FRANCE: BORDEAUX – The Little Paris

Posted by on Apr 30, 2015 in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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What it lacks in the size and scope of Paris, Bordeaux gains in peaceful, less crowded charm. The Metro is replaced by a Tram, and it is strangely difficult to find an omelet here. As you can see by the facades of the buildings below, you will notice that from the color of the limestone, they look as if they were built yesterday. This is due to the fact that the current Mayor saw to it they were power washed. This is the case with the majority of the 17th. and 18th. century beauties throughout the city. He made sure to offer generous tax incentives to privately held properties and even embarked on installing the pristine tram that runs all over the city.

No need to descend into urine-soaked subway systems. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Metro in Paris, but the Châtelet station was unbearably pungent on my last visit. I saw many a Frenchwoman covering her face just to escape the jarring aroma. These trams are just so spotless and easy to use, and I didn’t even have to go through the suffering from when they had all of the streets torn up to install them. So in twenty years this town has gone from black as soot and living in obscurity to becoming a mellow metropolis and vibrant university town humming with anticipation at what the future will bring. It’s also known to be a city where the inhabitants are the most hopeful about their romantic chances, using the results of a new report by a Canadian researcher Pierre Coté.

The shopping is certainly on par with Paris or any of the great cities in Europe, boasting the longest pedestrian shopping street on the continent. Wine, fuggedaboudit, this is Bordeaux we’re talking about! Food, please this is France after all. If the restaurants are lame they go out of business. After all, they have to satisfy the French palate.

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PLACE DE LA BOURSE & MIROIR D’EAU

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PONT DE PIERRE – Overlooking The Garone River

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MY HOTEL

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Place De Parlement – A Nice Square To Sit At A Cafè Or Buy A Watch!

Pictured below is the little number I mentioned.  I am going to briefly bore you with the details since I did work for the worlds largest watch retailer for over six years. I sold watches anywhere from $1,000-$100,000, and I am overjoyed with my new Mondaine stop2go watch which came in at around $400. It has a unique movement that mimics the original Swiss Railway clocks that it emulates. The sweep second-hand pauses for 2 seconds at the 12:00 position, and then the minute hand advances a full minute. It is so much fun that you find yourself checking the watch throughout the day to see the hand jump.

To sweeten the pot it seems that Apple borrowed the watch face for use on some of their iPads without permission some years ago, and Mondaine threatened to sue so Apple ponied up 22.5 million dollars. Mondaine subsequently used the money to design this unique and innovative movement that even though powered by a battery, ticks like it is an expensive automatic. Now I don’t have to waste more money on another Apple product I’ll end up having to charge every day that my iPhone can do anyway.

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MONDAINE – Classic Swiss Railway Clock Design

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La Grosse Cloche – Another Timepiece Worth Mentioning

In the heart of Bordeaux stands one of the oldest belfries in France. It is housed by the only remnants of the ancient city walls. Its bells have tolled through the ages since the thirteenth century. The bells are rung only six times per year, one of the days being the liberation of Bordeaux from the Nazis. It is said that the low-frequency resonance causes the windows of the surrounding neighborhood to rattle profusely.

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Homage To The Defenders Of Free Speech Who Died At The Hands Of Extremist Scum

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Le Grande Theatre – Opera House Of Bordeaux – Opened 1780

This is the oldest opera house in France, even older than the Opera Garner in Paris. The Grande Theatre was designed by Victor Louis and is one of the oldest wooden-framed opera houses not to have burned or required rebuilding. Such a national treasure is found here that the fire department is housed adjacent to the structure.

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Staircase In The Entry Hall Of The Grande Theatre

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ROMAN TURRET – The Only Roman Remnant And Oldest Structure In The City

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This Medallion Marks The Way For The Camino De Santiago Into Spain

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CHARMING IN THE RAIN

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DELIGHTFUL IN THE SUN

2 Comments

  1. BigD
    May 9, 2015

    Paris and Bourdeaux seem to be just rolling in decadent architectural opulence. My only consolation for not living in a place like that is the, admittedly ridiculous, fear of becoming overwhelmed by such visual richness. The truth is I want San Diego to look like metropolitan France. At least we have the sun and the beach right?

  2. The Travel Zealot
    May 10, 2015

    There’s always Biarritz if you want surf and sand, Laddie. You might like San Sebastian as well. And there’s a whole lot of French coastline I have yet to explore. Of course you just bought a new home, but you can always come check things out if and when I move to Bordeaux. I still have a few other locations in France to reconnoiter. Lorraine, Normandy, and Brittany come to mind. The people in the North are supposed to be the happiest in the country.

    I grew up around a fair amount of architectural opulence, and the trees and flora of France are so familiar to my childhood that I have a natural affinity to the country. Add to that, some very special memories of a trip taken with my parents around 1965 and I’m a goner. For me as pretty as it is, San Diego has always felt very sparse culturally and botanically. Like I never quite belonged there. I have a hard time understanding how the artist Niki de Saint Phalle moved there. Maybe she got tired of Paris, and liked the weather. She’s the artist who had a large retrospective at the Guggenheim in Bilbao, and her work can be seen in Balboa Park and the UCSD campus. Those pieces I feel are a bit of a Gaudí ripoff.

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