I think I was born to the wrong country. After spending the past 24 hours in Bordeaux I realize this is my spiritual hood. Not only are people constantly moving- running, biking, rollerblading-an oddly popular sport- but so are they constantly enjoying each other’s company sitting in courtyards chatting among friends with a pint close by. People aren’t rowdy. They aren’t rude, so far as I can tell, they’re just having a good time. And the food and wine ain’t so bad either. Although I am surprised at the lack of wine among the al fresco diners. Beer seems to have a stronghold here among the young.
The Turks on the other hand strike me as quite the opposite. There appears to be a lot of scowling. Everyone is extremely overweight. And everyone seems completely miserable. Related? Tous parles moi. I will find out more on my 8 hour layover on the way back to HK. Did you know? You can fly direct from Istanbul to Bordeaux.
My journey on Turkish Aiways was quite easy though. The inflight food was decent (meatballs and hummus and cheese), the movie selection although not great was passable (enjoyed Birdman and had to turn off some Adam Sandler Drew Barrymore movie), and the lounges in Istanbul not bad considering they’re totally free. 5 am cheese suits this passenger just fine.
Arriving in Bordeaux is seamless. There’s a quick passport check, grab my bag, and onto the bus I go downtown. I arrive at my airbnb and it is absolutely charming! My host Matthieu turned an empty attic into a beautiful lounge and terrace and rents it out via Airbnb. The location was ideal just minutes from the river, great restaurants, and tram. I cannot recommend Airbnb more highly. Not only was the space perfect, the price right, but Matthieu also served as an ad hoc concierge and tour guide. Anything I wanted he had a stellar recommendation for.
I spent my first afternoon exploring and getting lost. Bordeaux is simply charming!! Beautiful old buildings, winding roads, tons of outdoor brasseries, and the weather was just fine. One of the first places I popped into was a little wine shop where the clerk recommended I check out Vins Urbaines as a great local wine bar. A few hours later I stumbled upon it and it was the best decision of the day!
It being 5 in the afternoon, I was one of the only people in there. I started chatting with the owner over my Juncon Sec and after discovering my obsession with wine promptly poured me a glass of Markus Molitor Riesling on the house. Yum! I popped out for a quick bite…
An aubergine tartine at Charbot with a happy hour Bordeaux rouge and then promptly returned to my favorite new wine bar for some delicious Condrieu and cheese.
Called it quits before 10 and after a solid 10 hours of sleep (when does that ever happen?) I was up for a run and trip to the market. I am about to run out the door for day 2 of wine touring, but here’s a look at my day 1 in Bordeaux…
Sunday morning market Sunday morning octopus and olives
11 am oysters and wine. J’adore Francais!
Simply gorgeous! More later…