The River Royale docked at Bordeaux in the evening so that we could be taken on a night tour of the city after dinner. We boarded open-topped buses and were driven around the city streets while our local guide pointed out the various attractions. I have to say it was just like driving around any other city by night. However, it’s obvious the people venture out at night. The city was packed at 10pm, and many people sitting outside restaurants and bars waved as we went by.
We passed on the walking tour of Bordeaux next day. There’s only so much fun in ambling along behind a sign-carrying guide with twenty other people, even with the option of little tastings on the way. We did our own thing, starting at a walk along the esplanade next to the river, busy with joggers, skate boards, bicycles, and walkers. Then we wandered through this beautiful town along winding alleys into squares. It’s all very clean and very safe, as are the trams.
It wasn’t all beer and skittles, though. We were standing in a packed tram when the driver slammed on the brakes. Since the vehicle was very crowded we all got squished but not too damaged – except for Pete, who sustained a bruise and a cut leg. It bled a bit, but he’ll live.
In the afternoon we visited the wine museum (Cite de vin) which looks a bit like London’s gherkin and is supposed to resemble a wine carafe. It’s a wonderful resource if you have the time and the interest. I confess we were more interested in the free glass of wine and the nice views from the top floor.
In our wanderings around the city we came across the cathedral and went inside. I would rank it up there as one of the most beautiful cathedrals I’ve ever been to.
All in all I’d give Bordeaux a big thumbs up. In fact the whole trip was interesting because of the excellent tours. We learned something every day.
From here, we’d be going back to Italy – and a whole new, very different adventure.