Bordeaux: A 6-Hour Drive from Paris and What We Experienced

Debbie Centeno

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Bordeaux, France- image by the author

Arriving in Bordeaux

Bordeaux is a bustling city in the southwest of France. It is home to many vineyards and chateaus, and where the worldwide known Bordeaux wines come from. Bordeaux is quite popular among tourists. I was not expecting so many, especially during the slow season in late October. It is a beautiful city with its Gothic and Romanesque styles of architecture, many of which are recognized as UNESCO Heritage Sites.

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Chateau Les Carmes Haut Brion- image by the author

Not Happy with the Hotel

We booked our stay at the Hotel Bleu de Mer on 12, 14 rue Saint-Rémi in the Bordeaux city center. The hotel is in a prime location within walking distance of local shops, museums, UNESCO Heritage sites, parks, chateaus, the iconic Place de la Bourse, the tram, and it overlooks the Garonne River. We used Booking.com to book our stay and unfortunately; the room was nothing like the one pictured on either Booking.com or the hotel’s website. The décor was old, dingy, and unappealing. The linen was not fresh. It seemed as if they were stored for a long time. The bathroom was disgusting. It was disappointing to see how dirty it was. You can see the mold, dirt, and grime on the bathroom tile. It is easy to know that if the grout is originally white and there are black areas on it; they have not cleansed it properly. The hotel’s level of cleanliness is not up to par with what their reviews state. At a price of over $120 per night, I expected a clean place. On the bright side, the breakfast was wonderful, and the staff was friendly and courteous too. However, I DO NOT recommend you book your stay there.

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Disgusting Bathroom- image by the author

Where to Eat

One of our dinners was a specialty while in Bordeaux. We booked a Dinner River Cruise aboard the Chateau Pape Clement Grand Cru Classe de Graves (Sicambre). It included everything from appetizers, entrees, desserts, and, of course, local wines. The food was good, not spectacular, but good. The local wine was delicious and perfectly paired with our meal. But the entire experience was certainly not worth the $99 per person tag that came along with it. Like my husband said, “We fell for the tourist trap.” However, we enjoyed the cruise though it was already dark; another mistake we made by booking the dinner cruise instead of the lunch cruise. But had we not tried it, we would have never known.

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Bordeaux River Cruise- image by the author

Save yourself some money and opt for the fabulous restaurants throughout with spectacular views, superb wines, delicious food at affordable prices. A couple I would like to mention is La Parenthése Creperie. I did not know crepes could be prepared in so many ways. The presentation was spectacular, and the taste was outstanding. And Le Miroir Restaurant has a wide variety of charcuterie boards paired with the perfect wine and it overlooks the Garonne River.

What to Do

Walking along the cobblestone streets of Bordeaux was the highlight of our stay in Bordeaux. There was something to enjoy in every nook and cranny — from street performers to tasty foods-everything was great. There is a tram that runs constantly, from 4 a.m. until around midnight, throughout the city center. It is at ground level with no overhead wires, therefore, pedestrians must be cautious and make sure they are not in the tram’s way when they approach. Shops, shops, shops everywhere! And, who doesn't enjoy shopping? Driving through Bordeaux was also a wonderful experience. Even the bridges are magnificent and hold a story to them. Bordeaux has so much to see and do that a mere two days is not enough to fully embrace its wonders. Therefore, jot Bordeaux down on your bucket list the next time you’re in France. It is a destination worthwhile a visit.

Originally published at http://travelerwows.com on December 8, 2021.

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My writing journey began as a way to cope with grief. I realized I enjoyed writing and began a blog, Debbie’s Reflection (https://debbiesreflection.com). I also enjoy traveling. Therefore, as a traveler, I began another blog, Traveler Wows (https://travelerwows.com), in which I share tips on places, landmarks, and reviews on airlines, hotels, and restaurants. Thank you for joining me on my writing journey.

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