Bordeaux at last, June 15, 2023

After a seven hour flight from Philadelphia to Madrid and a seven hour layover in Madrid, we finally arrived in Bordeaux at about 5 PM. Our hotel, the Grand Hotel de Bordeaux, an  InterContinental Hotel, is lovely. 

The view wasn’t much to write home about.

After settling in, we went to the rooftop bar for a drink and to soak up the view. Here are a couple of shots I took while sitting there. You can see the Garonne River and many of the historic sites from this rooftop perch.

The Opera House.

Another view of the Opera House an the sun started its downward journey.

We made dinner reservations at La Petit Commerce a couple of months in advance from home. It is famous for its oysters and fresh fish and the restaurant did not disappoint us. The walk from our hotel to the restaurant, down Rue Sainte Catherine, was short and easy. Rue Sainte Catherine is reputed to be the longest pedestrian shopping street in France.

We indulged ourselves with a selection of oysters followed by fresh Seabass. Both were excellent. As it turned out, we were seated in the middle of a group of athletes from Sweden, who were in town competing in an international competition. Directly to my left was a fellow in his 50s, who told me he was a bowler on the Swedish team. He was seated with two lady bowlers and another gentleman. At first we thought they were two couples, but learned that they were all just friends and competitors. To my right were track and field athletes. They all seemed happy and content and enjoying the competition. They made the evening fun and enjoyable. Here is a picture of the track and field athletes.

We were at dinner a couple of hours and as we walked back to the hotel I took this shot of the Opera House.

After a great night’s sleep, we started with a pleasant lunch at a café next to our hotel. Then we were off on our adventures. Our first stop was at the Cathedrale St-Andre. It was a brief walk from our hotel. Our hotel is really well situated in the historic area, just across the street from the opera house at Place de la Comédie. Here are a few photos taken as we walked to the cathedral, one of the bell tower and inside and outside of the cathedral. I call the first one, “waiting for a tram.”

St-Andre in the distance.

Sculptures above the entrance caught my eye, especially the one in the center who was staring directly at me.

The alter is lovely . . .

. . . this side alter is beautiful.

As always, the windows are art in glass.


From there we made our way to the Grosse Cloche which served as both a prison and the bell tower of the nearby Hotel de Ville (the city hall).

Adjacent to the Grosse Cloche was a tiny church and, as always, I had to glance inside. It was quite lovely and serene. Take a look.

And then we were off to the Place de la Bourse. It was designed for King Louis XV in the mid 18th century and is considered Bordeaux’s most elegant square. All the buildings, which are mirror images of each other, are elegant and impressive. I was not able to get a good photo of the buildings themselves but did manage a couple of shots of portions of them.  The shot of the square is backlit so the details of the buildings are lost.  The shot is just to show the layout of the square.  

And, last but not least, the Miroir d’Eau opposite the Place de la Bourse, a fountain of sorts, it is the world’s largest reflecting pool covering an area of 3450 square meters of black granite.

Then it was back to the hotel to prepare for dinner. We had reservations at Le Pressoir d’Argent, a Gordon Ramsay restaurant which is located on the 1st floor of our hotel.  How convenient. I don’t usually take photos of food but the preparation of snails was just artistic and I just couldn’t pass it up (and it was excellent going down as well).

The fire place.

Dinner was an experience. Six courses beginning with mussels and then the snails. Followed by seafood by lobster and then beef, all of which were paired with wine selected especially for the menu. Three hours after arriving they bid us adieu and we were off to bed.


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