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  • There is a river in Southern France, which bends like the crescent of the moon.

  • And on this bend is a city and a region with a spirit that, once tasted,

  • lingers in the heart forever.

  • Bordeaux rises proudly from the Aquitaine region of southwest France,

  • 300 miles from Paris and a one-hour drive from the Atlantic coast.

  • Since the Romans first crushed grapes along the banks of the Garonne River,

  • wine has been the lifeblood of this place.

  • The city of Bordeaux possesses an elegance and easy charm

  • that makes even Paris look on with envy.

  • Yet despite its deep body of 18th century grandeur,

  • Bordeaux overflows with youthful top notes

  • that breathes life into her streets and shared spaces.

  • Take in the city from the Pont de Pierre Bridge,

  • where beneath you, waters from the far-off Pyrenees glide to the Bay of Biscay.

  • Once in the city, grand arches and gatehouses from past ages

  • welcome you to a place which became one of the Enlightenment's brightest stars.

  • Bordeaux is a city whose skyline is graced with the turrets and spires of faith,

  • such as the Bell Tower of Saint Michaels Basilica

  • and the twin spires of Cathedrale St Andre.

  • Bordeaux's monuments and civic architecture reach for the heavens too.

  • Cool off by the Girondins Monument,

  • whose soaring column lifts the Spirit of Liberty skyward for all to see.

  • In Victory Place, gaze up at the monument to viniculture,

  • which twists like a vine reaching for the sun.

  • While from the rooftop of the Bordeaux's opera house,

  • playful muses inspire all those who pass below.

  • You'll find plenty of inspiration at the Aquitaine Museum,

  • from the cave paintings of prehistory,

  • to the city's rise as one of the world's great trading ports.

  • Pause by the cenotaph of Michel de Montaigne, who advised his fellow citizens,

  • the value of life lies not in the length of days, but in the way we use them”.

  • And the people of Bordeaux use their days very well,

  • so to get the most from your visit, simply do as they do.

  • When it's time to relax, take a stroll beneath the avenues of plane trees

  • work up a thirst on the riverfrontor in the warmer months,

  • splash in the mists at Place de la Bourse.

  • When it's time to shop, follow the local fashionistas down Rue Sainte-Catherine,

  • Europe's longest shopping street….

  • or join the treasure hunters amid the city's vintage shops and market stalls.

  • When it's time to eat,

  • choose from menus filled with centuries of Aquitaine tradition

  • or fill your basket with the fruits of Bordeaux's fields,

  • forests and waters, at Capucins Market.

  • The people here love their beer,

  • thanks in no small part to the British who ruled Aquitaine for 300 years.

  • But of course, when it comes to drinking in Bordeaux, wine is everything.

  • Step into the vaults of the Wine and Trade Museum

  • and learn how the French passion for viniculture and Britain's

  • insatiable thirst for Claret made Bordeaux a global wine superstar in the 1800s.

  • Head downriver, past the incredible Jacques Chaban Delmas Bridge,

  • to another architectural marvel, Cité du Vin.

  • More than a museum, Cite du Vin is a multi-sensory temple to the

  • history, culture and science of wine.

  • Take a helicopter tour across 20 of the planet's most important growing regions.

  • Explore the unique profiles of popular varieties.

  • Then on the top floor, enjoy a complimentary glass,

  • while drinking in the views of a city

  • that has long been hailed as the wine capital of the world.

  • Bordeaux ships over 600 million bottles of wine to the world each year,

  • but some of the most exciting bottles never leave the city.

  • Visit the city's wine shops, where the flavours of Bordeaux's wine regions

  • can be explored in a single afternoon.

  • But to truly understand the character of Bordeaux,

  • you must walk among the vines.

  • Just 15 minutes west from the city center is Chateau Pape Clement,

  • one of the oldest vineyards in Bordeaux.

  • Here, in the gravelly soils of the Graves region,

  • a wine-loving pope tended vines that produced liquid miracles.

  • Head deeper into the Graves appellation, a landscape filled with

  • castles, chateaus and vineyards which stretch away through space and time.

  • Call into Sauternes, whose sweet wines were so loved by George Washington,

  • he ordered thirty cases at a time.

  • Then, stretch your legs in Bazas, a two-and-a-half thousand-year-old town

  • renowned for its fine beef steaks and Gothic cathedral.

  • To the east of Bordeaux, the soil changes to limestone and clay,

  • and so the flavours change again.

  • Be sure to visit Saint-Emilion,

  • a hilltop town where medieval walls rise from solid rock,

  • and vines grow amid the ruins of a vast Dominican Monastery.

  • The Merlots and Cabernet Francs produced here have been touched by the divine,

  • so set aside a weekend to immerse your palate in the

  • flavours and crafts of this World Heritage site.

  • Whether you explore her wine regions for a month, or just a day,

  • once you have experienced the vineyards around Bordeaux,

  • the city takes on an even richer glow.

  • There is a river in Southern France, which bends like the crescent of the moon,

  • and on this bend is Bordeaux, whose colours, moods and flavours

  • can take a hundred happy lifetimes to explore.

  • So don't wait until your next life, Bordeaux is ready to savour, today.

There is a river in Southern France, which bends like the crescent of the moon.

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Bordeaux Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia

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    Eric Wang posted on 2020/05/22
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