Tuesday, 18 February 2014


    Last post I mentioned a trip that I took with a good friend of mine to Bordeaux. It was a bachelorette trip for me as David and I are getting married this spring.

View from our room!
Kitchenette in the hotel apartment
    When I got engaged, Ashley proposed something different to me: that we go on a somewhere for a bachelorette/hen trip. I loved the idea and soon we decided to go to Bordeaux, France. It ended up being just the two of us, but it was a fantastic time. We flew out on the Monday morning, on the tail end of a major storm. THE STORM was all we heard about during the week as we would watch BBC World in our hotel and that news story was their favourite, I'm sure. Anyways, we arrived and checked into our hotel. The hotel was more like a studio apartment with one large bed, a smaller sofa/bed, table and chairs, fully operational mini kitchen, complete with pots, pans and the rest, and a bathtub with separate shower. It was great.

     We spent the next day or so walking around the city and remembering whatever french we knew. The first night, we randomly came across a large carnival in the middle of the city. It was bizarre. It was set up in what must have been a sort of town square, or park, as there was a large column and fountain right in the middle. The fair itself had us in stitches. It was meant to be an "American" style fair and so had random English words on most of the rides. When I say random, I mean random. One ride was called, "Sexy Dance". I'm not sure how it was sexy or where the dancing was, but hey... why not?

Me posing by a fountain in Bordeaux
    On Tuesday, wandering around, we came across a cathedral, many cool streets lined with shops, the river, and a reflecting pool. In a supermarket, I even found a brand of biscuits that was my last name! I was very excited. The weather was beautiful too. That is, until a freak rain shower started when we were by the river. I had left my coat behind because the weather was warm enough, so by the time we got across the street to hide under the window arch of a building, I got pretty soaked. It was all worth it in a way, because a few minutes later there was a gorgeous rainbow. We then walked up and got on a mini-train (ok... not a real train... it was a car train for tourists) and took a tour of Bordeaux. I really enjoyed it... when I was not shivering from being wet!).

    Wednesday was wine day. As part of the trip, Ashley had booked us a wine tour of the Medoc region. We were with an American brother and sister and our tour guide was great. He knew a lot and was constantly telling us facts about Bordeaux, the wine making process and all sorts of stuff. We visited three wineries that day, and learned a lot about why some wine is good and some isn't. Just so you know, pretty much all Bordeaux wine is fantastic!

Wine being stored in the third Chateau we visited
Wine doesn't get labelled until it's ordered so they can put the correct label on it, depending on where in the world it's being shipped to.

Tower and square
    The next day we took the train to Saint-Émilion, a town in the Bordeaux region that has been around since the Medieval era. In fact, when we were there, I found what I believe was the original monestery that was the reason the town was founded. Vineyards completely surround the town, making it very picturesque. Once inside, be prepared to walk and climb hills! The city was founded at the top of a large hill and there are many layers to the town. As it is very old, the streets are random, and you can find lots of neat, hidden treasures if you go down the odd alleys and paths. One of my favourite memories of the trip was eating lunch outside in a large courtyard that was overlooked by a giant tower and surrounded by centuries old buildings. On a beautifully sunny day, I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else.

Vines and an old ruin
View overlooking the town
Square where we ate, and the wine shop we went into

    While in Saint-Émilion, we went to a wine shop that was highly recommended to us by our tour guide the previous day. Le Cellier de Saint-Émilion was great. We went in as our wine tour guide was finishing taking another tour group through. He introduced us to the owner and then we were sat down for a wine tasting experience. He started off with a lovely red and continued all the way up to a bottle that cost about 150 euros. The wine was pretty much the best wine I've ever had. I was a happy camper that day! We left after ordering a few bottles to be shipped back to the UK (don't worry... neither of us got any over 50 euros!) and went off in search of some more good French pastries (little did I know that at the airport they sold massive nutella macaroons! mmm...).

    This trip was amazing all around. Other than that terrible rain shower, we had great weather, followed up by great food and even greater wine. It was a bachelorette trip worth remembering and I can safely say that this falls under the "wonderful" part of my life.

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