I’ve just spent a week in Bordeaux. I’ve had a great time strolling around admiring the grand buildings and the little lane ways. Bordeaux has had a face lift in recent years. The limestone buildings were black but have been mostly cleaned and restored to a mellow off-white. Strict laws mean that owners must comply with colour schemes and design regulations but with enough leeway in design to allow a bit of individualism, usually in the wrought iron work on the little balconies. The city is on the banks of the river Garonne.
Once a walled city in medieval times, Bordeaux still retains its medieval gateways. As a sea port it became rich in 18th Century from trade in sugar and slaves and the wealthy merchants wanted a city to reflect their new-found wealth so the medieval city was demolished and the present one erected. I joined a conducted tour of the Grande Theatre, all in French and almost nothing understood by me, which is used for opera productions. It’s a very small theatre with ornate private boxes. As you enter the theatre you see the imposing staircase.
Bordeaux has a big university so the place has lots of young people around. The uni is near the covered market. I took the tram and went for a look. It brought back happy memories of shopping at my little local Tuesday street market in Turkey. It was a food market only, well with wine of course. Interesting stall called (I think) Le Triperie. It had tripe, brains, ox tongue and intestines. Lots of fruit and vegetable stalls, fish, butchers, flowers and bread. The cheese stalls had some interesting cheeses, small doughnut shaped ones looked good. I bought some cheese earlier in the week. It was called St Albray and was good and smelly. I kept it in the fridge at the studio apartment I am staying in and even when I had finished it the smell lingered. Yum!