gallien Amphitheatre”

177 – Playing Handel in the Gare St. Jean

Writing this blog these past few weeks has allowed me to understand the city in a way I couldn’t have done from sightseeing or reading books alone. The act of writing has made the events of the past month stick in my head so firmly that they’ll not be easily erased.

Like last night for instance. Continue reading “177 – Playing Handel in the Gare St. Jean”

176 – Naked Sunbathing at Le Grand Crohort

Yesterday for the first time in my life I sat naked on a beach.  It was one of the most liberating things I’ve ever done.

More liberating in fact than turning forty and realising that all the worry was for nothing. ‘Life is actually damn good,’ I remember thinking. ‘So many birthday cards. Life can only get better. All I’ve got to do is stay alive.’

Well alive I am and so yesterday I drove to  Le Grand Crohort 50 km west of Bordeaux to lap up the fag end of the summer. Despite it being 26 degrees I knew the summer of 2014 was on its last legs. Continue reading “176 – Naked Sunbathing at Le Grand Crohort”