Creon to Bordeaux - Livin' the Dream: France to Portugal 2021 - CycleBlaze

September 17, 2021

Creon to Bordeaux

Our Passe Sanitaires have finally arrived, just in time for Bordeaux.  We have been fortunate to have had our Quebec passes accepted in the smaller villages and towns so far but we were worried about being able to visit cultural sites in a large city.   Just like the locals, we now whip out our phones to be scanned by the waiter or museum attendant.  We were right to be concerned as we have been asked for them everywhere.

It was a foggy morning with a heavy dew that delayed departure, but that soon gave way to sunshine on the paved rail trail for our short ride into Bordeaux. The buildings of Bordeaux sparkled along the Garonne River, showing off the smart new architecture mixed in with the graceful old.  The bike path seamlessly brought us into the city centre and the hive of activity at the Marche Saint Michael which circles the Basilica Saint Michael and Fleche (freestanding spire).  

After lunch we checked in to our hotel and then jumped on our now luggage-free bikes to tour the city.  As tomorrow there is rain in the forecast, our plan was to be outside as much today, to get a sense of where things were for more indoor visits tomorrow.

What a beautiful city!  We cruised along the quay over the car-free Pont de Pierre, through the Porte de Bourgogne, the Porte Cailhau and around the Place de la Bourse.  We turned off the quay and went inwards to the Monument aux Girondins, the Grand Theatre, the Grosse Cloche and then wandered the long pedestrian Rue Sainte Catherine before settling in for happy hour at Place Pey-Borland beside the Hotel de Ville, Cathedral Saint-Andre and its separate bell tower (due to the unstable bedrock in Bordeaux).

It was a warm evening and the city was teeming with people out enjoying the fine weather.  We crossed the square and settled in to a delicious meal at the Bistro du Musee as we waited for the sound and light show to start at the Place de la Bourse at 9:30 pm.  Making our way through the city, now with glowing lights, in a largely car-free town centre, was superb.  People everywhere, restaurant patios overflowing and the quay buzzing with young people.  The energy was palpable after a Covid summer/year.  We cycled home after stopping for pictures of the iconic Pont de Pierre, with its 17 spans, one for every letter in Napoleon Bonaparte, who commissioned the bridge in 1822. 

We are impressed with Bordeaux and super excited about what we will be able to tour tomorrow.  Our lucky timing has landed us here on the Weekend Journées du Patrimoine et du Matrimoine with dozens of cultural sites open for free visits.  Time to plan our itinerary:  Musee de Beaux Arts, the Grand Theatre......

On our way to Spain, but first Bordeaux.
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Tour Bourgogne
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Monument aux Girondains
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Grand Théâtre
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Rue Ste-Catherine. The longest pedestrian shopping street in Europe.
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Pont de Pierre
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Kelly MaherWow! Boudeaux looks amazing! And you both so happy! Living the dream for sure! Our case counts keep rising here, over 500 now, back to mandatory masks again as of midnight tonight....
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1 month ago
ann and steve maher-wearyTo Kelly MaherHi Kelly
Yes we loved Bordeaux!
Yikes 500 cases!!
Ann
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1 month ago
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Today's ride: 32 km (20 miles)
Total: 693 km (430 miles)

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bill wearyGlad the route to pain look straight forward
Wish Id been with you for that fabulous son et lumiere
xxx
J
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1 month ago
Margaret Anne CameronYou are so smart to remember all the details of your day. Quite a diary - sooo impressive. Like your smiling faces in the pics each day. Thanks for sharing your excitement.
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4 weeks ago