The Garonne River flows through the city, and its bank is a nice place to hang out. You know me, I love anything with a water view, be it ocean or even rivers will suffice, apparently. There’s a lovely, large promenade along the river, and lots of green space where I saw many families hanging out. It was nice to see people outside in the fresh air, playing with their kids or walking their dogs, on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.
Place des Quinconces is the largest city square in not only France, but all of Western Europe. This square is an interesting place. Apparently there’s always something going on there. When I was visiting, some sort of “pleasure fair” or carnival was packing up.
The Girondist Column is the focal point of the square. It basically towers over two beautiful fountains. The bronze statue at the top represents Liberty breaking free from the chains of oppression and the victory of the republic. The horses in the fountains at the base of the column almost look like they’re jumping out of the water towards you.
During the second World War, the bronze horses were taken from the fountain by German soldiers who were looking for metal. Luckily, they were found in Angers in 1944 and were put back in the fountain, where they belong.
From Place des Quinconces, Michael and I wandered over to Place de la Bourse. This square has another beautiful fountain, this one of the Three Graces. There’s usually a miroir d’eau between the square and the river that provides a reflection of the square, but there was no water in it when we were there. We seem to be having a bit of a problem with that this year, like when we were in Washington, D.C. Next time, Bordeaux!
During our wandering, we ended up on a popular shopping street, and it was just a sea of people. I wasn’t a huge fan of Saturday afternoon shopping in Bordeaux. Too many people for my liking. I much preferred the quieter streets. I even ducked in a cheese shop, just so I could say I did. It smelled like stinky cheese. Wasn’t a fan of that either. I like to eat the cheese. I just don’t like to smell a whole shop full of it. I didn’t go into the butcher shop, but I peaked in the window, and that was an interesting experience as well. Rabbit and duck, and all kinds of different meat that you don’t see at the grocery store around here. I must say, I like the idea of the way the Europeans shop, getting what they need from little specialty shops. It’s a lot more personal than shopping at big box grocery stores, and I’m sure the quality and freshness is better too.
So there you have it. Those are my thoughts on Bordeaux. Another beautiful city, in a beautiful country.