One of the best things about living in Europe are the many possibilities for weekend adventures. This past weekend Thomas and I with his family set off for Bordeaux. I didn’t know much about this south west region of France other than it produces some of the most famous wines in the world. Only a 3 hour train ride outside of Paris, it is a beautiful place to visit whether you are a wine drinker or not. We started out our first day with a drive through the vineyards visiting some of the most famous wineries. Our first stop, Yquem was a beautiful sight with rolling hills full of grape vines and a large Chateau sitting high on top of a hill surrounded by gardens full of flowers.
The next winery we visited, Chateau Guiraud, was once owned by a Canadian company and is now back in the hands of the French. We took a tour through this beautiful old chateau and ended with a tasting of the wine. This winery produces a wonderful wine that is organic and tastes a lot like ice wine from Canada.
We continued our journey through the vast hills full of grape vines and finally headed back into the city of Bordeaux. After a little pause to check into our hotel, we were excited to get out and explore the city. Walking through the streets, there was different vibe in Bordeaux than in Paris. The people seem friendlier and the city has amazing character. Once the sun goes down, families come out and it is time to eat! An average time to eat dinner in this region is upwards of ten o’clock at night. Families with small children sat along the streets in the many restaurant patios enjoying their food while taking in all the sights and sounds around them. We found a wonderful restaurant with an large outdoor patio on a pedestrian street and enjoyed a nice dinner finished off with an ice cream topped with whipped cream and cherries. After dinner we strolled along the waters edge back to our hotel. The city was alive with people walking, meeting and even children sill awake playing in a fountain.
The next morning we headed back out into the city of Bordeaux to see some of the more historical places. We started with the cathedral of Bordeaux. A beautiful church similar to Notre Dame in Paris, this cathedral also had beautiful large stained glass windows. We left the church and made our way around the city taking photos and stopping to look in some of the local shops.
In the afternoon, we headed out to a little village called Saint-Émilion This is one of the most beautiful little villages that I have ever seen. It seemed as though time had forgotten this town and you were transported back to a time of simple life. Cobblestone streets, old churches and bakeries where the main points of interest in this little village. We stopped at the famous bakery to get the original macaroons that originated from this village in the 17th century. They were delicious and gluten free!
After we left Saint-Émilion we drove through the country side again taking in the breathtaking scenery of the Bordeaux vineyards. We were then invited back to Thomas’ relatives house for a late dinner before we had to head back to Paris the next morning. This area of Bordeaux and its surrounding small villages is a wonderful mix of calm serene countryside mixed with a vibrant city, and I can’t wait to go back someday!