Europe Journey 2015
Today we left our cottage in the Loire Valley and drove 4.5 hours to Bordeaux in southwestern France, our home for the next three nights. The weather is still cloudy with intermittent rain and we are hopeful it will soon brighten up. There is much to see in Bordeaux and we intend to experience as much as possible.
Before coming to France I thought Bordeaux was a rural wine growing district but today I discovered how wrong I was. Bordeaux is an architecturally stunning city with unaltered buildings from the middle ages. When we arrived in the city we jumped on a sightseeing bus for a tour around the historic landmarks. We then walked around to see these amazing sites up close. There are many restaurants to choose from and we found the perfect one. Jenna had carrot soup followed by salmon and vegetables; Pierre chose steak and crème caramel. We encountered some language barriers trying to understand the menu and order so the people on the next table helped translate what we wanted to the waiter, (and they were Spanish) so the Spanish people translated our English to French for the waiter. Incredible. After a further four hours of walking and sightseeing we returned to our accommodation feeling exhausted but very appreciative for the opportunity to visit such a wonderful city.
Even though the rain was pelting down again we stuck to our plan and drove to Arcachon, a seaside town about 50km away. Luckily the rain held eased for most of the day, except for one mad downpour, but the wind was strong and blustery. Arcachon has similarities to many seaside holiday destinations in Australia. The seaside is something we hadn’t considered as French. Before we came to France we associated it with; Paris (chic big city), vineyards, pretty rural villages, historical grand buildings and medieval townships. The seaside was a surprise addition to our knowledge of France.
We had a seafood lunch overlooking the ocean but the food was a bit disappointing. C’est la vie. Even with the gale force winds we ventured out on to the ocean in a boat for a two-hour trip that took us around the inlet, passed the oyster beds, seaside villas and the famous and largest white sand dunes of Europe, Great Dune of Pyla (white sand in Europe is unusual). We took the tour to find out more about the local area but as soon as the boat took off we realised the captain’s commentary was only in French.