The City of Bordeaux, France

The city of Bordeaux exudes an aura of elegance, reminding visitors of the streets of Paris, France

The city of Bordeaux exudes an aura of elegance, reminding visitors of the streets of Paris, France

 

When we hear the geographic name, Bordeaux, most of us (particularly wine lovers) think about wine – specifically, Bordeaux wines (Left Bank/Right Bank or Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot, etc. or Margaux, Medoc, Saint-Emilion, etc.).  We arrived in the Bordeaux region on the ship and docked in the city of Bordeaux, in the heart of the old city.  Our first explorations were in the city, before driving around the region, visiting wineries (and restaurants) on the left bank and the right bank [see upcoming blogs].

Renowned worldwide for its fine wines, Bordeaux was recognized even in Roman times as one of the empire’s most exceptional vineyards.  The generally rolling hillsides offer ample exposure to the sun, while the pebbled, sandy soil provides good drainage.  Meticulous care is lavished on each vine and throughout the entire winemaking process, from harvest and crushing to fermentation, aging, clarification and bottling.  The result when everything works just perfectly is some of the most sought-after vintages in the world.  [See the recent movie, Red Obsession, where red is a double entendre and refers to both the color of the wine and the Chinese wealth pursuing the top Bordeaux wines.]

 

Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux is the home of the Opéra National de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France

Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux is the home of the Opéra National de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France

 

The city of Bordeaux exudes an aura of elegance.  “The city of Bordeaux is among France’ most exciting, vibrant and dynamic cities.  In the last decade and a half, it’s shed its languid, Belle au Bois Dormant (Sleeping Beauty) image thanks to the vision of city mayor Alain Juppé who’s pedestrianised boulevards, restored neoclassical architecture, created a high-tech public transport system and reclaimed Bordeaux’s former industrial wet docks at Bassin à Flots.  Half the city (18 sq km) is UNESCO-listed, making it the largest urban World Heritage site; while world-class architects have designed a bevy of striking new buildings – the Herzog & de Meuron stadium (2015), decanter-shaped La Cité du Vin (2016) and Jean-Jacques Bosc bridge (2018) across the Garonne River included.” – www.lonelyplanet.com

 

We visited on a holiday weekend, so the main pedestrian thoroughfare, Cours de l’Intendance, was crowded with shoppers, Bordeaux, France

We visited on a holiday weekend, so the main pedestrian thoroughfare, Cours de l’Intendance, was crowded with shoppers, Bordeaux, France

 

The city built an ultra-modern urban train system, shown here in contrast with the classical Grand Théâtre, Bordeaux, France

The city built an ultra-modern urban train system, shown here in contrast with the classical Grand Théâtre, Bordeaux, France

 

Eglise Notre-Dame (Notre Dame Church) was constructed by the Jacobins in the late 17th century and is characteristic of the Counter Reformation building of the period, Bordeaux, France

Eglise Notre-Dame (Notre Dame Church) was constructed by the Jacobins in the late 17th century and is characteristic of the Counter Reformation building of the period, Bordeaux, France

 

Shops and a cinema near Place Gambetta, Bordeaux, France

Shops and a cinema near Place Gambetta, Bordeaux, France

 

Porte Dijeaux, built by Voisin from 1748 to 1753 and sculpted by Francin, is one of the city’s monumental gateways, Bordeaux, France

Porte Dijeaux, built by Voisin from 1748 to 1753 and sculpted by Francin, is one of the city’s monumental gateways, Bordeaux, France

 

Buttresses on the Cathédrale Saint-André de Bordeaux (Bordeaux Cathedral), Bordeaux, France

Buttresses on the Cathédrale Saint-André de Bordeaux (Bordeaux Cathedral), Bordeaux, France

 

The interior of Cathédrale Saint-André de Bordeaux (Bordeaux Cathedral), Bordeaux, France, Bordeaux, France

The interior of Cathédrale Saint-André de Bordeaux (Bordeaux Cathedral), Bordeaux, France, Bordeaux, France

 

Hotel de Ville (City Hall), Bordeaux, France

Hotel de Ville (City Hall), Bordeaux, France

 

Three windows overlooking Cathédrale Saint-André de Bordeaux and Place Pey-Berland, Bordeaux, France

Three windows overlooking Cathédrale Saint-André de Bordeaux and Place Pey-Berland, Bordeaux, France

 

Our ship docked in the heart of the old city, along Quai Louis XVII across from the Bourse Maritime, Bordeaux, France

Our ship docked in the heart of the old city, along Quai Louis XVII across from the Bourse Maritime, Bordeaux, France

 

4 thoughts on “The City of Bordeaux, France

  1. Great post, Rich!

    Love the town and region of Bordeaux and their pursuit of excellence and thus named our team’s LLC after it! Trying to convince Susan to swing by for a few nights in Bordeaux and Saint-Emilion after we disembark and stay a couple of days in Barcelona this summer.

    Best regards,
    Tom

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    • This was our first visit to Bordeaux and we loved the city and the overall region. It is easy to see, hands down, how this is the capital of the world’s wine producers. Completely charming, not to mention centuries of tradition, craftsmanship (in the vineyards and the wineries) and pride. We look forward to returning!
      Riccardo

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  2. Hard to imagine everything working perfectly together for these exceptional wines, but good to know there is a place left like this.

    Except for the crowds, you all must have had a ball.

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  3. Oh my goodness, Bordeaux looks amazing! I exceptionally liked your photo of the weekend crowds. Must have a fabulous vibe. Your ship looked elegant docked in the harbor. Thanks for your posts…

    Like

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