Annie Bananie en Europe

A blog about travel, life, and everyday tidbits

Category Archives: France – Bordeaux

An unnoticed treasure house in Bordeaux

A couple of weeks ago I was taking a leisurely stroll around downtown Bordeaux on a postcard hunt. I’ve developed an obsession for postcards and I wanted to find some interesting ones to collect as well as to send to friends. Anyway, this post isn’t about postcards. Rather, it’s about what I discovered during my walk.

The hunt REALLY began when I made a random turn into a narrow street nearby Place de la Bourse, which opened up an entire world of little shops intertwined in hidden alleyways and corners in the St.Pierre area of Bordeaux. It’s amazing (and a shame) that I never discovered these places before…! Away from your typical Ste.Catherine where all the big brands are, here near St.Pierre is where you’d find antique stores, card stores, book stores, music stores, accesories stores…scattered around like treasures to be dug. One of them in particular caught my attention…

Au Dénicheur, situated at 12 Rue de la Cour des Aides in Bordeaux (right next to the St.Pierre cathedral, tram stations Place de la Bourse on line C and Place du Palais on line A), looked like an old, shabby bar on the side of an inconspicuous street. The first time I passed by, I didn’t give it much thought, but something made me stop and turn back 5 seconds later. Maybe it was the sign with the neon lighting, maybe it was the aura of mystery…I don’t know. I peeked inside and decided to enter for a closer look…

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Sculptures of Bordeaux

Like the Saint-André post, I’ve been planning the “Sculptures of Bordeaux” entry for quite a while, and though short and brief, here it is!

You may have noticed another 3-week gap in updates – I apologize! I promise I’ve been working hard though 😉

A copy of the Gloria Victis bronze statue is found in Bordeaux at Place Pey Berland, right in front of the north entrance of Saint-André. The original can be found in Washington DC.

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Still that same Bordeaux

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.

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La fête de la musique à Bordeaux

There is something about music that touches the depths of your soul, that harmonizes with every electrical pulse that runs through your body, that makes you want to jump or dance or scream or cry. Music is the universal language of expression, a ubiquitous medium that transcends through time and space, race and culture. That is why we celebrate it…with la fête de la musique!

The music festival is an annual event that takes place in France. In almost every city, from the afternoon till well past midnight, there are concerts, performances, and dances everywhere. According to a French ex-colleague, it is THE biggest event of the year. Coming from an authentic local, I knew I couldn’t miss it. I experienced the hype in Bordeaux two years ago but wasn’t here last year as I was in Belgium, but this year, the timing was perfect as June 21st fell on a Friday! Most of the fun happened around downtown, and since I live in downtown Bordeaux anyway, I figured I’d take full advantage of the walkable distance and spend the night immersing myself in the musical scenes of Bordeaux.

Oh, bonus: it didn’t rain! I totally expected the rain to continue, as it had been raining almost all week in Bordeaux – quite violently too! But God had been nice with us and sent us the sun to accompany our music. Let the magic begin.

I left the house at around 8:30pm and started at Place Pey Berland, going towards Rue Sainte-Catherine and towards the quai. Even the restaurants had their own events going on. Literally, there was something taking place in every corner of downtown. You just had to follow your ear and as soon as the previous sound of music faded away, another welcomed you. Who knows what concert you’d stumble upon next? 😉

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New year with GCC

Happy new year to everyone who follows the lunar calendar! It’s a Chinese tradition to gather with friends and family on new year’s eve while making dumplings, watching China’s annual new year TV event broadcasted live, and just enjoying each other’s presence. This year, I had a nice gathering with the Groupe Chrétien Chinois de Bordeaux at the Cenon church where we did all of the above! Even though we’re away from home, in Christ we’re brought close together as a family and we share joy and love as brothers and sister 🙂 And of course, Penguin said, “We all know the purpose of new year’s celebrations is to eat lots and lots of good food!” Hey, who could say she was wrong? 😉

Mmm, dumplings. Back home in Toronto, my mom makes them regularly and puts them in the freezer so that we can eat them whenever we want, but apparently in other parts of China, people only eat dumplings for special occasions like the new year. My favourite type of stuffing has got to be pork and chives. Nothing has ever tasted better than the taste of home!

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