A short visit to Bordeaux

When I looked out of the plane window and saw driving rain as we descended into Gatwick on Friday night, it felt a long, long, way from warm—t-shirt weather—sunshine we had enjoyed as we sat outside to eat a late lunch in Bordeaux.

The reason for the visit was a software workshop so most of the three days were spent cloistered inside a classic 1960s academic building at one of the city’s universities. On the last afternoon though I did get chance to wander around the stately low-traffic and pedestrianised centre admiring its classical 18th century sandstone buildings now listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. For such a picturesque town it was surprisingly functional: the ultra-modern tram system was efficient, although never less than moderately busy.

While the Bordeaux area is most famous for its wine, the city also seemed to cater those who liked shopping with what seemed like un-ending streets of shops. This is part of the historic Aquitaine region so I was sad not to have chance to visit the well-reviewed, and free, Musee d’Aquitaine. For dinner, the concept of an entire restaurant dedicated to cheese, Baud et Millet, and its 94 cheeses, could not be passed up. Despite its anglicised name, Italian owned Le Wine Bar also served up some tasty vittles of ham, cheese and local specialities.

Place de la Bourse captured by the iPhone panorama mode.

Place de la Bourse captured by the iPhone panorama mode.

Kyoto Through a Lens


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I remember leaving Kyoto thinking it distinctly un-charming but with the memories of hordes of tourists and tired feet receding, it is these highlights of the beautiful temples and zen gardens that force me to reconsider my previous opinion.