The last blog was three weeks ago. Oh my! Historically July has been the slowest month for me in terms of blogging, and it seems like it’ll be the same this year. July isn’t a big travel month for me, and this year, a huge factor has been added that hinders blog progress. Embrace the T word – THESIS.
Thesis writing, that is. I’m finally at the end stages of my PhD studies and it’s time to crunch out that thesis that supposedly encompasses the work I’ve done within the past three years. It still hasn’t sunk in that what I’m writing now is the actual thesis itself, but I think that should be another post for another day. Thesis blues, you’ve hit me hard.
It’s been a while since I’ve written a true “Bordeaux” post, about the city I’ve been calling home for almost three years. So I dug out some of my favourite Bordeaux photos (old ones and recent ones) and I realized…wow, it is still as beautiful as ever.
The autumn moon hangs in the Bordeaux sky at dusk before it gets dark, waiting for its turn to shine when night falls. Bordeaux is known as the “Port of the Moon” because of the large crescent shape of its port. How suitable for an elegant city to have such an elegant name.
Bordelais summers can be scorching hot. With the temperature at 33 degrees Celsius, it’s the perfect time to head to the Miroir d’Eau and relax with a good water fight 😉
And when the Miroir d’Eau is calm, it really is so clear that it almost seems as if it could reflect every thought of your mind and every feeling of your heart. Then moments later mist surrounds you and all turns into a blur. You can barely make out what you’re thinking…or feeling.
I got off the tram one day a few weeks ago and saw this boat by the quay. Then I heard some guy say, “Qu’est-ce que c’est ce bateau-là? C’est vraiment moche.” That translates into, “What’s this boat thing here? It’s really ugly.” Well, the boat is no longer there now, but I can’t say that the guy was wrong… 😛
Night is when Bordeaux loves to shine. One night in May, I had an urge to take a walk along the river after dinner. So I went alone, with my camera. There was a bit of rain, but not enough to ruin the walk, so I continued to my favourite place in Bordeaux, Place de la Bourse, just behind the Miroir d’Eau. This lady was taking a photo of the fountain in the middle, probably oblivious that she found a place in my photo. The walk itself was refreshing, and I’m certainly glad I got home before it started pouring…
Downtown Bordeaux is reflected in the Garonne river on this rare rainless night in November, with Place de la Bourse on the left and the Foire de Quinconces (Quinconces carnival) on the right. Aside from the Miroir d’Eau, our own Garonne can be a very grand mirror as well.
Strolling along, we eventually reach the Grand Theatre, glowing in gold. I really don’t think it is any shabbier than the opera house in Paris.
The sculptures at Place de Quinconces, accompanied by water fountains, have become a landmark of Bordeaux. The feelings of the water drops from the fountains falling on my face is so refreshing on a hot summer afternoon. I almost wanted to dive into that fountain.
Bordeaux’s city hall is so close by where I live that barely a day goes by without me passing by it. By no means is it as majestic as the ones in Paris or Brussels, as it stands humbly at the corner of Place Pey Berland.
Dusk arrives at Pessac Centre, a suburb of Bordeaux, as I wait for the tram to head back to the city centre. The clouds scatter about the sky like wisps of orange smoke, burning in the sinking sun behind the silhouettes of an oblivious city.
For France’s national holiday, I went to the riverside for the fireworks. I realized too late that the best view would probably have been from the right side of the river, so tant pis, I stayed on the left bank and enjoyed the show with probably half the people in the city of Bordeaux. Joyeux anniversaire, ma France!
Bordeaux, still that same beautiful Bordeaux. Yet, the beauty of a city isn’t only defined by its architecture and sights and scenery – a part of it, especially for a place as special as “home”, is contributed by the people of that city.
And here’s where it gets complicated. With so many goodbyes already said, Bordeaux is still the same Bordeaux, but not quite the one I’ve loved so deeply before. Some things just don’t feel right when people are missing. Same with a city. This city. Where did that passion, that attachment go?