La Rochelle, Bordeaux and the Basque

La Rochelle was a detour on the way to Bordeaux and what a good one it was, with old fishing port and fortress walls. The weather was also amazing and as we strolled along the waterfront, we both managed to get a bit sun burned! If only it had lasted but sadly no, in Bordeaux the temperatures once again dropped and we were back in our puffer jackets and polar fleece.

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Bordeaux for a reasonably big city was quite cool with its central city deemed a UNESCO heritage site, but the highlight of course was walking past a photography store (completely by accident) and finding that they had not just one Canon 6D Battery Charger, but a whole drawer full!!! We had tried in Rouen, Bayeaux and Tours with no luck and were even struggling in Bordeaux and then Voila, there it was. Of course, I then just had to receive a second email from the hotel in NYC telling me that low and behold the original had been found and where would I like it sent!!!!

Tony was so happy that weekend and the 550D has been retired once more.

Place de le Borse

Bordeaux Cathedral

I on the other hand, although naturally very happy for Tony, enjoyed some of the other highlights that Bordeaux had to offer. The market on the Saturday morning offered us a wonderful lunch of charcuterie, oysters and of course some fine wine, not to mention a canon being fired, not once but twice! The tour of the famous vinyards in the Pauilliac and Medoc areas was also quite interesting and we drove past both Chateaux Rothschild and LaTour, both of which unfortunately require invite only and a substantial bank account to actually visit the properties and to taste the vintage.

Lunch in Bordeaux

From Bordeaux we headed further south and onto the coast and into Basque Country. Biarritz reminded us both of Surfers, but European styles…with an old port that was quite impressive especially with the rough Atlantic Ocean spraying over its old walls. We walked along the Boardwalk and visited the Virgin on the Rock. For a non-practising Catholic I seem to be on a bit of a pilgrimage this trip!

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The town of Saint Jean De Luz, we though was a lot nicer and had a great market that we wandered around in and bought some lunch – cheese, sausage and bread, our daily staple here in France. We stayed in Bidart, which is on the outskirts of Biarritz and had a great dinner on our last night at one of the local restaurants (there were only about three). We knew it would be good when we walked in and saw the rugby ball up on a ceiling beam and pictures on the wall of a rugby player, who turned out to be the owner’s father. Coming from NZ held us in good stead and once again Tony managed to make me laugh, when the owner asked if he was an All Black and could she have his autograph!!

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We thought we should contact the NZ Rugby Union to see if a ‘real’ All Black could visit if they were ever in the area…

Until next time, A Bientot…