Bordeaux First Impressions

Well, I’m actually in Beijing China now, but I had some posts I didn’t get to make about Bordeaux. It seems that I let the fun times and my French roommate distract me too much. I figure the important thing is the content and not the punctuality. I will also follow with some posts later about Beijing.

Bordeaux is an amazingly beautiful city. Most of the buildings in downtown Bordeaux were built in the 1600s, when Bordeaux was a thriving major European port. The buildings are gorgeous and you can almost feel the history as you walk through town. Most of the major streets are modern, but there are also many streets that are still composed of cobble stones. Every day I marvel at the beauty of the city, and every day it seems that I notice something new. France was still a monarchy when Bordeaux was built, so there are these arches, which used to be gates it seems, posted at various points around the city. On some buildings you can find the street names etched in to the building just below the modern signs of the same name. There is actually one Building that has two street names etched in to the building just beneath the new street name sign. The first street name was made under the monarchy, second street name was etched after the revolution, and the third was placed by the modern government.
Bordeaux is located on the Garonne river, and the area next to the river gets heavy traffic especially when the weather is nice. They call this area the quais which literally means docks. You will find people walking, running, and biking along the Garonne most of the day. There is one area called miroir d’eau, which means water mirror. It is a space about the size of a basketball court, where there is a constant thin layer of water that looks like a mirror. People like to take pictures here, because the water is shallow enough to stand on and it gives the appearance that you are standing on water. If the sun is out and the weather is warm, you will find people spread out around the grassy areas all along the Garonne. You will also find skateboarders and skaters doing tricks and stunts. At night the younger generation brings beer and they hang out in clusters with their friends.

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