48 hours in Bordeaux – Part 2

Well, I meant to write all these summer holiday road trip travel-blogs in fairly short order, just after we returned last summer, but, you know – life!

So In light of troubled times, self isolation, cancelled travel plans, I thought we could all do with some sunshine, and some trip inspiration for when life returns to some semblance of normal.

So picking up where we left off, here’s our 2nd day in Bordeaux.

After breakfast outside on the massive roof terrace of the Raddison Blu, with views of the Cite du Vin, we headed out for our visit. The admission is included in the city pass we’d purchased the day before, so another reason to get one.

Cite du Vin view from the hotel

It’s massive, and what a building. It dominates the skyline from many parts of Bordeaux, and is a multi-media assault on the senses. It’s set over many floors, with an extensive wine cave at the bottom, and a panoramic rooftop bar at the top, where your admission allows you a complimentary drink.

Cite du Vin
The wine cave on the ground floor
Some of the interactive exhibits
The rooftop bar

I would say how long you spend there definitely depends on your level of interest, and that might be a challenge for younger family members, even though there are plenty of activities to enjoy. We spent a good couple of hours there, and thoroughly enjoyed it, well worth a visit.

We also had various other museums included in our City Pass, so we did the Musee des Beaux-Arts. Set in charming gardens with fountains, it’s a lovely calm way to spend some time. My favourite portrait by far is “Ophelia” by Jules-Elie Delaunay. If, I’m honest though, I’ve been very lucky to visit the Musee D’Orsay in Paris, And the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and I feel I’ve possibly been ruined for all other museums as a result…..

Musee des Beaux Arts
Museum Gardens
Ophelia
The Goya exhibition

Next was a little wander around, and you’ll know by now that I love a good church. We walked past Sainte-Eulalie, and sat for a while outside a café in the shade. Another scorchingly hot day. Then we headed to Cathedrale Saint-Andre (Bordeaux Cathedral), for some atmospheric quiet, and some much needed cooler air.

Sainte Eulalie

In 1137 the 13 year old Eleanor of Aquitaine, married the future Louis VII, shortly before becoming queen. Much of the original structure no longer remains, but dates to the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries. It’s not an extravagantly decorated religious building, but atmospheric just the same and with some interesting artwork to see.

Bordeaux Cathedral
Beautiful Joan of Arc statue
Bordeaux Cathedral
Bordeaux Cathedral

Then a cheeky Café Gourmand in a café overlooking the Cathedral to rest our achy feet.

I don’t believe in moderation

Once back at the hotel, we took advantage of the roof top mini golf course, which was hilariously good fun – we had it to ourselves, then the rooftop terrace bar, for hugely expensive (but massive) Aperol Spritzes, while reclining in a hanging wicker egg chair.

Hotel rooftop mini golf
Couldn’t reach my drink from swingy chair
Hotel terrace bar

Dinner in the evening was on a barge, moored at the back of the hotel, right on the river, where the Champagne was the price of a bottle of wine in an Indian Restaurant, and perhaps another Café Gourmand before bed.

Dinner at Bistro Regent

Onwards to the Dordogne from here….. coming soon….

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