Destinations Magazine

Bordeaux - Ville Sur La Rivière

By Josephharrison1990 @JTAH_1990

Bonjour! It's Bordeaux calling! I've gone all French recently. I decided to desperately seek an adventure in the south-west of France, boarding a flight to Bordeaux’s Merignac Airport to be a part of the French life. I have been to the nearby Poitou-Charentes region in the south-west of France before on family visits but I haven’t seen the city of Bordeaux until this visit.

Bordeaux - Ville Sur La RivièreTake the train to Gare de Bordeaux St. Jean to be at the center of the art and sophistication of this southern French city. Bordeaux station is managed by SNCF which is the equivalent of Britain’s Network Rail. Boasting high speed rail connections to Paris, Toulouse and other stations along  France’s vast train network. Travelling by train in France doesn't have to break the bank, but ticket prices are relatively the same compared to prices in England. C’est Le Vacances!

Bordeaux has many means of connecting people from the outer regions of the wider Poitou-Charentes area by train. Staying within the rolling fields and vineyards of the French countryside the train posed to be the easiest solution to get to Bordeaux’s center ville from the hamlet station of Montendre. It’s for sure a learning experience seeing the unknown train stations pass by as the train makes its way closer to Bordeaux, coupled with the busy chattering of the local French people who were on the train early that morning.

Bordeaux - Ville Sur La RivièreWhen in France being knowledgeable to of the local language is a good idea because like most places in France people don’t speak English. I can thankfully understand a lot of French, so if things turned out for the worse I would be able to communicate accordingly. Captured to the right is the ‘L'Eglise du Sacré-Cœur' which translates to ‘The Church of the Sacred Heart’. Something tells me that this church has been modified in the middle because the brickwork looked a lot lighter than the rest of the building appeared to be. I will be honest that the sites I saw in Bordeaux were very different from what I have been used to in Birmingham. Bordeaux keep doing what you do! 

Bordeaux itself has been classed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, suggesting that this city has architecture that’s worth preserving. With that said the ‘Quartier Nansouty’ had a number of very old buildings consisting of houses, schools and general buildings,  which date back to the 1700’s now that’s history well preserved for you! Along with the protected status of this city it begs the question whether additional work is continually carried out in-order to maintain these buildings? Because some buildings did look like they were in a state of disarray. Who honestly has the answer to this question?

Bordeaux - Ville Sur La RivièreBordeaux is definitely a city with a healthy serving of culture and history because there’s no shortage of historical and palatial points of interest. Starting with one of the city’s most formidable sites has to be the ‘Place de la Bourse’ it stands strong with an air of realness. Within this quarter of Bordeaux the architecture has a sense of royalty about it. I did wonder whether these buildings of the past once housed people who could have been called dignitaries. Fit for a queen, you could say? 

Taking one day to discover the delights of this French city will do the job just fine. Describing this city’s status took a lot of thought for me as Bordeaux has a feeling of a large town. Getting around Bordeaux can be executed in two ways, discover the city by foot as it’s definitely how the sites that are off the beaten track can be seen. Better still this city has an extensive metro system, which passes through the streets of the quite regularly. Word on the street is that the Bordeaux metro network will eventually be developed to reach the city’s Bordeaux Merignac Airport.

Bordeaux - Ville Sur La RivièreMoving through to the final chapter of my day in the city of Bordeaux concluded with a visit to ‘La Garonne’ riverside. This part of town is very picturesque, I for one fell in love this city when I saw the river capture the vista of the city. This city does have that ‘Je Ne Sais Quoi’ feeling because it’s difficult to limit this city within a phrase or comparison against other European cities I have previously visited. You must take a walk along the banks of ‘La Garonne’ to marvel at the typically French buildings, whilst watching the river flow by making its way to the vast Atlantic Ocean.

Bordeaux is a fantastic place to visit, I would wholeheartedly say that this city has a great complexity and depth to seek and enjoy. Only in Bordeaux you can experience the magnificent buildings of yesteryear right through to the quintessentially French waters of ‘La Garonne’ river. I proclaim my love for this French gem. So, I guess it all really makes sense, get to Bordeaux now! It’s only a 1 hour and 15 minute flight from England and easily accessible by the high speed TGV trains from Paris. If history and culture happens to be your thing I suggest that you book your tickets to Bordeaux now!

Découvrez La Culture !!! J'adore Bordeaux !!! Visitez Le Sud-Ouest De La France !!!

Joseph Harrison

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