Yesterday was an important milestone for me: I made it back from the supermarket for the first time without using Google Maps. Win.
Last week one of the hostel workers had a friend staying over, so we made the most of this and set out on a day of sightseeing. Fortunately, the hostel is within walking distance of most of the main sights which makes exploring the city very easy, as I have been doing quite a lot of it recently.
Scattered across Bordeaux are an array of old gothic buildings and cathedrals. Several of the Cathedrals have separate bell towers next to them, apparently because the original church towers weren’t strong enough to hold the weight of the bell, so a whole other tower had to be built for this purpose.
We made it to the Pey Berland tower of Saint-André Cathedral and began our climb up the 229 steps to the top. The Tour Pey Berland is free for citizens of the EU, much to the dismay of the two Kiwis in our group. From the top we were able to see an amazing 360 of the whole city; it was particularly useful to see everything from above and put it all into perspective.
We intended to visit the cathedral itself as well, but somewhere along the 229 steps we forgot this small detail and wandered into the busy pedestrian streets, leaving it behind. I’ll definitely go back and pay it a visit at some point!
After the tower, we meandered our way through the old town, while Zander, who has worked at the hostel for several months now, became our temporary tour guide and seemed to enjoy pointing out all sorts of hidden little streets and corners of the city, including some weird little shops I probably wouldn’t have ventured into otherwise.
Lunch was pretty much a non-event as the boys had already devoured Doner kebabs for breakfast, but I was eagerly eyeing up some canelé, a French pastry from the Bordeaux region – another thing to add to the list.
In the afternoon we were joined by a few others from the hostel and headed to the Plage du Lac, a lake with an actual beach (!) just a mere tram ride from the hostel. The afternoon sun blended into a stunning sunset and provided for a wonderfully chilled evening; footy was played, warm beer was consumed, songs were sung.
It seems there is something interesting around every corner of this city. I’m slowly ticking off the list and having a pretty lovely time doing it. There will certainly be more mini adventures to write about in the near future…