I wake up early in the morning of our last day on the canal, Saturday 5th May,and take lots of photos of the bridge we are moored next to, using different settings on the camera to get a sense of the early morning light.
Looking down the canal
and looking back up
We finally managed to get away and headed towards the boat base. The canal is really lovely here
Finally we come into Le Mas d'Agenais and moor up. We carry off all our luggage, chat to Phil at the base about the Abbatoir/Washhouse at Valence and warn him about Le Vigneron. After fond farewells, we leave.
Then it's into another big taxi and we are whisked off to the town of Marmande. We will be getting the train to Bordeaux from here in a couple of hours.
Marmande is a lovely little town, bustling and sophisticated with a large pedestrianised shopping area and by luck - a large market!
We sample some of the goods on offer, and some buy perfume, a new dress or top, and some lovely quiches for lunch. Then the train comes, and in an hour or so we are in Bordeaux. We will be spending the night here because we are eating out!
Our hotel is the lovely Quality Hotel St Catherine. It is situated ner the Place de la Comedie, very handy to the shopping and tourist areas of Bordeaux. Our room is lovely and spacious and welcoming after the week of roughing it in the tiny cabin on the boat.
We have a rest and go out shopping! The streets are FULL of people - I have to remind myself that it's a Saturday afternoon and everyone is out in the lovely sunny weather!
Bordeaux is a very nice town - large, propserous, bourgeouis, spacious.
At this end of town, at least. We had visited here in 2008 and had to take a friend to the train station. He had a room near there, and we parked and looked around for somewhere to eat. That particular area is not so spacious and clean, and seems to be where the immigrant population live, at least until they can move on. Bordeaux is the 6th largest city in France.
A tram service has been introduced into the city, but even so the city still has an uncluttered look, because the trams don't use overhead cables
The tram above is passing in front of the opera house.
We had 2 main reasons to visit Bordeaux - to go to the Bar à Vin, which we had visited in 2008. It is on Cours du XXX Juillet, opposite the Tourist Office. It has a degustation of wine, which we had in 2008, and which allowed us to taste several wines from the region. However, it does not offer the degustation on the weekends, and we were there on a Saturday.
We arrived about 7 and had our first experience of queuing. The resaurant across the road had a huge queue down the street, luckily ours was not that long and we were seated after about 20 minutes. J elected to go back to the hotel to watch the soccer, as he doesn't drink wine. The rest of us ordered a glass each.
It is a lovely place with stained glass and bottle racks acting as room dividers
After our wine we left to go to the 2nd reason we are in Bordeaux - we are dining at a 1 Michelin star restaurant called Le Pressoir d'Argent, at the Regent Grand Hotel.
I've made that a separate post.