Well, we’ve been in London just over a month now and it feels increasingly weird to write up blog posts from our holiday, but I only have a few left and am determined to finish them so we have a full set of posts to remember our holiday! Sorry I’ve been a bit slack with them, but job hunting has been the priority 🙂
As a brief update though, we’re having a great time in London, the weather has been very kind to us so far although the last few days have definitely been a bit chillier. Dan started a short term contract last week as an Account Manager which is great. I’ve had a couple of promising interviews so hopefully more on that soon! Just quietly though, I can’t complain about being a lady of leisure while Dan brings home the bacon!! I’ve been volunteering with the Pilion Trust who are amazing people and I’m loving helping them out where I can. It’s keeping me out of trouble and they are lovely, wonderful people.
We’ve been catching up with friends and everyone has been very kind and lovely. Last week we moved from our dive of an apartment in Bayswater (more on that in another post) to Hoxton / Shoreditch, and stayed for a week in a converted church where one of Dan’s mates Johnny and his girlfriend Erin live. They were away for a week, and it was lovely of them to let us stay in their apartment while they were away. On the weekend we moved to Battersea, we’re in a lovely apartment just near Clapham Junction and so far are loving it here. We’ve booked for two weeks, but might try and extend it another week or two.
Ok, now back to business – Bordeaux!!
So, we drove from San Sebastian, over the border and into Bordeaux. It was a very easy trip, from memory only a few hours. We checked into our hotel which was about a ten minute walk out of the town centre, and went for a walk. And, immediately fell in love.
Bordeaux is majestic and French and grand in all the right ways. Big wide avenues, smaller cobblestoned paths, modern shops and beautiful old buildings. It’s very well maintained and we all felt right at home.
There is an intriguing statue / piece of art in the main square that we all found fascinating – it’s basically a flat / 2D head that is designed to look 3D. Very well done.
Of course we couldn’t go past the tourist train so on we jumped!
After the tourist train we decided to do as the French do and have a glass of wine. We immediately realised we were no longer in Spain, wine was MUCH pricier. But hey, when in Bordeaux…
One of the most amazing sights is the Monument Aux Girondins, a huge statue and water feature.
There are these crazy half horse half reptile creatures at the bottom, and the misted water all around gives the scene a very mythical and otherworldly feel.
There are beautiful scenes out across the water, and of course some impressive churches!
The next day we set off on a half day tour of the St Emilion region. We visited Chateau La Dominique, and tasted a few of their wines after a tour of their space age modern winery.
The estate have recently renovated, and have a very impressive modern building sitting right next to the vineyards.
On the roof,they’ve built a crazy red glass pit that is meant to make you feel like you are squashing grapes under your feet! A little bit cheesy,but I actually really liked it.
The wine was nice, but it was all over quite quickly. The winery was not as majestic as the beautiful old port houses we’d visited in Porto, but it was still really interesting and for half an hour Dan had set his heart on becoming a winemaker and studying viticulture!
After the winery,we were taken to the town of St Emilion, so named after a monk who apparently settled into a cave nearby years ago, but ended up being followed because of his ability to heal people. There are many monasteries and convents in the area, but no one has ever been able to confirm exactly which cave it was that Saint Emilion lived in.
The town itself is gorgeous, just a little piece of history for you to walk around. The town sits atop a bit of a hill, so there are beautiful views at the top.
In the centre of town is this building, and underneath it a church has been built under the ground in a man-made cave. Only tour groups that have booked in can go inside, so we were the only ones in there. We weren’t allowed to take photo’s inside, but it’s a big cavern next to a crypt, it was very different to any other church I’ve been in and was great to see.
And then we were on our way back to Bordeaux. On the way to our hotel the previous day we had discovered a little cafe that served leek quiche. We were ALL craving something halfway healthy with no meat or seafood in it, so after our winery tour we headed that way. The quiche was delicious and exactly what we all felt like.
We then had crepes, and they were not so great! They were almost definitely pre-made and microwaved… ! But who cares, the quiche was delicious.
One night we went to Chez Yuri, which reminded Dan and I of a friend we used to work with (whose name was Yuri)!
Dan had moules frites (mussels) that he was very happy with.
We also spent a few hours in the Botanical gardens, which was really relaxing. Lots of families and couples and friends were doing the same thing as it was a lovely day.
There was a little bridge over the lake, and people were throwing bits of bread in for the ducks. Dan and I were mesmerised by this, as the ducks were battling with HUGE fish (or they might have been eels) for the bits of bread. These were epic battles with ducks kicking the fish and the fish opening their huge mouths to suck the bread in. I’ve never seen anything like it. I tried to get a picture but failed dismally.
In between our hotel and the main town was this little garden, which was also very pretty.
And that was Bordeaux! We were all very sad to be leaving Bordeaux, and very nearly delayed our trip to stay an extra night, but we ended up moving on as planned, and headed to the Il de Re.