Bordeaux is a wonderful city and I hope that with these pictures, I have been able to give you a sense of how beautiful it is, both the old and the new. I know that I had written about the Tram in a previous post and how modern it was and I think that the pictures above, show exactly how the Tram puts a modern feel throughout the city.
I fell in love with the gardens off the docks (Quai) and how much they complement the majestic facade of the buildings facing the Garonne. The Bridge of Stone, Le Pont de Pierre, from the beautiful backdrop of the manicured gardens all along the docks is now seen at a much better vantage point, the gorgeousness of all the colors combine in a tapestry that was naked beforehand.
I know that my memory is fading but I couldn’t get over how much I had lost of my memory than when I was blanking on the name of the Place at various locations. I apologize but even if you don’t know the exact names you can still appreciate the beauty of it all. I feel like such a ninny, me and my forgetfulness, oh boy.
One of my favorite pictures is the small series of the Miroir d’Eaux, the water mirror, on the docks. Seeing all the children running through the cool water and seeing the water spouts surprise the little ones was, I thought, adorable. I don’t know who was the architect of the whole project but they deserve a lot of recognition, incorporating modern elements into the historical landscape of a grand city is a feat that many have tried and failed. Kudos to the team who pulled this masterpiece off.
The transit system really makes it easy to leave your car at home and explore Bordeaux either by bus or by Tram, the tickets are interchangeable and the stops are very close to each other. There isn’t a good reason for taking your car unless you really want to pay high fees for parking.
I tried to show how the pedestrian streets were full of shoppers and the whole city was abuzz with people in cafe’s, in stores and just walking about taking full advantage of a beautiful day in the neighborhood. I keep reading about doomsday economic scenarios regarding the Euro but I think that someone forget to tell the good people of Bordeaux. No one was panicking, they were calmly sipping their Perrier’s, their glasses of Chateau Haut Brion or their Kronenbourg. I even bought something; I found this English all natural beauty shop and I bought an exfoliating facial scrub made with citrus and Breton sea salt. The company is called Lush and I really love my facial scrub, I am going to look into purchasing more facial products online because my skin is feeling pretty wonderful these days.
I have never been to a performance at the Grand Theatre but my Tantine L. has and she said that the night had been magical. I could see why because the building just looks so grand and majestic, right out of a fairy tale with all of the belles of the ball and the beaux dressed to the hilt in their hats and tails. Maybe some time in the future my hubby and I will be attending an opera performance or a ballet performance, I can always dream.
There is much history to the city, I know that the English held the city of Bordeaux for about four hundred years and then the French got the city back, my Papa once told me that the residents of Bordeaux actually wanted the English back because they lost much of their trade with England especially the wine, oops. The reason why Bordeaux was held in English hands was because Eleanor of Aquitaine, the most powerful women in Europe, was married to King Henry II of England. It was during the reign of Charles the VII, that Bordeaux was taken back into French hands and under the French crown.
According to Wikipedia, the 18th century was the golden era for Bordeaux, all the gorgeous buildings along the docks were built during this period. Victor Hugo, according to Wikipedia, found the city so beautiful that he said “take Versailles, add Antwerp, and you have Bordeaux” Moreover, Baron Haussman, a former prefect of Bordeaux, used Bordeaux’s 18the century big-scale rebuilding as a model when he was asked by Emperor Napoleon III to transform then still quasi-medieval Paris into a “modern” capital that would make France proud.
See I wasn’t exaggerating when I said Bordeaux was beautiful, even Wikipedia agrees, lol.