Honeymoon in Bordeaux
Our recent honeymoon with my wife started in Paris, although there was a lot that we liked, in Bordeaux there was a lot we came to love!
We arrived to Bordeaux on the 17th of June, 6 days after our big day.To our surprise the moment we stepped out of the Airport we were welcomed by an amazing weather, and a smiling taxi driver. After the hustle and bustle of the metro in Paris, a friendly chatty cab driver was a perfect welcome. It took us around 25 minutes to get to Hotel, which was located not far from the city center, and since the time was a bit late, the streets were extremely empty. You would be surprised how much you learn about the secrets of a city from a taxi driver. The main keywords the came out of the conversation was wine, oysters, and beautiful walks. All 3 of which we had in plan already.
The majority of our honey moon was a 70% planned and 30% to be discovered combination, I find this combination to be the best. You book the most popular most spoken parts of the city that you would like to experience, either with a local travel agent or as a memo on your travel to do list, and you keep 30% of your time for things you just might spot after you arrive to the city.Bordeaux had more surprises than we imagined.Yes, it was the shortest part of our honey moon, but it certainly was the most magical, and indeed the most memorable.
The planned part.
Our first day was a pre-arranged tour by a small company in Bordeaux, under the name (Bordovino). We booked the beaches and vineyards tour . those 3 words just came to make a perfect combination (wine,beach, and Bordeaux) and so it begins, at 9:00 am we met with the guide and the rest of the group at the Bordovino Office. A unique space in an old building filled with mouth watering bottle’s of wine which you can purchase after your tours. An hour later you are climbing the Pyla’s Sand Dune, the biggest Sand Dune in Europe. From which you have a breathtaking view of the ocean, the forest, and the dune itself. It was interesting to arrive with what seemed to be a school drawing field trip, kinda gives you the idea why the french are so good with Art. The mesmerizing views of the dune, and the not so easy climb, is followed by the Bay of Arcachon. Which seemed to be the home of the traditional culture of oysters and a chilled tasty glass of white wine. your dining experience is on a simple country side table overlooking some boats that just returned from a fishing trip. once you are done, the tour guide who also drives the van that takes your group of 6 around, takes you back to the City, for a quick meal (a sandwich from Paul) and a short wait, until you join part 2 of the tour – the vineyards.
We Leave Bordeaux and drive through the “Chateau Route” of the Medoc.The Medoc is one of the most famous regions in Bordeaux for wine productions.It is about 60 km north to south, and about 10 km wide, with around 10,600 hectares under vines, and a production of about 50 million liters per year. Just imagine you are about to witness a production of 50 million liters of wine, which has been running for generations. The road is as beautiful as the final destination, on both sides of the street you are surrounded by beautiful vineyards, and perfectly maintained all at the same height vine tree’s. You arrive at a very authentic family kept estate, which is usually not less than 250 years old. the estates are kept in perfect shape and manner, and have been very well taken care of, generation after the other. The beauty of those places was in the spirit, once you enter, a breeze of warm air and the view of vines fades you to the country side. Where you come to realize that this is a magical place. Your very experienced tour guide (or a representative from the estate) takes you through the whole process of wine making, which we found astonishing! For example I never would have imagined the importance that oak barrels play in the wine production process, or the effect they might have on the flavor and quality of the wine. I would have never imagined that some of these barrels are only used for a single production to maintain the highest qualities of taste. Needless to say all 3 of the estates we have seen where breathtaking, and the people explaining the stories behind them were extremely welcoming and informative. After each tour you also get to taste a glass or two of their best. We fell in love with the taste of Château_Chasse-Spleen and the rich explanation of the person who guided us, which ended in purchasing a bottle from 2009 which we intend to open on our fifth year anniversary.
The unplanned part:
Shopping and art.
The most beautiful part of Bordeaux is that this city has a soul, and its soul is beautiful. Although we were thinking of making further plans, a small stroll along the shopping alleys captured our attention. Bordeaux has all the boutiques, designer and independent stores you would expect and more. Indeed those shopping strolls left us with several bags in hands, yet there was one that left us with a memory.A memory that allowed us to take the spirit of this city with us. During all of our travel we try to find a peace of the city that we can take back, and i’m not talking about that 2$ souvenir that you purchase at the airport.This was real, this was authentic, and it captured that spirit of Bordeaux.While passing through the shopping alleys we ran into an art shop, that displayed on the front window the work of a local artist by the name of Alex’n. It took us 5 seconds to fall in love with his (or her) work that captures so magnificently the soul of Bordeaux. And every time we want to return we just look at this beautiful painting.
In addition to the wide selection of art and cloths, Bordeaux has unique shops for Hats, wine , tea and some very authentic home interior items.
the unexpected restaurant.
Although the internet today offer reviews of the best experiences you can have, sometimes a small conversation with a local might direct you to some unheard places that you will never forget. Based on our conversations with the Cab driver, the hotel reception and the wine tour guide. We decided to experience Bordeaux’s very own L’Entrecote. Judging by the name which translates into main course, by now you should be able to understand that this restaurant offers one dish, a choice of white, red ,or rose wines and a few deserts. Rated as 249 among the restaurants of Bordeaux I believe this place deserves a far higher rate. one of the few restaurants in my life that I actually stood in line to wait for a table and I would defiantly stand again for a million times. The restaurant serves a steak with french fries with some mouth watering sauce that seems to be Bordeaux’s best kept secret. We were surprised how closely the tables are positioned yet how lovely the ambiance is, and how comfortable the experience came out! this is a meal that you will never forget!
The 8 pm glass of wine.
Its 8 pm, you are walking back to your hotel room to change for dinner, the weather is just perfect, and the ambient street lights along with the interesting buildings give you a feeling of comfort. Bordeaux give you sense of security and serenity while you are passing through its streets. On our way back to our Hotel room passing by the Ibis Hotel near the center of Bordeaux we find an alley with a small restaurant and 3 tables outside lit by a dim light. Unable to resist the magic of simplicity and the romantic vibe we sit down. A man in his young 40’s approaches us for our order. Wine, red, your recommendation I say (which hasn’t gone wrong even once during our stay). Do you have tea? My wife asks. the man looks at us as we have came to the wrong city yet manages to get us a wonderful cup of tea anyway.
we spent a total of 4 days in Bordeaux and just writing this makes me understand that we will be coming back, there are so many unique corners we have yet to visit and so many unplanned adventures that we haven’t seen. what I can tell you for sure if you are considering a Honeymoon in Bordeaux don’t think twice, you have made the right choice. If you are looking to group it with other cities of Europe or France make sure you give it more days than we have. if you have any suggestions for a Honeymoon in Bordeaux make sure to write your comments so I can add them to the post. which brings us to and end of another interlude, remember sharing is caring!