Wednesday, February 04, 2009

I ♥ Bordeaux


Things I love about Bordeaux. I love the quais and walking by the milky water of the Garonne river. I love the luminous honey colour of the façades that line the quais. I love whooshing through the town in trams with no messy overhead cables. I love the market at Saint Michel on a Saturday morning. I love walking the entire length of the rue Sainte Catherine from the Place de la Victoire to the Cours de l'Intendance, gradually moving up the scale from cheap import shops to expensive luxury boutiques. I love the smell that wafts out of perfume shops. I love Saint Pierre when the restaurant terraces are full and people flânent past on a warm evening. I love the mascarons on the 18th century façades. I love the fact that I know shortcuts through quartiers that I used to live in. I love knowing of high places that afford a bird's eye view of the town's marmalade roof tiles. I love the sedimented associations attached to various eating and drinking places. I love the sparkling air in spring. I love the cobbled streets. I love the bookshop La Machine a Lire. I love the Chartrons and its mixture of antique shops and recently renovated loft apartments. I love the smell of fresh baguettes as the bell tinkles on the way into a good boulangerie. I love cannelés - their taste has grown on me over the years. I love knowing where to look to see a reliably beautiful wisteria in the early spring. I love the miroir d'eau and it's haziness in the summer. I like knowing that Michel de Montaigne and Mauriac and Goya and Hölderlin also liked the city. I love the massive door knockers. I love cycling the wrong way down side streets. I love the area around the Utopia cinema and the constantly changing mass of people milling around before they go to see a film. I love cafés with well-worn tables and chairs, and the ambiance in the Café Brun. I love the Entrepôts Lainé and the modern art that fills them. I love the big fairground van that makes guimauve while the fair is on the Place des Quinconces and the Big Wheel that sits behind it. I love the Monument des Girondins. I love the Capucins market during the night. I love the shared history that allows me to say that the new Zara used to be Bouchara and before that it was HMV and before that it was XL and before that Printemps. I love to think of the Chartrons when Scottish wine merchants lived there.

6 comments:

Lesley said...

PS. This blog post was not sponsored the tourist office!

Antipodeesse said...

I used to think cannelés were boring and stodgy, yet their taste grew on me too and now I love 'em!

Clare said...

Bordeaux roof tops from the top of the multi-storey in Cours Victor Hugo, the sun on the facade of the Bourse, the street lamps on the Pont St Pierre and walking through the streets that haven't yet been tarted up imagining what life was like way back then.

Clare said...

Ooops - one more. Bordeaux in August. lovely!

materfamilias said...

We're starting to think about how/whether to extend our visit to Paris this year -- you've made a good case for a trip to Bordeaux!

Lesley said...

Antipo: Yes, that's the word, stodgy. But one comes to realise that under the apparent stodginess, there is real flavour.

Clare: I have to be honest and say that August is not my favourite month in Bx. It's often really hot and all of my favourite restaurants close for the month. Then again, parking is easy.

Materfamilias : Bordeaux is a great city for discovering as tourists and the surrounding area is wonderful too (Atlantic beaches, the bassin d'Arcachon, the Médoc ....)