Jet-setters: an all girls weekend (Part II)
So if you haven’t read part one you might want to take a look. But I will start where I left off which is a small vineyard in St. Emilion. We woke up early and headed downstairs for our cute little breakfast that was offered to us by our amazing hostess. We laughed about all the craziness that happened the night before, we hoped that there was more time to explore around, and we planned our day in Bordeaux.
Our hostess was kind enough to drop us off at the train station, we said our good byes, and jumped on the 11 o’clock train to Bordeaux.
An hour later we arrived at the train station, and as we walked out we realized the enormous change between St. Emilion and Bordeaux. Behind us were the vast vineyards and now here we were in front of a new city, a new adventure. We slowly started to walk toward our hotel, Teneo, that while not located in the best looking neighborhood, it provided all the amenities that we needed. We knew that it was too early to check in, but we wanted to just drop off our things so we could go explore the city, or at least grab a bite to eat. The door was not even open! Yes people, the French take lunch breaks all together. So we decided to find a nearby restaurant and eat lunch while we waited for the front desk to open again. My friend Christine had done her research, so she suggested some places and we plugged it in and found a restaurant that was only ten minutes away. We found the restaurant inside an open market that boasted everything from fresh produce to crafts and clothing. The waitress pulled up some chairs around two small tables and handed us some menus. The place is called Chez Jean Mi, and it offered an amazing selection of fresh sea food. So we decided on a few essentials: oysters (huitres), cheese plate (plat du fromage), and fish soup (soupe de poisson). The best part of all of that? It was all incredibly affordable! The oysters were part of deal which offered along side a glass of wine all for the price of 7 euros (what a steal!). We took our time an enjoyed our lunch and headed back to drop off our stuff. Our room was ready, so we freshened up and headed out to explore the city with a map in hand and a list of locations.
St. Croix and St. Michel were our first stops. St. Croix was more of a stumble upon location, but it was really cool to see this church because its completely asymmetrical! It really threw me off in the beginning but then I just realized that it just made the building even more unique. We then walked to Saint Michel’s, which we actually didn’t look at as much because of course, we found a thrift store that caught our attention. One cheese book later (Kat’s purchase), we headed over to check out Pont de pierre bridge which has an amazing view of the river Garonne. I read many other travel blogs about the sight and how much Bordeaux has changed especially its river front, and boy they weren’t kidding. Looking from the bridge in every direction, the view is stunning.
We continued walking along the river stopping for the occasional picture, and made our way to Porte Cailhau where we found the first signs of the Camino to Santiago de Compostela. It was really amazing to see the signs of the journey that every summer many take to get spiritually connected to God, to themselves, or to nature. My friend Christine and her mother did part of this pilgrimage in the north of France and Spain and had an amazing time, which has inspired me to plan a pilgrimage in the near future. After seeing the first sign of the Camino, we followed the golden plaques, embellished with a sea shell that represent Saint James, to the cathedral of St. Andre, where people go to collect a stamp in their pilgrimage book. As many monuments often are, the cathedral of St. Andre was under construction but still showed off an amazing design and architecture. The tour Pey-Berland located next to the cathedral dates back to 1440 and is not directly connected to the cathedral, rather, it stands alone next to it. The tower boasts an amazing statue of the Virgin (Notre-Dame d’Aquitaine) that weighs 1.3 tons. The view from the top of the tower is astounding and I definitely recommend making the 231 step climb (beware: not for claustrophobic people). Stop here and just take a look around, admire the city, and try to locate all the monuments listed on the plaques.
After our climb, we entered the cathedral and walked around, slowly, and at our own pace. My friends Christine and Suzie also told me about the holy door that are open this year and we found out that one of the locations was precisely at the cathedral of St. Andre. We then started making our way to the water mirrors, which multiple people had suggested we checked out. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem like they were on, but we did get a stunning view of Place de la Bourse. By this point we were starving, and attempted to find a good place to eat, however, we got a little distracted by the “soldes” which is just a fancy way of saying a month long sale all over the country (now that is the definition of drop until you drop). We eventually found a place to sit down and eat, and drank some wine which in turn made us a little tired. We called it an early night and headed back to have another girls night with some wine we had bought in St. Emilion and munched on some chocolate. I wanted to stay in that moment a little longer; it was the perfect ending to an absolutely amazing trip with my girls.