When life gives you an extended weekend, what better way to make the most of it than travelling! Sure enough, I was dying to go somewhere! It had been almost a month since I went to Prague and Poland.
What was absolutely magical about this trip, was the fact that I stayed with my friend, Thomas’s family. A true french family, living in Bordeaux. Yes, that was as amazing as it sounds. Authentic french home-made cuisine! What could ever be better? I reached late at night, but still I was offered this heart-warming meal.
And ofcourse, next morning, I was off into the city! Surprisingly, I found out there aren’t any tours. However, I did find a .pdf for a tour, and you can imagine, it was slightly painful doing it like this, but I enjoyed navigating my way and having the freedom to spend as much time as I wanted in a place, and the freedom to break off and take on the tour again whenever I wanted, along with skipping what I didn’t want to do. That’s as flexible as it can get!
Fun fact : Bordeaux has Europe’s longest pedestrian street, called Rue St. Catherine.
This road is full of retail stores, some high end brands, and I guess you’d find anything you wanted to here. Me, I’m not much of a shopping freak, so I was more interested in this barometer on one of the huge shops.
You know what’s really cool about this time? Christmas. France, is specially enthusiastic about Christmas! And with Christmas, come the famous Christmas markets. Which basically means, you get to witness something like this :
In one such stall, I found a local speciality, called the “ChiChi” ( pronounced Shee-Shee ) which is basically a french churro, slightly larger, and sprinkled with sugar / cinnamon. What I’m trying to say is, it is like an angel in heaven sprinkled with cinnamon, that you can eat. ( Do you know where this is coming from? It’s so epic, unrelated, but I got to mention it!
Anyways, I was also really surprised and excited to see an outdoor ice skating rink. You’ve got to be kidding me! How epic would it be to go for a ride on this?
This, was the 3rd time I went ice skating, ever. I’m proud to say, I’ve improved enough to do one lap at a decent speed without falling, which makes me excited, and I try going slightly faster, which ends up with my face in the ice. If you’re a beginner, like me, who doesn’t know how to skate, and want’s to ice-skate, here’s a pro tip:
Pro Tip : The more times you fall, the faster you learn.
However, don’t keep falling intentionally, unless there’s a pretty girl skating next to you who can stabilize you.
I spent quite a lot of time with the family, sharing stories, and cuisines! I managed to make some paranthas = (indian flat bread ), which went extremely well with the potato-omelettes. Infact, name one thing that paranthas don’t go well with! And, I was on the receiving end of some of the most amazing meals! Wine-marinated chicken, out on the authentic barbecue. Oh, my, god! Cheese, cheese, cheese! Shrimps, after all, it’s a port town! I learnt how to eat shrimps that just got of the sea. Interesting, I’d like to prepare those again, they taste nice.
An enchanting weekend at Bordeaux.
Ofcourse, you’re wondering about the wine! After all, I was in the world capital of wine, with all the castles and vineyards just next to the city center. The thing is, most castles are closed on weekends. ( And are kind of expensive to tour ).
Lastly, I want to talk about the budget. It has been unbelievable! I did an analysis once I got back, and here you go : Mind you, I shared this with my fellow frenchmen, and they almost cried. This was 10 times cheaper!
Douai – Lille : 3.8 €
Lille – Paris : 1 €
Paris – Bordeaux : 5 €
Living in Bordeaux : Priceless
ChiChi : 1 €
Ice-Skating : 4 €
Bordeaux – Paris : 1 €
Paris – Lille : 5 €
Lille – Douai : 3.8 €
Total : Priceless + 24.6 €
Could have been better, but I booked just a day in advance! True, the bus took longer than the train, it was a tough journey, but hey, it sure beats buying a 100 € one way train ticket!
To the next adventure!