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Bordeaux, Nantes, Arcachon

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° Bordeaux ° Arcachon ° Nantes °

Published by flag- Barbarka Houfková — 4 years ago

As I already said May was the month of exams and the month of traveling at the same time. Firstly I went to Portugal for a whole week and after my exams, I went to Barcelona (three days), Paris (one day) and to the south of France (three days). We started to plan the trip to Bordeaux right after the Lyon - Marseille trip with my friends. Unfortunately, we did not find any common date so we decided to go just with Katarina, Bruno, and Joshue. This trip was supposed to be again adventurous - no sleeping and a lot of traveling by bus. The price for this trip was unbelievable. From Paris to Bordeaux we paid only 5 euro, from Bordeaux to Nantes we paid 9 euro and from Nantes to Paris just one euro!

Three days before the trip Katarina just sent me a message: “Hey Barbara, I am really sorry but I can not make it and I am not going on the trip. ” First few minutes I was shocked and I answered something like if she really meant it seriously but after I just calmed down and I decided not to be annoyed or fed up with it. One thing I learned in this exchange - to be relaxed. There is no point to be angry all the time and it is just normal that things are not going according to the plan all the time. I was always the type of person who hated when someone said something and after all, changed even though we already agreed on it. Now I am trying not to rely on anybody and I know that everything can easily change. Hopefully, it will stay like this... So what? I will go on a trip just with boys and it will be fun anyway. It was just a shame that Katarina could not go because it was supposed to be our last trip. On the other hand, I am meeting her in the Czech Republic at the beginning of July. Our group fell apart when Joshue texted me that he missed the bus to Paris. I did not have the internet in Paris so I did not know all the details but in the end, he managed to be in Paris somehow and we were prepared to go.

Our plan

After the Paris trip, I was supposed to meet the rest of my group at Bercy station in Paris and the bus went at 12. 15 pm. It was really convenient because the journey took us 8 hours (enough sleeping) and midnight was a good time to fell asleep on the bus. I did not even realize I was traveling by bus because I easily fell asleep (also because I was already super tired after Barcelona and Paris) and I woke up already in Bordeaux at 8 am. When we arrived I was wondering who recommended me this city. The weather was awful – if I compare it to the one in Barcelona. It was raining for the whole day. Joshué had a lot of problems with his shoes because they got wet the first day and for the rest of the trip he was walking with flip-flops and the last day he had to buy the new ones. This day, fortunately, we booked accommodation. When I thought that Katarina was going I found the one which was not so cheap – 20 euro per person per night. Although when she canceled the trip I did a new search and I found surprisingly cheap accommodation on Booking.com. After a bad experience with Airbnb in Lisbon and Madrid, it was the only choice for me. I booked the whole room for three people only for 37 euros. It was 3 kilometers from the city center and we had a bathroom and a toilet outside the room. The reviews on the internet were contradictory. Someone wrote that it was good accommodation for the price they paid and someone wrote that he would not stay at the accommodation anymore. That´s why I expected the worst thing ever. Actually, it was my first time when I saw a one-star hotel.


The information about the distance from the city center was correct. We were walking a lot to get to the accommodation. When we entered the hotel we were surprised. The woman at the reception was quite nice except for the fact she did not allow me to let my backpack in the hotel next day even though they had at least two advertisements in the hotel about the possibility to leave the luggage there. We had quite a nice room and everything was clean. We decided to have breakfast there as well. I did not like they had only sweet food and no ham or cheese.

As the weather was shitty that day we went to the city centre at about 3 pm. I did not find any free walking tour so we went to the tourist information and we had our own walking tour. Bordeaux was a nice city, but not so special for me. Unfortunately, we were late for the Tower so we could not even climb up.


For dinner, we had some kebab and we went to sleep really early. I was so tired that I was not even able to finish the movie Ted and I slept nine hours (it was a good thing after two hours sleeping in Barcelona the night before). The next day we wanted to visit Arcachon and the Dune du Pilat. Dune du Pilat is the place with the tallest dune in Europe. We found out that the train round ticket was 24 euro. We tried to find a Blablacar and we were really lucky! The driver took us directly to the Dune and he also took us back to Bordeaux at 5 pm. In addition, he let us leave our backpacks in the car which was really convenient because of climbing to the Dunes. The weather was nice finally.


I really liked the place with sand. I did not expect me to be so tired after climbing there. We had really nice view of the sea and it was something special. We took a lot of pictures there and we walked a lot. I felt so exhausted after it.





Later we took a bus to Arcachon. It was a small fancy city where there were a lot of expensive beautiful houses. Probably it is an area for wealthy people. We walked to the beach and I could imagine having really nice holiday there.


Unfortunately, in May the temperature was too low to swim there. Joshue took there a crab into his hand.




We came back to Bordeaux around 6 pm. We bought finally beers and we drunk a little bit because a harder part of our trip came. We had to stay awake until 1 a. m. and take the bus to Nantes. We were sitting next to the Place Bourse where there is a famous building reflecting into the ground like a mirror. I had a really good time there because we started to talk about all the personal things and discussions about what happened during our exchange in Lille.


It was a big difference for me because even though I already spent some time with Bruno in Lyon, Marseille and many evenings in Lille, during this trip I got closer to him and we had enough time to talk about everything. Therefore, it was sad to say goodbye to him at the end of the trip. Anyway, he lives in Europe so meeting him should not be difficult. After catching our bus we slept on the bus for just 4 hours and we got to Nantes at 5:30 a. m.


When we planned the trip I just said: "It is okay to arrive in Nantes at 5 am, we can find some café and after we have the whole day to exploring Nantes. " It was not like this. I was really fed up when we arrived. I was literally freezing the whole time and everything was closed. On the map, we found Starbucks opening at 7 a. m. which was just one hour walking from our station. Probably, I was not the only one tired because when Joshue tried to find the café on the map he just seriously put into the map city Cannes and looked for the café in a different city. I could not believe it but at least something made me laugh that morning.


Actually, it is the only thing I really regret – not going to Cannes, Nice or St Tropez. It is supposed to be the best part of France. Unfortunately, I realized it when I already planned all of my trips and it was too late. From Lille or Paris, it is quite easy to go there but from the Czech Republic, it is not. I hope I will have another opportunity to go there soon because I really want to.


We started walking towards Starbucks and I just decided to be silent because I wanted too many things - coffee, bed, shower, bathroom, warm and nothing of this was possible at 6 am. When we finally found Starbucks it was closed and the other one opened at 8 am. As a reward, I had a big coffee with a croissant (they again made a mistake with my name and they wrote Barbara instead of Barbarka). We spent there quite a lot of time and after we took a map to the information center again and we did a small city tour. I prefer Bordeaux over Nantes but both cities were nicer than Lille. The thing is that I just love Lille because of all the experience and moments I had there with amazing people.


For lunch, we chose to have normal food in a normal restaurant. I was happy to try new meal called Musaka and typical French desert Créme brullée. Musaka was delicious as it was similar to Lasagne just without lasagne slices (haha). The dessert was also delicious.


During this trip, I again spoke a little bit French which was a good thing. We took our bus to Paris at 4 pm and we ended up in Lille at about 2 am. I was so looking forward to sleeping on the bus the whole time. Although I was not able to sleep. Maybe because the whole exchange had a big influence on me that I just spent the whole time thinking of everything that happened and I knew that when we arrived in Lille I had just my last day there. I did not want to admit it and I was not prepared for it.


Bordeaux, Arcachon, and Nantes were nice cities and it was a pleasure to see it together with these guys. I can say that we had a lot of fun there.

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