Bordeaux in Moscow
I (and you) may refresh our memory about Bordeaux even without leaving Moscow. We should go to the Main Building of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts and see a plaster cast of Apostles from St Andre Church in Bordeaux.
Every time I visited this museum since my childhood I admired by this masterpiece… Never knew that I would be able to watch it in Bordeaux…
12 Volkhonka St., Moscow
(tel.: +7 495 609-95-20, +7 495 697-95-78, +7 495 697-74-12),
Metro station: "Kropotkinskaya".
Ticket price for foreign visitors 400 rubles (10 euro) for adults,
200 rubles for schoolchildren, students and pensioners.
Attention! Ticket prices for exhibitions might differ from those for permanent collections.
Visitors are offered audio guides in Russian, English, German, French and Italian.
Many exciting tours are on offer!
Open daily from 10 am to 7 pm
Thursdays from 10 am to 9 pm
- Arts and Culture
- Museum Visits
Reserve Naturellle - Marias de Bruge
Located roughly 8-10 Km North of Bordeaux, there is a natural reserve and protected habitat. Even bicycles are not permitted once inside. Open between 10 and and 18:00, it is serene place for viewing wildlife.
Approximately 4 KM from the city center is Le Lac, a small lake with swimming, boating and other recreational activities, including a sand volleyball area. Set among pine trees, it is a nice place to relax or picnic. I reached it via a short bicycle ride, but Tram C takes you to within a hundred yards.
- Wine Tasting
'Square Vinet' Green Wall
Bordeaux has a very unusual and delightful hidden corner - square Vinet - which has a planted 'green wall' around its border. Unusual plants grow out of small pockets in the walls, creating a long vertical garden. The walls were designed by botanist Patrick Blanc. There is seating and a small childrens playground in the square.
I read a brief mention of this unique green space andd fortunately it was not too difficult to find, at the junction of rue Vinet and rue du Cancera, in the Saint Pierre district.
Open 7am to 8pm but the wall is always visible through the railings
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
Dunes de Pyla
The Dunes de Pyla are found in nearby Arcachon and if you intend going to see them it's worthwhile bringing a map. Arcachon is about half-an-hour's train ride from Bordeaux and the Dunes are located just outside Arcachon.
Susan - 'navigator' for the day had visited them many years back on a student exchange and she thought she could remember the way.
After almost two hours of walking in search of these elusive Dunes, she realised she had no idea where they were. We passed this pretty Church (see picture) after about 2 hours walking and then stopped for lunch at a cool road-side shop. As the beach was across the road we decided to quit searching for the Dunes and instead go swimming. Some day I will return, with a map, and find these Dunes. They'd better be good:)
- Hiking and Walking
La Cabane D'Edouard
The town of Arcachon, le Dune de Pilar, Lege Cap Ferret, Truc Vert and Pointe Cap Ferret are all places to visit around the Bassin D'Arcachon, a large round inlet of water fed by Atlantic tides. Arcachon itself is a fairly busy and touristic town, but the opposite side of the Bassin is a different kettle of fish. Not really a complete journey you can comfortably do in a day, even by car, you are recommended to choose either Arcachon and the Dune de Pilar on one side of the Bassin, or Lege Cap Ferret, Truc Vert and the Pointe on the other. On this trip, we chose to visit the quieter side and visited a popular but hidden treasure of a seafood restaurant in the tiny port village of Claouey called La Cabane d'Edouarde. The shellfish here could not be more freshly caught (oysters are a speciality in season) and the lobster we shared as part of the seafood platter was the most delicious we'd ever tasted. The seafood platter costs €45 for two people. The name of the restaurant however sums up it's simplicity...it is no more than a shack with tables nestling among bamboo plants and facing out across the Bassin. Before the tables are laid and the candles are lit you could be forgiven for thinking that this isn't even a place to eat, but the food more than makes up for the lack of sumptuous surroundings. The telling story is the constant stream of locals who choose to travel by car to pick up a platter of oysters on ice to take home with them throughout the evening. To get there you need to take the last turning on the left before the Bassin and drive right to the end. You'll find it on the left past the furtherst car park. The address is Port de Claouey, Cabanes 1 & 3, 33950 Lege Cap Ferret.
Dune du Pilat
Dune Du Pilat is a big sand dune on the coast south of Bordeaux.
Our hosts we were staying with in Bordeaux drove us here for a look on the way to their place.
This is the highest sand dune in Europe, 114m/374ft high, 2.7km/1.5miles long.
You reach the top by climbing a 154 step staircase, or taking the arduous walk up the sand.
The view from the top is the forest of Landes on one side and the sea on the other.
Located on the D218, south of Bordeaux city, well signposted, you have to park in the obligatory car park under pine trees (3 Euros). Lots of souvenir shops clustered around the base of the dune, food places, toilets and showers too.
About 40 minutes by train from Gare St Jean is Arcachon...a small beach town, the main part of which has a very British air about it. The architecture along the seafront is surprisingly unFrench and the plethora of childrens activities like trampolines, swingboats and carousels along with the multiple old fashioned piers scream "Margate in the sun"!
If you walk, catch the bus or if you are lucky enough to have a car to drive up the hill out of the main town, a far more beautiful part of Arcachon opens up...flat and white sand, the Atlantic coast curving round almost endlessly.
At the corner of Rue Ste Catherine and Rue St Rémi (opposite Galeries Lafayette) stands the Galerie Bordelaise, a narrow galerie with a dozen of shops that will offer you a shelter from the street's crowd (and the rain in winter or the sun in summer)
Built between 1830 and 1837 by Gabriel-Joseph Durand, who has melted italian and british style and parisian techniques to create this arcade
Castlenaud Castle is an impressive ruin with a lovely view of the valleys below. It's an example of a medieval fortress and many weapons are still on display. There are some audio-visual demonstrations and a museum which shows just how warfare was conducted using artillery towers and early cannons.
- Historical Travel
- Castles and Palaces
Walk along the Esplanade
If you intend to visit St-Bruno's, the one of the more actractive ways of getting there is to walk along the Esplanade. It runs from the Cours d'Albret almost all the way to St-Bruno's. The Esplanade is not really a park but it is some sort of green walkway. Where you can also sit, relax and be away from the busy city life.
Along this route you'll find several buildings with 60's and 70's architecture.
If you decide to go and visit St-Bruno's then don't forget to take a small tour around the church. One one side you'll find a small place with a pond, several stone pilars and one side completely covered by a stone 'wall' covered with the names of people who died in the first or second world war
The trompe-d'oeils of St-Bruno's
St-Bruno's is quite a different kind of church. It has a great vaulted ceiling wich is truly impressive but i liked the fresco's the most. In many places there is a really good trompe d'oeil (3d-effect). Most notably on the roof where it looks like there is a small turret with glass windows.
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
St Remi church
The Saint Remi church hosts several expositions per year. When we entered there, there was a photo exposition. But it was the last day. The guy in charge wasn't sure when the next exposition was going to be. And he didn't have a webside address either. Though i'm sure there is something to be found on the net, if you know where to look for it. Admission was free. So it might be worth just to walk past it and take a look whether there is something going on.
The church can be found on a small sidestreet from rue St. Remi.
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
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!
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