Spend a Sunday in Bordeaux
If you are lucky and have a beautiful day, Bordeaux is a fabulous city for walking and biking. I started with the outdoor food vendors at the Marche des Quais, Quai des Chartons, 33000. Everyone rides bikes and it is an excellent way to explore the city, shop, people watch, and spend a glorious Bordeaux Sunday.
Look for local produce that is snapped up by residents and visitors. The array of fresh oysters, poultry, meats, seafood, cheese, olives, breads, spices, cakes, pies, soaps…all amazing, beautiful and value priced. Small cafes serve sandwiches and seafood, along with local wines.
The area is perfect for children completing daredevil tricks on their skate boards, scooters and bikes while parents watch pridefully on the side lines, ready with a smile (and a Band-Aid).
Directly across the street find a wide selection of restaurants that deliver European as well as Asian cuisine.
Moelleuses-et-Persillees, Quai des Chartrons. Designed and managed by Adeline Pray and Giovanni Lombardi. The meat is sold by the pound and grilled based on request; unfortunately, small orders are not accepted. If you are looking for a piece of beef the size of a burger – find another restaurant. Beef selections are sourced from Galicia, Spain, Austria, Germany, USA (Black Angus) and EU (filet, chateaubriand).
Ko San. Asian Fusion Restaurant 33 Quai des Chartrons, 33000, Outdoor seating across from the Garonne. Large selection of Asian beer with menus for lunch, happy hour, dinner and brunch.
As the sun sets, grab an outdoor table at Molly Malone’s where millennials actively pursue beer, wine and each other. Across the Garonne, this Irish pub is a sports bar with live music. Open for lunch, dinner, afternoon tea.
Walking from the riverfront to shopping streets, pass the Ferris Wheel and take the opportunity to see Bordeaux from the top – down (located at Places des Quinconces).
Esplanade des Quinconces. Considered the largest square in Europe, the Esplanade des Quinconces is a monument that must be visited. The fountain honors the Girondins, a group of republican politicians from the department of the Gironde who were deputies in the Legislative Assembly during the French Revolution. Many Girondins were sent to the guillotine.
South of the Place is Rue Sainte Catherine, this fabulous shopping street is the oldest existing thoroughfare in Bordeaux. During Roman times it was a popular route for traveling merchants and traders. The street is chockful of shops and cafes with the upper part of the avenue demonstrating an international brand focus and the lower zones featuring younger more trending designs.
Le Comptoir de Mathilde on rue Ste-Catherine offers excellent Nutella and chocolate in every form ever conceived.
After shopping and dining, walk over to the Place de la Bourse (Miroir d’Eau). The Water Mirror is the largest reflecting pool in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While very shallow, it creates a mesmerizing mirroring effect that reflects Place de la Bourse and the surrounding buildings. The water is scheduled to have 3 episodes: fog, mirror and pool. It is worth the approximately 20-minute time investment to see the entire sequence.
After a fabulous few days walking the streets of Bordeaux, get back to the train station, pull out your Rail Europe ticket collection, and head to Reims for a visit to the world of champagnes.
© Dr. Elinor Garely. This copyright article, including photos, may not be reproduced without written permission from the author.