Friday, November 28

Bordeaux break

Just back from a short break to Bordeaux - a trip instigated by the Curse, and related to the f word (an English sport, I will leave it to your imagination as it has no place on this blog) - but enjoyed just as thoroughly by me, if not more!

We went by train, a lovely relaxed trip marred only by an unfortunate episode on the platform of Paris Montparnasse station. When was the last time you saw a lake of dog crap on the platform of a major city train station? Well it happened twice in three days during our trip to France. I count myself as an ardent Francophile but I will NEVER be able to understand the nation's blindspot when it comes to dogs. Apart from the Montparnasse Incident - on which we will not dwell and which could have been so much worse if I had not managed to keep my footing - during the trip we witnessed pet dogs brought into food shops and restaurants - on one occasion the mutt was even given its own seat at the dining table!!!!

The city has an amazingly wide river (the Garonne) and surprisingly few bridges, although another major one is in the offing; loads of lovely typically French architecture (below) and statues of this type of thing (above).

One thing I was not aware of was how important it was to the Art Deco movement. And especially, in terms of architecture, in the area we were staying. Coincidentally there was a temporary exhibition (link in French) at the Decorative Arts Museum featuring some wonderful furniture and ceramics from the era that had been produced by local craftsmen and women.

(I strongly recommend you click to see the detail on the larger version of this photo!)

We supplemented the exhibition (accidentally it has to be said) with a wander around the Chaban-Delmas Stadium area, where many of the houses of the era were built during a massive urban expansion programme. It was difficult to get good photographs without them being marred by ugly modern lighting posts or suchlike. Apparently the stadium itself is a great example of the architecture of the time, although the outside is rather shabby by now. We didn't get to see inside it, unfortunately, but that's another story .


Gareth Gardner said...

We have a crap railway system in the UK. In France, they let their dogs crap on theirs. It's madness, I tell you!

Pamela Poole said...

Hi Deptford Dame.

I don't mind the dogs in restaurants and so on, but walking in Paris is a bit like playing hopscotch. Good thing I did a lot of that as a girl!

I envy your knitting knack. I resolved two New Years in a row to learn and gave up. It's been hugely popular in the States for the last few years. And I love sweaters. Alas, I'm just going to have to keep buying them.

I actually stopped by because you claim to be an ardent francophile. So I thought you might like to know about, the only social network for francophiles.

We launched a year ago, and in 2009 we're going to add a marketplace where you can get your fill of French stuff. We're a tiny startup operating on a shoestring budget, and depending on francophile bloggers like you to help get the word out.

Hope you and your readers will stop by and join us! And please help spread the word!

Merci et à bientôt.

Pamela Poole (LaGoulue)