Wednesday 28th Sept saw us arrive at a campsite in Bordeaux. Thursday we walked to the nearby tram station and boarded a tram to the city centre. Although it is a UNECO heritage city (that doesn’t usually mean much to a hethan like me), my First impressions were of a clean modern city with some spectacular old bits. We figured the best course of action was the open top bus ride to see as much as possible and learn more. We discovered that numerous buildings are in the Louise 14th style ( high slated roofs, Windows within) & wrought iron work balconies – think Versailles. Note, we were recently told that Bordeaux was a ‘toilet’which apparently was true until the millennium when the then mayor and former PM, Alain Juppe put in place a plan to revitalise the city with pedestrianisation, new trams and general re-vamp. If anyone is looking for a nice city break, thoroughly recommend it (we’re not on commission). The day finished with a visit to the wine museum and obligatory wine tasting 😀
Friday saw us heading north to St Esteph on the Medoc peninsula. It was described as a nice area overlooking the estuary. Having arrived, my first thoughts were that the view of the estuary was nothing special. The nearby tented mini village did nothing to enhance the place. Whilst having lunch, the first of a dozen or so transits with ladders on the roof arrived towing twin axle caravans. My prejudice meter had swung fully to the right and as we left, a bear chested member of the travelling fraternity was cutting into a mains water pipe!
We headed off through a few villages, past chateau after chateau, each more spectacular than the next and found ourselves parked up in the car park of a ferry terminal for the evening. As we arrived, the tourist office was closing and speaking to the lady within, we discovered not just for the evening but the season.
Summer is officially over in France! 😞
Saturday morning saw us retrace our steps so as to park ( not always easy in a 8 M motor home) and view some of the amazing chateaus we passed. We then headed off to the nearby village of St Laurent Medoc where we had a relaxing evening indulging in cheese. & wine. A conversation on Sunday morning with a French guy at the aire informed us regarding the aire we are currently sat at.
Sunday saw us head off in search of parking on/ near a beach but as this is now out of season (although still 20 degrees) a lot of Aires are closed or restricted so eventually we parked in to a supermarket car park with the bonus I could get the satellite up and watch Guy Martin.
Today saw us visiting Dune du Pilat – the biggest sand dunes in Europe . Apparently they are around 700 m high. Fabulous. A real sight to be seen and hard work to climb weather you use the stairs or go up the sand. They stretch for miles and the sand banks in the estuary make for a great scene. It’s also where the majority of France’s oysters come from.
And so, we are now sat in a wooded car park, 300 m from the beach and at the southern end of the dunes. We spent a very nice afternoon on the beach soaking up the rays but unfortunately Rockydog was sent back to the van (sulking) as he wouldn’t behave himself on the beach (dig, dig, shake, dig, dig, dig, dig, shake, slobber, dig, slobber, dig dig dig, shake dig) – I’m sure you get the picture 😎
So the big question now is, do we stay another night?