Read part 1 here and part 3 here.
Bordeaux! Je t’aime!
Yup, after a month and a half of being away from Bordeaux, I was finally going back, albeit only for two days. My friend and I decided that we’d make a short stop by Bordeaux, since her European experience wouldn’t be complete without a visit to my main base in France. I will be going to her headquarter in London in May, so let’s just call this an exchange!
The trip was actually quite well-timed, though unintentionally. Just last week, while talking with my supervisor, he was saying how it’d be nice if we could try a different approach with our experiments, the only problem being that the chemicals we need were in Bordeaux and we’d need to get them shipped. You probably saw where this is going. So I said, “Um…actually I planned a trip to Bordeaux this weekend, so…I can go to the lab and bring them back?” My supervisor literally jumped for joy at the suggestion, and so my return had an added purpose. What perfect coincidence.
So you see, my stay in Europe is not all fun and play; I do work too ^_^
Anyway, back to Bordeaux. Remember that word that I used to describe Bordeaux? Elegant. I arrived in Bordeaux during the autumn season, spending my first European fall and winter there. Even then the city was elegant, but my goodness, Bordeaux is a heavenly beauty during the springtime. I felt like I was falling in love with it all over again. Quinconces, St. Catherine, the Garonne River, Place de la Bourse, Victoire…everything felt so renewed, so FRESH under the sun! I absolutely did not want to come back to Louvain-la-Neuve.
Of course, with a friend close by, I finally have some pictures of myself in Bordeaux! The following were all taken near some of my favourite spots in downtown Bordeaux.
A view of the St. André Cathedral outside my apartment. It still looks so majestic and so grand. Oh, I haven’t forgotten about the special entry that I said I’d dedicate to the cathedral. I still intend to do it because it deserves such recognition. Once I’m back in Bordeaux from Louvain-la-Neuve, I’ll find a day to take only pictures of the cathedral from every angle possible. Let’s hope I don’t put it to shame!
Breakfast at Pain et Cie, or “Bread and Co.” in English. I was treated to breakfast at this place a couple of months ago and I loved their bread and unlimited drinks combo! Bread was not unlimited, but 5 pieces of bread per person was far more than enough, especially when you had 6 different kinds of spreads to choose from – raspberry jam, marmalade, hazelnut, white chocolate, dark chocolate, and milk chocolate! Yum yum yum, especially the white chocolate spread! As for drinks, not only were they unlimited, but you could choose a different type of hot drink each time! If you take on the challenge (or have time for a nice 3-hour breakfast), you can probably try every selection on the menu! I only took a grand crème and a hot chocolate but they were oh-so-very-warm-and-delicious. How I wanted to try the cappuccino too, but after 4.5 pieces of bread with too much spread and two cups of drinks, I gave up! It’ll have to be next time – who will I invite next?
First time taking a photo on the tram and not feeling awkward, because not many people were on the train at 10 on a Sunday morning. A nice French guy offered to take a picture for the both of us ^_^
Teehee, more tram photos! The tram driver was nice enough to stop just to let me take a photo with the tram. Aren’t the French people lovely?!
Nah, I was kidding. This tram was out of service on an unused portion of the track, hence “SANS VOYAGEURS” (“without travellers” in English) on the display. No one was around, so it seemed as if I could do anything I wanted with the tram 😛
Nooooooooooooooooooooo, don’t fall on meeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!
MUST…HOLD…ON…TIGHT! All of a sudden I felt like I was in a fight scene on a train in Baccano!…yeah, dream on.
The Saint-Michel Basilica reflecting in the Miroir d’Eau, or Water Mirror, right before sunset. There were quite a bit of people in downtown Bordeaux that day, despite it being a Sunday. Many people took advantage of the perfect weather to take a gentle stroll down the river or just sit and bathe in the sun.
Lots of little kids were running around with their bathing suits and some even unclothed! Oh, the carefree days of childhood.
Of course, I had to jump in (literally) and take an official picture with the landmark of Bordeaux. Can you tell I was excited to be back?
There was a random gigantic cruise by the river this weekend. I didn’t know cruises came to Bordeaux. Not a bad addition to the scene, actually, and it makes me want to go on a cruise trip sometime too.
Place de la Bourse from the other side of the river, just as the sun was setting and before the sky turned completely dark. I always have tons of trouble taking pictures of this place, whether close-up or from far away. It is perhaps the most gorgeous place in Bordeaux, in my opinion.
Pont de Pierre at night. The side of the bridge facing the Place de la Bourse was under construction, so we weren’t able to walk on that side…bummer!
Note to self: The “Night Scene” mode on camera actually works wonders during the night!!! Why else would they call it that? Trust the manufacturer for once! I felt so stupid after realizing that I wasn’t aware of this mode on the camera until that night. How many awesome night scenes did I miss out on!? Perhaps that was why I never got nice pictures of the Place de la Bourse??? *Slaps self in the face*
Anyway, after the great revelation, I decided to try to take a picture of the Place de la Bourse with the tram stopped in front of it, kind of like the one on the official Bordeaux tourism web site, and you know what, it kind of works! The feeling of stupidity was soon masked by that of excitement and awe, as I had wanted for so long to replicate that photo myself. Goal achieved!
A few hours before leaving Bordeaux, I stood in the middle of the Miroir d’Eau. I remember my thought at that exact moment: “Bordeaux is so beautiful; I don’t want to leave again.” Every other thought of Bordeaux is how beautiful it is and how fortunate I was to be able to live in this city. I will be back soon. One more month to go!
Are we missing something? How can you say that you’ve been to Bordeaux (to my friend who was visiting for the first and possibly the only time) without trying some of our wine? Anywhere else in France, and I would have let it go, but not in Bordeaux! I hope you didn’t think that that was all there was to the trip. Wine is the life and soul of the city, and there will be plenty in the next entry, when we head to…St. Emilion!