Great guesses from all you commenters – but my new favorite city is Bordeaux. You might be thinking, this girl loves everything! Well, maybe that’s true. But bet me a bottle of vintage red wine, Bordeaux tops it all. Already fixated by the south of France, I was shocked to find I had been missing out on the southwest. I have three words for you: confit de canard.
Everywhere you look, there is something beautiful to see. Not to mention, almost everyone is good looking! Is there some sort of procreation laws in Bordeaux? Or just that Mediterranean vibe? After living in rural France for so long, we all agreed that this city was the epitome of the idealized France – what we all dreamed France would be like before moving here.
We devoted an entire day to wine tasting, because we could. The Office of Tourism in Bordeaux puts together some really nice wine country trips – and we found a steal on a day trip with other youngsters. The excursion consisted of a museum visit at Planète Bordeaux, where we learned the basics of wine production. I would highly recommend a visit there if you want an informative, and well-presented exhibition of the wine distilling process. Of course, the museum visit ended with wine tasting, as every good museum visit should, another plus!
Next we took buses to Entre-deux-mers, one of the Bordeaux wine regions. We visited Chateau la France, a beautiful vinyard close to Planète Bordeaux. I had no idea there were so many individual appelations in Bordeaux – all put in place to control the quality of the wines. Now I know what to look for! While we had an excellent time, some Bordelais informed us this is not where you find the best of the best Bordeaux wines. For rural newbies to the wine world, this visit was perfect – but to more seasoned wine enthusiasts you might want to check out St. Emilion or the Medoc region.
Then there is the plage. One day, we took the train to Arcachon, a beautiful little beach town along the Bassin. The waves were calm and I was in the water all day long – it was a little bit warmer than the North Sea in the Netherlands. Just a little. We ambled through the market, only to hear the long-lost call of the marketman, “venez gouter! venez gouter nos belles fraises!” I had my way with tapenades, dipped baguette in olive oils, and ended up with a huge barquette of strawberries. Perfect for a picnic at the beach.
But even exploring this bourgeois city had us oogling at every site. The gorgeous 18th century architecture, the mirroir d’eau in front of the Bourse, the Garonne river, and the flea-market in the biggest square of Europe.
This city is so beautiful – you will never run out of things to do. We even found a movie theatre that was built in an old church. Quelle ambiance! I pictured myself living here and catching Woody Allen classics in Version Originale … can you see why I miss city life?
I can tell you one thing – I did not want to leave. I nearly missed my 5pm train back to Meuse TGV – but somehow I jumped on just as the train was pulling out of St. Jean station. Does anyone in Bordeaux want to find me a job? I’m willing to go back whenever!