Bordeaux, churches, streets, squares...

First day in Bordeaux

The first thing we did on the first morning that we woke up in Bordeaux was check that we weren't missing any of our organs. The sofa bed in Cyril's house wasn't too comfortable, but sleeping in that duplex was better than sleeping in the city's train station.

Cyril had bought us everything for breakfast, and kept apologising to us because he didn't know what we liked. He was honestly a great host and the fact that we didn't pay for any of it started to make us feel bad, so we agreed that we would invite him out for dinner and to have some drinks at night. This guy took his job as a "Couch Surfer" host very seriously and he let us go upstairs (to his bedroom) where there was a giant computer screen which was showing us the city on Google Maps. I had been staring at the screen all morning to find out what there was really to do in Bordeaux in two days and I prepared a specific route through the city, although me and Alejandro ended up taking a very different one. The bedroom was full of computers and Cyril explained to us that he was also dedicated to fixing computers, formatting them, well, he did everything. We met with Cyril at around 6 o'clock at his place so we could shower after having gone around Bordeaux all day, we then went out to eat and drink something with him to thank him for the amazing day that he had provided us. Alejandro and I caught the tram to the city centre.

Already alone in the streets

The first thing that we did was go to a a tourist office that we had seen the day before, as well as The Opéra National de Bordeaux we got a map there so we could find our bearings and we asked a tour guide what we had to see. He told us the same thing as Cyril, that we had to visit The Girondists Monument, the cathedrals, the Pey-Berland Tower, The Basilica, the Place de la Bourse, the Place de la Victoire, the different arches and gates that were dotted around the city. We opted to go to the closest thing first so we would still have time to see other things, so we moved closer to a terrace that was joint to the Opera house and also where the famous Girondists Monument is. All around the monument, that at the same time was a grand fountain, there were a lot of Japanese tourists, so it was easy for us to find someone to take our photo.

Bordeaux, churches, streets, squares...

From there, we headed to another well known point in Bordeaux, La Place de la Bourse. It is a large square that is found just in front of the palace de la Bourse, and in front of this square, we crossed one of the main roads in the city "Quai de Richelieu" where the Miroir d'Eau (water mirror) is found. It can be said that the "Miroir d'Eau" is a kind of square/fountain where the whole floor is covered by a constant flow of water that comes out of small holes. Following the lead of other tourists, we took off our shoes and socks and we pretended to "walk on water" in full knowledge that we could have caught something there. This square/fountain is found next to the Garonne River, so all this together made this one of the most beautiful parts of the city.

Bordeaux, churches, streets, squares...

After being there a while and before wandering around the streets of the old town, we decided to visit Saint André Cathedral and town hall. We walked around the edge of the Garonne River and we then took the tram again all the way up the street "Cours d'Alsace et Lorraine" until we came to the stop for the "Pey-Berland tower". Saint André cathedral is in the middle of a big square and found at the crossroads of busy streets such as "Rue Vital Carles" and the aforementioned "Cours d'Alsace et Lorraine" and "Rue Maréchal Joffre". The entrance fee cost us something like 3€ and for sure it is a bit more beautiful inside than the cathedral of Rennes which we had seen recently. Photos cannot be taken, so I can't show you what it looks like inside. I do however, have photos of the Pey-Berland tower which we didn't know we could actually go up at the time. It's a giant tower from which you can see the whole of Bordeaux and the entry fee is either 5. 50€ of 4. 50€ depending on which tariff applies to you.

Bordeaux, churches, streets, squares...

We told Cyril about everything we had done when he asked us what we had seen in the city. In the actual square where the tower and the cathedral are, we saw the option to rent out bicycles in order to move around the city more quickly, but the last week in Saint Nazaire, I had cancelled my BNP Paribas card so I no longer had a French bank account and the system didn't accept our Spanish cards.

Bordeaux, churches, streets, squares...

We stopped next to The Museum of Bordelais Art which was a few meters away from the cathedral and other religious monuments. We caught the tram again to go towards Quartier Saint Michel (district), where the basilica is found with the same name (Saint Michel). Next to the Basilica (which was closed by the way) was another tower which was similar to the Pay-Berland tower, this one was much more pointed than the other one, but equally as tall. We stopped in the same district where the Basilica is situated to get something to eat and we sat in the shade on the banks opposite the Garonne to relax a little bit. Seeing a city in a couple of days like we did involves a lot of walking and enjoying your time to the maximum. A little while after eating, we started to wander around aimlessly. We went through Rue Victor Hugo and we came to a load of pedestrian streets. We saw squares, streets and churches, without wanting to look at the map and without really knowing which direction we were going. Without knowing which route we had gone, we ended up on the never-ending street Rue Saint Catherine through which Cyril had taken us the day before. We continued up the street until we got to la Place Saint Projet and since we had the map in our hands, we went to la Place Camille Jullian and around the pedestrian streets that surrounded the whole area.

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