For those that may have followed our adventures in France, you'll know we always try to fit in as much as possible into every visit.. so with both girls full of energy to explore new places, we simply couldn't wait to add Bordeaux to our 'Taste of France' page... Ever since we were unbelievably lucky enough to get a place in Complete France's 'Top 6 Inspiring Blogs about France' we've tried hard to do this beautful country justice.... so if you're interested in seeing details of our 28 day circumnavigation of France , then read more here. But for those who want to find out what we learnt in Bordeaux, then let's go!!
As you're probably aware from our last blog post, we've pretty much driven from Santiago de Compostela, Spain to get to Bordeaux so both girls can enjoy a Christmas Market in France again (after last year's success at Angers).. So where better to start our 'Learn 5 Things You Didn't Know Bordeaux across the day'...
So as Bordeaux features in the Top 10 Christmas Markets in France (according to this article) you might be suprised to know that you can even buy a pilgrim staffs for those taking the route of Santiago de Compestella! (Number#1) But amongst the other stunning products from the 130 wooden chalets. You could enjoy local Acquitaine treats like the chocolates from Bayonne, armagnac, pear and prune spirits, faïences from Samadet, potteries from Saint Faust, blown glass from Vianne .
For (#Number2), look no further than the wealth of knowledge available from the amazing tourism office near to the Christmas Market, in fact the Bordeaux City Pass is really a must for those with families...not only do you get public transport free but you also get numerous free visits across Bordeaux's museums/tourist hotspots & a free guided bus tour included in the price of the City Pass...
So grab a tour if if you want to learn why the famous artist Francisco Goya was found headless in Bordeaux? Or that the current 1,114 seater Bordeaux Theatre was constructed with a very clear Greek Influence (12 columns, 9 statues to the Gods of art etc) or that they keep finding sea shells in the beautiful, creamy limestone that makes the city so attractive!!
Keeping the theme of transport running through the article, we simply had to give (Number#3) to whoever thought to make Bordeaux's amazing public transport system... in truth we'd heard it was due to the mayor who worked hard to install a 'state of the art' public transport system here... it has it all - trams, trains, buses & water taxi's. So if you want to know more than grab a quick glance here for some great tips if you visit without a city pass.
Having now visited 26 countries and well over 50 of Europe's major cities in the last 365 days, we absolutely love it when a city gets it right. It's so crucial to the family enjoying the city if you can get quick, safe easy access to transport across the entire city... so Bordeaux is up their with Oslo (another amazing city to get around in) & Valencia (our new favourite from earlier this trip)... Great job Bordeaux!!!
Ok, moving away from the transport theme... we headed off to explore other parts of the city!! And there is plenty to choose from... we walked to the 'submarine museum' (sadly shut on the day we visited so check before to save yourself a long walk ...) But at least it meant, we could show the girl's the truly amazing Cité du Vin... this mecca for wine lovers proved equally good for our girls...
Whilst adults can take tours, watch film, take boat trips and gaze at the Petrus!! We decided to use it for (Number#4) and a chance to get in some 'Road Schooling'.... Our trip has seen so many chances to grab these 'spur of the moment' opportunities... but the Cité du Vin can be a great 'Geography lesson' and 'Maths lesson' rolled into one! Both girls loved finding the variety of world countries on show here, and leapt at the chance to try and spend an imaginery £350 on wine from across the globe... We set them the challenge to find 20 wines from countries that could link a roadtrip from France to Australia.. (you'll have to catch up on whether they managed it in tomorrow's Part 2 post on Bordeaux).. Before we decided to find the most expensive bottle there and work out how much each sip of a Petrus might cost!! (ouch!!!)
The last and final thing we discovered was the amazingly simple things that can be discovered for children.. Our girls loved on the river front in the Parc des Sports (Saint Michel) (Number#5).... so if you catch this city like we did, on a beautiful sunny day, then follow the Golden Lion above the 'Grosse Cloche' as it supposedly points to the river on good days, and enjoy this amazing promenade... full of sports facilities to match those of the 'Garden of Turia in Valencia' or just enjoy a walk along the mirror pond and it's reflections of the stunning line of buildings that overlook the river....
On reflection there's just too much to explore in one day... so as we headed back to our over night stay at the campsite at Beau Soleil (south of Bordeaux with easy access in (Bus #10, then Tram B into the centre)) we've decided that we need another visit... so we'll be back tomorrow to find out more about this truly beautiful old city of Bordeaux.
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