Thursday, April 1, 2010

Bordeaux picture blog and tourist information

View of the old centre of Bordeaux and the Pont de Pierre, the stone bridge

I shall be posting here about every week some albums with selections from various topics. Together with these postings I shall be making other Bordeaux blogs, shorter than this one (with the mentioned selections only) but in Dutch, German, French and Spanish. See links top left.
I am looking for someone that can translate to German for me (real short text; see top left links), to correct the French version and of course I am still looking for someone to correct my English at this site here.

Tourist information.
For all tourist information you can go to the tourist office, where they speak many languages.
Easy to find. Take a taxi or tramway or walk tot the Esplanade de Quinconces (for how the tramway works: see the link at the top left, "Tramway and Tourist Office").
On the Esplanade you find two parallel tramway lines and a huge square next to it (Quinconces). Standing between or next to the tramway lines with the square on your right side, the centre is at your left. Cross the road and the tourist office is right at the corner (Cours du 30 Julliet and Allée d'Orleans corner).
Inside at the right: organised guided trips; centre: tourist information, left: shop. Get in the centre the Bordeaux map, the Santiago folder ("Bordeaux sur les chemins de saint Jacques de Compostelle") and the list of outside and inside markets, everything free of charge.
At the shop buy "Bordeaux Cartoville" en "Bordeaux, guide de visite" (also in English). Buy both; they add value, the one to the other.
Last but not least: let them mark the regional tourist office at your map; it's close by, Cours de l'Intendance.

Basiliek St. Seurin

One more thing. I am now offering tourist guide services for Bordeaux and the Médoc. English, German, Dutch, French, Spanish and Portuguese spoken. Hotels with double bed as from € 30,- per night, good hot meals as from € 12,- pp.

Finally: see the selections after this message!

The Maison du Vin, the house of the wine. Wine university, courses, sales and marketing, wine bar.
In front of it, at the right, the tourist office, and at the back you can see the Girondins monument and fountain at Quinconces square.

Grapes and wine

What would Bordeaux be without grapes, without wine? Nothing, compared to what it is and what it was. So: find wine-shops all around town and find grapes all around the decoration of the houses and monuments.

Cours de l'Intendance

These heads in the facades of houses are common in France, but in Bordeaux, unlike in other towns, you find them in the facade of about every house. This one of course means that this house was built by a wine merchant.

In the Grand Théâtre, the grand theatre

Another facade head. I forgot to mention before that a head with grapes of course depicts Dionysus, also called Bacchus.

Mollet is a great bookshop. Find its several entrances at Rue Vital-Carles (tramway!), near Place Gambetta. Here a special window for a book on Rosé wine.

Grapes, yes; in its beak. Place de la Victoire.

Girondins monument and fountain at the Esplanade de Quinconces.

La Maison du Vin, the house of wine (in front of the tourist office), reflected in the window of a wine merchant on the other side of the road...

Looks a bit like Art Deco but the house is from 1901. Place Larrieu, which is worth a visit!

Bordeaux, city of terraces!

In Bordeaux you find lots and lots of terraces where you can take a drink or a meal. It has been a good decision of the town hall to oblige all terrace owners to use the same type of sun umbrellas.

My favourite place, Café des Arts, at Cours Victor-Hugo.

The Rue St. James (not an English name but James remains the same in the local occitan language) with the Grande Cloche, the big bell tower, under which the pilgrims walking to Santiago -Saint James!- de Compostela passed.

Part of the terrace of the Grand Théâtre.

Between the Cours Pasteur and the Cours Victor-Hugo.

In front of the cathedral.

At the Esplanade de Quinconces.

Next to the Grand Théâtre.

In the background my favourite square, Place C. Jullian, near the cathedral; no traffic there and lots of cheap but nice places for a drink or food.

Next to the Grandes Hommes -great men- market.

Café des Arts once again.

Modern architecture in Bordeaux

I already wrote this before: in the old part of Bordeaux, with modern architecture its the same as with modern art: you don't see much of it, but what you see is of great quality. By the way, it looks like if there is just little modern art or architecture, because you are overwhelmed by the enormous quantity of beautiful old buildings, monuments and squares...

Halfway the cathedral and Place Gambetta.

Same, reflected in another modern building.

The savings bank at the Mériadec shopping centre (tramway!).

The modern part of the court of justice, next to a 14th century tower of the Hâ fortress.

The music academy.

The civil service school.

Surroundings: St. Émilion

You can of course visit the beautiful region and city of St.Émilion by car, but you can also use the excellent train connection. Get enquiries at the train station or at the tourist office (where they also can tell you about the free tourists train from the St. Émilion railway station to the city centre, which by the way is only a 20 minutes walk, though uphill.
At the tourist office you can also book a guided trip to St. Émilion by bus.

The vineyards of St. Émilion

View from the higher part of the town

The old castle

One of the many scenic streets

A former abbey

The same abbey

The narrow road from the town wall to the centre

Such a construction makes it clear that St. Émilion was founded around the 13th century, as a so called bastide: completely new settlements, not belonging to a castle or an abbey. The were not only founded by Frenchmen but also by Englishmen.

Another part of the old abbey

Bordeaux reflections

At Bordeaux nearly always you will find a beautiful clear dark blue sky. See the first photo under this text. Well, that clear sky, combined with the many large show windows of the countless shops allowed me to take these intriguing photo's of reflections.

The abbey of the Anonciade, the announcement., reflected in its modern part.

Cours de l'Intendance

The flags on the gate of the Rohan palace, now the town hall, reflected in one of the old windows of the palace.

The Grand Théâtre, the main theatre, reflected in the shop window of a fine wine merchant on the other side of the square.

Rue St. Cathérine, the place to be for fashion in Bordeaux.

A reflection of the cathedral.

A reflection in a window of the Grand Théâtre

The restaurant of the Grand Théâtre, reflected in it's own windows.

Once again the Grand Théâtre and a wine merchant.

The Marché des Grandes Hommes, the great men's market.