Ok let’s get the embarrassing part out of the way first… I fell off my bike yesterday. Yes I know,… I can’t believe it either and as Alex likes to describe it, I flopped on the floor like a fish. I love him for his honesty not just his looks. Also I know now that the real reason for women wearing padded bra’s is for protection, so that in the very unlikely event of any female falling off a bike her boobs are protected from scrapes and bruises. I only wish I knew that before hand. In any case, all is well and nothing really bad happened that a cube or five of chocolate can’t fix apart from some bruises on hands and shoulder. Please see below for said battle scar pictures.
Now for the cultural part… Bordeaux is a really lovely and very big city. We cycled all the way from our camp (pre falling off my bike) into the centre along the river Garonne. I’ve rarely seen such a big river running through a city. The promenade is really wide and made for people to enjoy, we saw everything from cyclists, walkers, BMX trick bikers and rollerbladers. It was great!
We peeled into the city and one thing to note is that French people are very stylish and so are their cities. Great and impressive buildings all along the promenade and they continue throughout. One of the first things we saw was the Grosse Cloche (Big Bell), it was cast in 1775 and Christened ‘Armande-Louise’, we found she was quite a sight to behold. We also tracked down the Basilica of St. Michael, an impressive Gothic church built between the 14th and 16th century standing proud on a very big square surrounded by restaurants and bars.
One of our favourite things we saw was the Monument aux Girondins with its bronze fountains and a column with a staute of liberty breaking its chains on the Place des Quinconces. The details of the fountain are breathtaking, there is so much to see in these formations. They were created between 1894 and 1902 in honour of the Girondines and were dismantled during the Nazi rule until they were found intact in the city of Angers after the Liberation. They were returned to Bordeaux in 1944 and finally restored and re-installed in 1968.
We also just missed some kind of car event as there were still some big rigs about, one of which you can see below.
Not far from here we came across the Jardin Public (public park) with its own small botanical garden, which is home to about 3000 indigenous and exotic plants, the latter from faraway places like China, Mexico and Indonesia.
On the way home, not far from our campsite, we cycled right past Le Lac (the lake), which has little camping and picnic spots dotted all around its shoreline including a little ‘soft serve ice cream’ cabin.