Bordeaux Bits

Here are several bits and pieces about our stay in Bordeaux that didn’t make it into their own blog posts.

Apartment

Our stay in Bordeaux was certainly enhanced by the lovely apartment that we rented via Airbnb. The apartment itself was very comfortable and its location put us in the very centre of the city.

 

Antique Fair

There has been a large antiques fair running for a couple of weeks. There are 194 different vendor stands in the fair, with a variety of items for sale. As we are living out of our luggage, we couldn’t consider buying anything but we enjoyed having a look around.

 

Christmas Market

There is also a Christmas Market operating in town, with heightened security measures being evident. There are a few rows of little huts, selling a variety of gift ideas, as well as food stalls and a couple of bars.

 

Rue Sainte Catherine

Reputed to be one of the longest shopping streets in Europe, Rue Sainte Catherine was almost on our doorstep. Completely pedestrianised over its 1.25km length, it is home to over 250 shops. It was a busy street on most days, but particularly so over the Black Friday weekend.

 

Marche des Capucins

Still on the shopping theme, the Marche des Capucins (Capuchins Market) is well worth a visit. It is a nice covered market with stalls selling a variety of products. In addition to the usual meat, fish and vegetable stands, there are also stalls selling regional products such as truffles, foie gras, cheeses, craft beer, honey and more.

But what makes this market stand out for me are the various ‘cafe stalls’ where customers can eat some lunch and enjoy a glass of wine. Some of these stalls sell fresh seafood and had a line of customers waiting for a table.

I ate lunch at the counter of La Poissonnerie and enjoyed some delicious fresh oysters and a glass of wine. Very tasty indeed. I opted for six of the ‘Ostra Regal’ at €15 including bread and wine, but it was possible to get a similar plate for €9 by opting for a different grade of oyster. Highly recommended.

Submarine Base

One day, we visited an old Nazi submarine bunker in one of the tidal basins of Bordeaux. Unfortunately, once we got there, we found that it is closed for the winter and will not re-open until 8 March 2018. But we were still able to walk around a couple of sides of the building and also view the submarine pens across the basin.

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Whilst others have reported having difficulty finding the base, we found it rather easily. Take the ‘C’ tram from the centre of town and get off at Place le Bouscat and then walk along Boulevard Alfred Daney until you see the large concrete structure on the right. Turn in next to the big red/white circus school tent and you’ll see the entrance door to the bunker.

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Map to get to the bunker

Construction of the bunker commenced in September 1941 and took 22 months to complete, using 600,000 cubic feet of concrete. It measures 245 meters long by 162 meters wide and 20 meters high.

The bunker has a total of 11 submarine pens. Pens 1-4 are 20 metres wide wet berths, whilst pens 5-11 are 14 metres wide and could be made into dry docks by pumping out the water. Once completed, it was home to the Nazi 12th flotilla of 43 U-boats.

Despite being unable to enter the bunker, we were able to get photos of the exterior.

 

Sights Around Town

And finally, here is a selection of photos of Bordeaux landmarks.

 

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