Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bordeaux, elegant

On the way to the hotel at Bordeaux, we drove past the riverside of the town. Being a Sunday, there were plenty of people taking advantage of the good weather in the park and pool areas along the river. (The greenish tinge is from the bus window as the shots below were taken inside the bus.)

After our breakfast the next morning, we had a walking tour of the town past the many elegant buildings reflecting the once wealth of Bordeaux as the major wine trading town of France.

Being early in the morning, the shops and arcades were all closed.

Many buildings have decorated bas-relief on their facade.

We soon reached the town centre where the town clock,

the Grand Theatre,

and a grand hotel is located.

There are some more elegant buildings around the square.

This wine council is in this building where wine tours can be arranged.

Finally we reached another major tourist spot, the tree-lined square of Esplanade des Quinconcers dominated by the Girondins Monument.

The proud cockerel or rooster takes central position on the monument as the symbol of France.

From Bordeaux, we drove on to Sarlat, the centre of the Dordogne Valley.

Ronald Kwok

Sunday, October 16, 2011

La Rochelle (and Poitiers) - Day 6 of Cosmos Tour de France

We left our hotel at Tours and headed for the Atlantic coast for the port of La Rochelle. We made a brief stop at Poitiers coupled as a toilet break. We had a short walk in the town centre.

The main site in the town centre is the church of Notre-Dame-La-Grande of Romanesque architecture with a decorative facade.

The inside of the church is rather small. The distinctive feature are the colourful columns with geometric designs. The dim lighting does not show this well in photos.

From here, it was a ride straight to La Rochelle, the port on the Atlantic Coast. We walked along the coast towards the old port area.

The harbour is guarded by two towers.

Nearby is the massive stone gate (Gate of the  Giant Clock) that leads into the old town.

Around the area are restaurants,

and many temporary stores, this being a Sunday.

The main attraction was a potter (Harry?), especially for children.

Soon it was time for lunch and we had ours in one of the many restaurants facing the sea front. My wife had a sea-food platter as she wanted to try the oysters but she did not find them exceptional while I had mussels. I suppose for a cheap, formule meal, one should not expect much.

We still had some time after lunch to explore the old town.

We could not get inside the Cathedral (St. Louis) as it was closed for lunch.

I find that Hornfleur is more charming and the mussels tasted better, maybe I did not pick the right restaurant. From La Rochelle, we continued our journey to Bordeaux to spend the night.

Ronald Kwok.