Much wine and few people in the Médoc
Two sea days and a day in Normandy I have already had on my journey with Mein Schiff 4 from Hamburg to Mallorca. (Zum deutschen Blog.)Today we arrive in Le Verdon, the port of Bordeaux.
This is a tiny, sleepy village with a large ship dock at the Gironde estuary in Médoc. As I look out of the window, I think, “Oh, what are we going to do here?” The Gironde is very wide in the estuary, the land quite flat, a few old buildings from the Second World War are still to be seen and some modern cranes to unload the large cargo ships. That’s it.
Through the Médoc
But we do not want to stay here; we are going to Bordeaux through the Médoc. We board our bus; about 90 minutes should take the trip. The first kilometers we see cows, horses and some few houses and a lot of green in the flat landscape. So here the good Bordeaux wine will be cultivated? I cannot believe it.
But the further we go away from the sea, from the infamous Biscay, the more the landscape changes. And then they start, the huge wine-growing areas. The cultivated areas look great; the vines are arranged exactly in line. Still, most of the vines are full of predominantly blue grapes, but the vintage has already begun in some areas. Man and machine work together.
Almost in every cultivated area a more or less splendid “Chateau” is hidden, thus a winery. Some really look like small castles. At most, the brand names are written in huge letters on the front.
This is the ideal climate for winegrowing, very different from the Normandy that is located further north, where we disembarked two days ago.
Then we drive through the suburbs of Bordeaux.
We see the “big boot”, the futuristic building of the wine museum “La Cité du Vin” unfortunately only from a distance, it really looks special…
At the Opéra National de Bordeaux we get off. From here, we can “conquer” the city core by ourselves. We stroll a little through the pedestrian zone and find ourselves quickly on the promenade of the Gironde.
At the Place de la Bourse we admire the beautiful houses, which are arranged consistently here along the promenade.
Of course, we have to cross the street (everyone should have a look if one of the quiet trams is coming along) and go to the “mirror water”. A large rectangular water surface was laid out on the promenade along the Gironde, which is still flowing very wide here.
The mirror water is only one or two centimeters deep and if it is not windy, the building complex of the opposite side of the road reflexes quite fantastic in this small pond. Every 30 minutes some water nozzles are activated and a very fine mist develops. On hot days, this is great fun not only for children!
Of course, I have to go in there and let my husband take a picture of me. We still have two hours and so we stroll slowly through the streets until we arrive at the St. André cathedral.
It is midday and so it is closed. We sit in one of the many street cafés and drink a delicious Café au lait and admire the magnificent exterior construction. Unfortunately, much of the façade is wrapped in planes, as the cathedral gets restored.
We walk slowly on and admire the beautifully decorated houses. Then we are back at the opera again and our bus brings us back to the Mein Schiff 4.
Of course, with a glass of Bordeaux wine we have an excellent dinner and say farewell to a beautiful landscape and an interesting city.
Too bad we did not have more time for this great city. The people here all look somewhat satisfied; there are no gloomy faces to be seen. It must be due to the sun and the mild climate.