Wowed by Bordeaux

Anne & Kirk Woodyard – Music and Markets Tours

It’s been twelve years since we’ve been in Bordeaux, and since our Music and Markets Bordeaux/Dordogne tour starts and ends there, we took time for a refresh last year. A Unesco World Heritage walk through the city is the perfect way to get to know Bordeaux – so we begin in Place du Parlement (where there’s no parliament any more, just a pretty square) before heading down a a side street to Le Petit Commerce for lunch. Known for its seafood (the crabs trying to escape the basket exemplify the freshness!), it may have been petit at one time, but as it’s grown in popularity it’s expanded from building to building on this tiny lane!
With that hearty lunch down the hatch we’re ready to explore the historic center, and continue our discovery with Place de la Comédie and the majestic Grand Théâtre, a colonnaded masterpiece built in the 18th century, as was much of Bordeaux’s historic center. Inside and out it’s a dazzler, ringed with graceful Corinthian columns, the gilded entry leading to a monumental staircase. From the Place de la Comédie one boulevard of the “Golden Triangle”, Cours de l’Intendance, is perhaps the grandest street in the city. We’re impressed by the gleaming white façades, not a one in need of cleaning! Have we ever seen an entire section of a city so very spic and span?! Lined with high-end boutiques and glorious architecture, the Cours invites a relaxing wander – definitely more time than we have to give it today! But we can’t resist strolling into a Galerie – the Passage Sarget, one of those beautiful predecessors to today’s malls.

As twilight falls, we continue to the grand Cathédrale St. André, where Eleanor of Aquitaine celebrated her marriage to Louis VII. The next landmark on our tour, the Grosse Cloche, is such a beauty, glowing in the night! The former belfry of the 14th century town hall and a gate in the 13th century walls, it’s a don’t-miss in our books.
One more Unesco site completes our tour today – the Place de la Bourse (stock exchange), linking the city to the Garonne River, from where the “red gold” of Bordeaux flowed to the world.

So that’s just a taste of this beautifully restored city – we’re eager for more!

The best way to describe us (Kirk and Anne Woodyard) is that we’re interested in the stories that make the places we visit come alive.
We’ve visited Europe more times than we can count, learned some entertaining stories there, and met some warm and helpful people who also enjoy the wonders of music and life in Europe. We look forward to sharing these stories and friends and experiences with our Music and Markets guests.
Between our music-related travels, we split our time between our homes near Washington DC and the south of France.
While both of us have experience in organizing travel and music groups Kirk’s background is in project management and competitive writing, and Anne is an accomplished pianist with over thirty years of teaching experience, and a travel and food writer specializing in France and Italy.

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One Response to Wowed by Bordeaux

  1. Jim Moore says:

    We had an opportunity of 3 to 4 free days to spend, just about anywhere in France. Bordeaux was near the top of our list but didn’t end up as our choice. After reading your descriptions and seeing the pictures, it may be we made a mistake. Thanks for posting this. Maybe, next time.

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