France Beckons Once More: Bordeaux
Champagne, Paris, Normandy, French Basque Country, and now Bordeaux; at the start of the year, I never imagined that France would reign supreme in my travels. And as I have done with all the French towns thus far, I made some more room in my heart for Bordeaux.
What was not to love really? I had to tiptoe through the day so as to not awaken from the luxurious French dream that is Bordeaux. I close my eyes and I am again bathed in that wine and light.
For much of the day, the October sun was heavy and plentiful. As we hydrated (with wine of course) in an outdoor café, cigarette smoke clung to us in the thick heat. And the sun seemed to set for hours, perfectly brushing the cafes and shops on one-lane streets with bright beams, and later glittering regal facades with drops of gold.
A dream it was, and I was adamant on preserving it forever, much to the chagrin of Filippo as I stopped on every corner to photograph the scene. It’s just that I had never been to a place where somehow the sun managed to cast enchanting light down every turn. This place was special.
And then there was the wine, what Bordeaux is so well known for. Its presence was felt not only in bottles ordered and dissolved over lingering dinners on narrow café-lined streets, but also in the crown jewel fountains filled with water dyed burgundy. By far our favorite stop was La Maison du Vin de Bordeaux, a wine bar with a menu of exquisite wines carefully selected by The CIVB (Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux). For around 2.00 to 4.00 euro for a generously poured glass, we tasted vins rouges, that flirted with our senses at an unheard of price point.
With evening entered a slight chill, but was no match for the warmth brought by a city illuminated at night. A crowd grew around a street performer with a voice that was like being tucked into bed with a lullaby. It was a moment I hated to part with, liked so many of these moments I’m living in this year abroad. Thankfully, this isn’t a dream.