A beautiful day in Bordeaux
On the last weekend of winter break we drove down to Bordeaux with the kids and one of my husband's French colleagues. He was heading down there to see his girlfriend, we had room in the car and if he did not mind travelling with kids we certainly did not mind the company :) It was actually a pretty interesting five hour drive and I am positive our chatty family gave him a headache by the end of it :P I mean we did not hold back at all; from playing Desi tunes in the car, to eating chicken & gg salad sandwiches, to sipping on tea out of a thermos, we made sure he knew what a Desi road trip truly sounds, smells and feels like :P Do not worry, we got him there alive and well, we think :P
We reached Bordeaux a little late and were concerned about finding any place open that late for dinner close to our B&B, which was about 10 minutes outside the center. We parked our car at a nearby garage, checked-in and left right away to walk around and try our luck. We thankfully did not have to walk too far before we came across a few neat places, but they were already closed for dinner :( Until we got to this neighborhood brasserie whose owner and his super friendly little dog were welcoming, and more importantly willing to serve this hungry bunch. We were tired, the food was super fresh, the atmosphere was lively and that was all we asked for.
was another good find. Exactly what one would expect from a south western French inn. High on charm and tastefully decorated. We had a super cute mezzanine suite just off the breakfast room and a little kitchenette. We got lucky on the second night of our stay as the room next door was not reserved and the owner offered it to us for free so it was like having the whole place to ourselves.
Outside La Grenadine - Bordeaux
Bordeaux's city center is for the most part a pedestrian only zone, and it is very easy to commute in and out because of the city's neat tram system. And, about four euros gets you unlimited trips for the day so it is really convenient. We could not have picked a better day to see Bordeaux. It was one of those March days that Charles Dickens' so beautifully described as "...when it is Summer in the light, and Winter in the shade." So, our family spent the morning appreciating the beautifully restored limestone architectural masterpieces of the city. We started our self-guided walking tour at the Grand Theatre and made our way to Cathedral St. Andre in Quartier St-Michel. The most notable of our stops in between being the medieval gate of Porte Cailhau and Place de la bourse & the unique reflecting pool called the Miroir d'Eau, which fascinatingly reflects the gorgeous horseshoe shaped plaza.
Monument aux Girondins
We then made our way back to Monument aux Girondins at the center for some gorgeous photos before we met our road trip partner from the night before and his girlfriend for lunch at this
not too far. It had a lovely vibe and the food was tasty. We thought it was super sweet of them to want to meet up for lunch and it is always safer when you have a local picking a spot to eat. We could not help but notice the city fair that was taking place nearby and we decided to bring the kids back to it later in the evening.
The kids rested back at the B&B while hubby and I enjoyed a nice 30 minute stroll just outside with Garonne River on one side and shops of Quai des Marques Mall on the other and views of Chaban-Delmas Bridge. It was actually nice to digest some of the carbs we had at lunch. Once the kids were rested and ready we headed back to the center for some good old family fun and food at the fair. Bumper cars, rides, carnival games, cotton candy, and kebabs for dinner made it a fun evening for the kids and for us too actually. We had not done something like this in a while.
Good thing there are a few years till he can actually drive lol
Barbe a Papa with their Papa :P
After dinner we decided to make our way to Place de la Bourse and Ponte de Pierre because it is gorgeous at night and makes for a beautiful backdrop. We were there just long enough to take some night time photos before it started to rain and we ran to catch the tram back to the B&B and call it a night :)
Place de la Bourse at night
The next morning I made a quick trip back to the city center to hunt for a souvenir or two as I did not see any souvenir shops walking around town the day before. Bordeaux is known as France's "Sleeping beauty" for good reason - it is not very touristy at all despite its charm, attractive architecture & famed red wine. I would have wasted a long time looking for what I needed had the B&B owner not advised me to check the visitor center as that would be my only real bet, and she was not wrong. I actually made it back before the boys were finished with their breakfast and we were able to leave shortly after that. And just like that we ended another memorable weekend in a city that was all that people said it was and more to cherish for a long time. :)