Monday, August 6, 2012

Gullible's Travels pt cinq -" une autre verre de rose!"

Two of the most disturbing events in the last week, besides the daily gasper that is my first morning look in the mirror at my un-made-up face "[GASP] oh that's me";
One- walking into L'Orangerie restaurant in jardins public a bordeaux and seeing a waiter setting down a china plate of entrecô front of a small terrier. :0I A platter piled with sliced rump steak for a dog? I wanted to slap the dog's owner across the face with a brochure for World Vision. I'm a clear advocate of canine inclusion but even I have limits.

Two- up-flushing toilets. You know the ones, they have a lot of them in Asia; the bowl fills up and up and up & just before it hits the rim it all gets sucked down ( hopefully). Try explaining this to a four-year-old who thinks her pooh is climbing out to get her.
As a result, Lucie is very reluctant to use any toilet outside Grandma's house - "it's too smelly mummy" and mostly they are.
This situation has developed an afternoon ritual of choosing a very modern (read expensive) cafe to take a glass of Rose, and a tour of the 'facilities'. I suspect that the horrid sate of public toilets in this country is financially supplementing the restaurant trade.

Speaking of food, glorious food... I LOVE this country if only for that, ( but not only).

For under €15 in Carrefour supermarket you can score a good bottle of wine, a jar of pate, a crusty baguette, 200g beaufort and a whopping great saussison! A veritable feast that would cost a bomb back home- if you could even find these goodies. We did find a suppler in Sydney who imports genuine saussison; $15 for half that size... and we feel blessed.
I also love the salads here; my favourite is 'salade des landes' it's packed with duck: pieces, gizzards & foie gras. Rich & fatty.. Oh yeah.

We are in culinary heaven :0)

Bordeaux is a beautiful city, the mayor has spent a lot of money on infrastructure and general beautification and many of the best and prettiest shopping and dining streets have become predominantly pedestrian. In the 90's the country's President also became Bordeaux's mayor & lo and behold funding was accelerated and the neglected city was scrubbed and buffed within an inch of its existence and a fabulously modern tram system was implemented making getting about even easier.

For the most part, major land marks and parks are all within walking / cycling distance. But for Lucie, the single most important land mark is the water mirror opposite place de la Bourse along side the river Garonne. Designed by the French landscape architect, Michel Corajoud, the water mirror effect is created in two centimeters of water over granite tiles that reflect the gorgeous 18th century building facades. On a timer, the water is drained periodically and replaced with fountains of mist and in summer the entire 3450 square meter mirror surface is covered with laughing wet children and smiling shoeless parents.

If you think Paris rocks, you'll love Bordeaux and its hard to describe this enchanting city without sounding like a travel brochure. But c'mon: the incredible fountains, the architecture, the historic roman ruins sandwiched between ordinary homes, and of course the shopping!

Bordeaux remains my shopping mecca - all my best leather boots came from San Marina (shoe heaven), Lucie's most colorful & original outfits came from 'Du Pareil au Meme' (conveniently next door to Petit Bateau- always worth a look of they're on sale).

Rue Sainte Catherine has all the majors like H&M, Zara, & FNAC (kind of Dick Smith meets Borders) & Galleries Lafayette. Kind of a more spectacular French version of Melbourne's Chapel street or Sydney's Pitt street.

So, or 'alors' as the say here: after a heavy day of accidental sightseeing while shopping and eating and generally splashing about in the landmarks its back home via a short stop on the carousel.

Did I say short? Another seven rounds later....

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