I just had to wait in Hendaye...
I just had to wait in Hendaye because my train was leaving only in the evening. From the station to the beach is a very nice way along the water, so you can make some kilometres with changing views to Hondarribia, which is the Spanish border town. You can go there by boatride. Beautiful place!
Renovate an old property
Yes, that's just what I did from 1988 - 1991 ! I found someone who wanted to sell an old Vineyard type house, it was absolutely beautiful as it was, but he wanted it right ! So, me, knowing little about renovation, except using the odd bottle of Nitromor's, waded in with pets and all. I comletely did the property exactly how he wanted it, mostly tongue and groove, stained etc.. whitewash, etc.. and he just kept on sypplying me with all the materials I needed. The place where I was, was about 44 kilometers outside Bordeaux. I went there with about 20 words of French (in my day, another language was not an option at school) and within 6 months I was teaching English to 9 pupils, growing vegetables which I sold in the local market and also had a tea/coffee "garden" and the odd B & B guest!. I earned more than enough to keep myself and my 2 dogs and cat. I got geese and chicken in and the guy couldn't have been happier. I did string it out a bit toward the end - I didn't want to leave at all! BUT, what an experience it was ! One of the most wonderful places I have ever lived in, and I would go back at the drop of a hat, had I not married a great man!
La quai des Chartrons
Les immeubles du quartier des Chartrons, tous construits en pierre de taille (calcaire blond d’Aquitaine) et couverts de toits en tuiles, sont des bâtiments de 3 ou 4 étages sur le front de Garonne et de 2 ou 3 ailleurs, édifiés au 18e (pour la plupart) ou au 19e siècles, avec quelques maisons « hollandaises » datant du 17e siècle. Beaucoup ont vu leurs façades restaurées, notamment sur le front de Garonne, certains étant inscrits à l'inventaire des monuments historiques. Ils sont habités par des commerçants ou des négociants, des membres des professions libérales, des chefs d'entreprises ou des hauts fonctionnaires ainsi, dans la ZAC des Chartrons, récemment construite, que par des cadres moyens ou des employés. Dans ce secteur essentiellement résidentiel, les commerces et les services sont nettement plus rares qu'au sud et à l'ouest des Quinconces, à l'exception notable, dans une ou deux rues proches de l'église Saint-Louis, des galeries d'art ou des antiquaires.
The buildings of the district of the Chartrons, all constructed in ashlar (blond limestone of Aquitaine) and covered of roofs in tiles, are elsewhere buildings of 3 or 4 floors on the front of Garonnes and 2 or 3, built at 18th (for most) or at the 19th centuries, with some houses «Dutch» dating of the 17th century. Many saw their restored facades, notably on the front of Garonne, some being registered to the historic monument inventory. They are lived by tradesmen or traders, of the liberal profession members, of the chiefs of enterprises or high commissioners so, in the ZAC of the Chartronses, constructed lately, that by middle managers or employees. In this essentially residential sector, the trades and the services are distinctly rarer than to the south and to the west of the Quinconces, to the considerable exception, in one or two streets near of the church Saint-Louis, of the galleries of art or antiquarians.
The Dune du Pyla is THE place...
The Dune du Pyla is THE place to go if you love great seaside views, and also if you like sport!
It's the only big dune in the area and it's famous all over France...
You have to walk in the sand to reach the top and you can choose to do it with the help of the stairs or not ;-)
Once on the top, you will have an unique view on the Bassin d'Arcachon and the forest all around !!
You almost feel you are in the desert!!
Bordeaux - UNESCO World Heritage List
Bordeaux is exemplary thanks to the unity of its urban and architectural expression. This architecture is classical and neoclassical and met with nearly no stylistic changes for over two centuries.
Bordeaux has nearly 350 classified buildings and buildings listed as Historic Monuments, including 3 religious World Heritage buildings since 1998 as part of the Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France.
The Bordeaux-Arcachon-Libourne metropolitan area, with a population of 1,200,000, is the fifth largest metropolitan area in France. The city is among the world's major wine industry centres. Bordeaux wine has been produced in the region since the 8th century. The historic part of the city is on the UNESCO World Heritage List as "an outstanding urban and architectural ensemble" of the 18th century.
Bordeaux has about 117,000 hectares (290,000 acres) of vineyards, 57 appellations, 9,000 wine-producing châteaux, 13,000 grape growers, 400 traders and sales of 14.5 billion euros annually. With an annual production of over 700 million bottles, Bordeaux produces large quantities of everyday wine as well as some of the most expensive wines in the world. Included among the latter are the area's five 'premier cru' (first growth) red wines (four from Médoc and one, Chateau Haut-Brion, from Graves), established by the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855: The first growths are:
"Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux"
Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux, is a Theatre in Bordeaux, France, first inaugurated on 17 April 1780. It was in this theatre that the ballet La Fille Mal Gardée premiered in 1789, and where a young Marius Petipa staged some of his first ballets.
The Theatre was designed by the architect Victor Louis (1731-1800), who was selected for the task by winning the famous Grand Prix de Rome. Louis was also famous for designing the Palais Royal, and the Théâtre Français in Paris.
The Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux was conceived as a temple of the Arts and Light, with a neo-classical facade endowed with a portico of 12 Corinthian style colossal columns which support an entablature on which stand 12 statues that represent the nine muses and three goddesses (Juno, Venus, and Minerva).
In 1871 the theatre was briefly the National Assembly for the French Parliament.
The inside of the theatre was restored in 1991, and once again has its original colours of blue and gold. The Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux is the oldest wooden frame opera house in Europe not to have burnt or required rebuilding.
Today the theatre is home to the Opéra National de Bordeaux, as well as the Ballet National de Bordeaux.
"Monument Aux Girondins"
At the foot of the Monument to the Girondins are two beautiful fountains. Next to the column there are a couple of statues that honor two of the greatest names of Bordeaux. One is dedicated to the philosopher and former Mayor of Bordeaux Michel de Montaigne. The other one is dedicated to Charles Louis de Montesquieu, one of the architects of the "century of the lights". He was not only an intellectual, but also a winegrower.