Annie Bananie en Europe

A blog about travel, life, and everyday tidbits

Tag Archives: place de la bourse

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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At the end of the river the sundown beams…

♬…all the relics of a life long lived…♫ Can anyone guess the song lyrics in the title? 😉

19 months since first stepping into Europe. Let me do a quick count. 10 months in Bordeaux, 8 months in Louvain-la-Neuve, and a month last year back in Canada for vacation. Although Bordeaux is supposed to be my “home” city and I’m supposed to spend way more time here compared to Louvain-la-Neuve, it seems like the way things worked out, the ratio is almost one-to-one so far. It hasn’t even been one full year in total in Bordeaux, if we look at it that way! Then June is China and Belgium, then Canada again in September and Belgium in October. It seems like I’m not gonna hit the one-year mark in Bordeaux till…November this year? What a whole lot of movement…and excitement coming up!

At least I’m here till the end of May. Spring in Bordeaux means rain…loads of it! It has been raining intermittently pretty much every single day for the past two or three weeks, and it seems like it will persist for at least another week. Goodness gracious. And it’s cold. Not so much the temperature is low, but the wind really adds quite a chill to the exterior…AND interior. My room is so cold at night that sometimes I have to turn on the heat. Is it really almost the end of April?

It wasn’t always like this, though. I was told that there were a few days in March – most likely the days when I was attending the training school – when the weather was so nice that you could go out in shorts and a T-shirt. We’re talking about 20+ degrees Celsius, the kind of spring (even summer) weather that we really enjoy. Then I came back to Bordeaux and the overcast skies chased away the sunshine. It’s not the first time that the weather turned gloomy upon my return to Bordeaux from Belgium. I think typical Belgium weather, consisting of dark clouds and rain, likes me enough to follow me back to France. I don’t think it’s very welcomed.

Before the attack of the rain, though, I caught a few days of relatively good sunshine, meaning warm enough that I wasn’t going to freeze from the wind by the river. That was about two weeks ago, when one night I decided to bike to the riverside after dinner to have a leisurely walk. It’s been too long since I’ve last been here. Way too long.

The walk started after I parked my bike at a nearby VCub station. As usual there were runners and bikers around, sharing the wide pedestrian area with people like me who prefer to walk slowly down the river. St.Michel cathedral stood tall and proud in a distance, always a prominent landmark visible from the waterfront and usually the first thing I notice when I arrive in Bordeaux by train.

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Because I love Bordeaux

Last Wednesday I came back to Belgium for another section of my mobility scheme in my PhD project. All I could say about Belgium when I arrived: c…c…COLD!

Alright, I guess I shouldn’t be expecting gorgeous Bordeaux weather here in Louvain-la-Neuve. After all, from what I’ve heard, even the temperature in Bordeaux has started to drop. It seems like my second European winter is about to begin. I’m excited! No sarcasm here, Canadian girl <3s winter!

Of course, before the snow arrives, rain likes to knock on our door as an unwanted guest. For two days straight. Saturday and Sunday were spent rather dully in my residence as there was nothing but rain outside my window, though I did get some nice time to rest, unpack everything, and tidy up my place a bit. I was gonna start adventuring right away and try going to Dinant last Sunday, but when I woke up and saw the rain, that idea had to be completely scrapped, or at least delayed for another (few) week(s).

So what did I do? I rummaged through my external hard drive and realized how many pictures of Bordeaux I’ve taken during the summer. It’s been awhile since I’ve done a proper “Bordeaux” entry (this one doesn’t really count), and even longer since I’ve bothered with Louvain-la-Neuve, but I’m here for another 3 months, and I’ll certainly take Mr.Nikon out on a stroll when the sky is just a tiny bit sunnier. For now, let’s take a look at some of the scattered photos of Bordeaux that I’ve taken at various places in the city during the past few months. No theme, no category, just Bordeaux, just home.

This is what I see every time I look outside my window, offices behind glass windows at the Palais de Justice. I can wave and say hi to the people working across from me!

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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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