Annie Bananie en Europe

A blog about travel, life, and everyday tidbits

Tag Archives: miroir d’eau

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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One year – then, now, and favourites

It’s been one year since I arrived in France.

It’s been one year since I started this blog.

It’s been one year since I stepped into this exciting stage in my life.

It’s really been one year. Wow.

I want to make this a comprehensive and representative post of the past year, in Bordeaux, in Louvain-la-Neuve, and really, just Europe in general (minus the one month back in Canada).

What changed since I first stepped foot into Bordeaux? What didn’t change? Let’s try chart form.

As another school year has just begun (yup, second year thesis student now!) I thought I’d take a memory trip back and list some “favourites” of the year in photos. This will definitely be a fun entry to write and also to look back on in the future!

Favourite place in Bordeaux

Place de la Bourse at night, by the Miroir d’Eau

Without a doubt, it is the Miroir d’Eau, or Water Mirror by the riverside. I like to take strolls at night after dinner and somehow I often end up here to chill or just watch the reflection of Place de la Bourse in the water while waiting for the mist to come out every 15 minutes. When it is not too cold, I love to take off my shoes and dip my feet into the water, sometimes having water fights with my buddies who come along. It’s one of those places that makes you feel like you’re truly in France, carefree and relaxed.

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Back to France part 2: My Bordeaux

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!

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Of strikes, wine, and cheese

So, that road sign I was talking about in the last post – apparently it means “end of a path for pedestrians and cyclists” according to this web site. HOWEVER, take a look here and here. Two very similar signs with slight differences, and what I saw last week was the first one. So whether the border is a square or a circle makes a difference…as well as whether the adult is holding the child’s hand. GOOD STUFF, FRENCH PEOPLE. I was almost 100% positive that these signs had something to do with children specifically. WHY DID YOU HAVE TO INCLUDE THE KID!? You got me with that red herring, France…

One thing I found out this week is that Bordeaux is referred to as Port de la Lune, or Port of the Moon. When I first heard that the Port of the Moon is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, I was determined to find out where this “port” is situated so I could go visit. I was convinced that it was a specific location somewhere within the city of Bordeaux. Many searches later, I found nothing with regards to where the Port of the Moon is and how to get there. Strange, I thought, that there are no directions to such a place. It wasn’t until one dark and stormy night when epiphany struck me that maybe…just maybe the Port of the Moon IS Bordeaux itself. Well don’t I feel stupid. Anyway, it is named so due to “the crescent shape of the meandering Garonne as it traverses the city”. What a pretty name!

Yesterday I went on a city tour organized for new students. To be honest my motivation to attend mostly came from the free lunch. It turns out that the tour itself was rather boring, and I much preferred my spontaneous explorations. As a result, I strayed from the group halfway through and wandered off on my own. Then I went to the grocery store to get more wine and cheese, but that is besides the point.

Inside the Grand Theatre

We started out at the Grand Theatre at 10:00. I would be still in bed if it weren’t for the tour. In retrospect I should have stayed in bed. The interior of the Grand Theatre reminds me of Roy Thompson Hall, though it’s smaller and much cozier. I ended up on the 4th floor, which I think was as high as you could go.

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