Here are some thoughts about Bordeaux, France.
We got in around 11am and took a bus into town (we were not EXACTLY sure where the bus was heading because this was just the beginning of wrestling with the French language, but we got off where I knew we could walk to the hotel. Problem was, I guess the French do absolutely nothing on Sundays because we maybe saw 5 people while trying to find our way through what looked liked a ghost town. We found the large mall that the hotel was next to, and it was even closed. We had slept only 3 hours the previous night and got nothing to eat on the flight, and we could not even find an open restaurant. We tried checking into our hotel but it was too early so we dropped our luggage and pulled out the map and hoped for the best.
I had read about this street market that was only on Sundays and closed at 2, so after we finally found lunch we booked it to the market that was about 1/2 mile walk…not very pleasant considering the night/morning we had, but the Mister was a trooper and it was so worth it! There were rows and rows of beat up toys, books, brass fixtures, crappy furniture, and more junk than even I could peruse through. As the Mister rolled his eyes and tried to find somewhere to sit (after taking some pretty good photos), I was let loose and so in my element (they were starting to pack up when we got there, but I did manage to get a tea tin for €.50 for our wedding). If I could write a book about the amazing flea markets I have been to…
We slowly crawled our way back to the hotel, hoping for a nice comfy bed to take a little nap…but let’s just say the Mister was in charge of booking ONE hotel for our trip (I was trying to make sure he felt included in the planning process) and it turned out to be a DISASTER! We not only had no A/C, but we did not have a BED. I will leave it at that and let you imagine my face when I walked through that door (although the pull out couch ended up not being too bad).
I wanted to get out of that room as fast as I wanted to get in it, so we headed to the main square on the river, and we finally saw what Bordeaux was all about. The city is absolutely beautiful off the water, with gorgeous fountains and lots of shopping and great places to eat. We ended up, of all places, eating at a Thai restaurant, and the food was spectacular. We ended back on the water and bought a bottle of wine and sat for a long time enjoying the quiet city and summer breeze.
Before catching our train to La Rochelle, I sent the Mister to do the laundry in the morning (fail #2). Somehow some of our clothes were ruined and he does not know what happened. Now you may be wondering, why I didn’t do it myself…to be honest, being together with 1 person 24/7 is TOUGH. I truly needed a little time to myself to regroup…so I gave my lovely partner a few tasks (explaining to him how independently figuring things out in a foreign country will increase his cultural awareness). To his credit, an hour later our clothes were on their way to being partly washed, post cards were mailed, and he returned with sandwiches.
As a side note, if you want to test whether or not a relationship can really last, travel for 2 weeks together. I’m not talking about a vacation on a beach somewhere, I’m talking about a multi-country extravaganza with language barriers, shady train stations, flights on Easy Jet, 1 bag, endless walking, rooms the size of a closet, and a budget. We own a 2,000 sq. foot house…we haven’t even been inside a 2,000 sq. ft bar! The mister and I do not share a bathroom at home, or a closet, or a dresser, or a desk/work space…so this has been a privilege (sigh).
These small grievances aside, we have had the best time, and have enjoyed the time to ourselves. It has taken traveling to the other side of the planet for the Mister to eat Thai food, enjoy mussels, try to speak another language, unplug from a computer, not depend on his car and walk, and wear a v neck T-shirt (oh, it happened). And how could I forget, one of the most memorable quotes from our trip so far:
W: “Man, how good are fajitas going to taste when we get back?”
W: “This IS the longest I have ever gone without them”
Me: “That is ridiculous”
W: “They don’t even know the wonders of a margarita machine”
Our time in Bordeaux was short but really memorable. On the train ride to La Rochelle we got to see miles and miles of vineyards and we will now most likely always prefer Bordeaux wine.