I hope you are all enjoying this last weekend in August, I’m blogging poolside today! 😎
Since last week I shared our highlights from Paris, I thought today I would tell you about the next stop on our trip, which was Bordeaux!
AJ and I knew we wanted to go to a well-known European wine region while abroad, and we talked about Tuscany and Alsace but eventually decided on Bordeaux when it made the most sense logistically. Plus, wines from this region are top notch!
Bordeaux is located in Southwestern France, a port city right on the Garonne River. Interesting little tidbit about this city, most of the buildings are made of limestone and historically were very dark and black from pollution. Over the past several years the local government has taken the initiative to really clean ’em up, revealing the beautiful city with now a booming tourism industry.
Bordeaux – Day 1
This was technically a half day, so when we arrived by train around lunchtime we checked into our hotel and then headed out to explore. Bordeaux has so many old churches and monuments – some even dating back to Roman times. It seemed like every time we turned around there was a new one to check out. But first, we stopped at a corner cafe for a tapas-style lunch – meats, cheeses, crostinis, and oysters!
After lunch we found a street fair where I bought a dress, and just wandered around some more. Paris was pretty busy and even though the jet lag wore off at this point, it was nice to have a day to just wander around on our own time. We spent some time relaxing in the hotel before heading out to dinner. I would tell you where we went, but I honestly forget the name of the restaurant! Of course everything was delicious. It was then early to bed because we had a big day coming up!
Bordeaux – Day 2
Wine Tour! After a quick breakfast of croissants and cappuccinos, we made our way to the office of tourism to meet up with our tour guide and group for a full day wine tour in the nearby regions of Pomerol and Saint-Émilion. These regions are known for their rich red wines, so I was a happy camper 🙂
The family that owns it actually stays here throughout the summer – how cool is that?!
Here we tasted 2 delicious wines, and bought the one on the right to enjoy later! We also bought 2 wine glasses (for us) and some wine-flavored salt as gifts for our sisters.
When our tasting wrapped up we were on our way to Saint-Émilion, which is a town that looks like it’s out of the Middle Ages! Some of the best wines in the world come from the surrounding vineyards. Even one owned by the Chanel family!
We broke for lunch and some time to walk around on our own before meeting back up with our group at a local wine shop to taste some of the owner’s favorites.
Before we leaving this region, we stopped at one last vineyard, the Chateau la Croizille, which was a newer winery, and clearly the most modern of the day.
When the tour was over and we got back to Bordeaux, we decided to make use of our hotel’s spa, and hit up the jacuzzi and steam rooms for a little while. After all that wine and steam, we opted to stay in and order room service for dinner, and crack open a bottle of Chateau de Sales that we bought at our first stop!
We settled in with our wine, cheese, and dinner and realized all the TV stations were in French! So we ended up watching the BBC news channel all night because it was the only one we could understand!
Bordeaux – Day 3
This was another half day, so we decided to go on a morning walking tour around Bordeaux to learn a little bit more about its history. The funny thing is, we explored most of this route by ourselves the first day, but it was interesting as we learned more about the background and culture of this region.
We concluded near the water mural, which is this really cool art meets function exhibit right on the river banks. It’s a flat stone surface that shoots water up into a mist – locals and tourists alike use it as a way to cool down the hot summer months. When the shooting water subsides, it leaves a large shallow puddle that beautifully reflects the city.
After checking out of our hotel, we stopped for a quick lunch before catching our bus to Spain!
Next stop (we think) is Pamplona for the Running of the Bulls…with some unexpected pit stops along the way!