Tuesday, 5 December 2017

A Vineyard Vacation

In May, I managed to convince one of my school friends to book a semi-spontaneous trip to Bordeaux with me for my 20th birthday in June. Why Bordeaux? I don't even remember now to be honest! We'd done French together in school so somewhere in France made sense, we found cheap flights, and the cheese and wine were calling to us, so off we went.
I didn't know what to expect from Bordeaux, not knowing much about it other than its wine heritage. And let me tell you, there's a LOT of wine related activities going on.

Our first day was spent getting our bearings and walking around the city. The architecture there was just stunning and there was a little church or clock tower to be seen everywhere you looked. It's quite a small city so we pretty much knew our way around it after the first afternoon (even without Google Maps!)

For the second day, we'd pre booked a trip to go to a vineyard and a wine tasting through Viatour before we left. We went to two different vineyards, Blaye and Bourg. It was interesting to see the contrast between a more organic, family run company compared to a larger scale process with more mechanics involved. It's quite an intense way to spend the afternoon and I definitely ended up nodding off on the coach on the way home (although the wines at the tasting after the tours probably helped contribute to that!)

On our third day, we'd ordered a city pass. These seem to be in most European cities now, where you pay for a set amount of time and it gives you free access to public transport, and cheap entrance into local attractions. As part of the Bordeaux pass, you get free entrance to La Cite du Vin, a museum dedicated to the process of making wine (which includes yet another wine tasting, in a bar with panoramic views of the city), and an open top bus tour. We also used the trams to get us around that day, which was cool as I hadn't been on a tram before, but not really necessary as we were staying in an Air BnB not too far of a walk away.

In terms of food, I love a good Trip Advisor scout so had already found a few places we wanted to go. Melodie came highly regarded and I support this completely - it was a three course set menu with amazing food, for only €35. Plus, I ordered a cheap glass of wine which ended up being the size of my head. You can't beat it! Another place we really enjoyed was La Parantheses which is a little creperie that we stopped at for lunch one day. Can you even go to France without getting crepes?

My favourite piece of trivia from the trip is that local dialect for a chocolate croissant is 'une chocolatine', which we tried to use one day, only to realise the cute little bakery we'd found was actually one of the biggest chains in France....

All in all, it was a lovely little break away and nice to do something completely different for a few days. Bordeaux doesn't have masses to do, although it is a lovely little city if you want somewhere to go to on a break for a few days.

1 comment

  1. It sounds like you had a wonderful trip! Lot's of wine related activities sounds perfect ;)



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