After 12 glorious days in Italy, with bellies full of delicious pasta and a last-minute Cannoli, we boarded yet another RyanAir flight. This time, Bordeaux, France. Let’s be honest, RyanAir wouldn’t be my first choice when it comes to flying, but no other airline can beat their prices! I push the snob in me down to somewhere around my ankles and get on the packed plane hoping that it can actually take-off and land safely. This was our 3rd RyanAir flight so we got the routine down with getting our Visa stamp, getting in line early (this is a must) and perhaps saying a little prayer while the plane takes off 😉
It was an uneventful flight to Bordeaux but people actually clapped when it landed! This has happened on all the RyanAir flights we’ve been on. It’s just weird. Excitedly, we get off the plane and can’t wait to get to the city. We had this image in mind that Bordeaux would be a mini version of Paris…
Boy, were we ever wrong! Sorry Paris, please forgive us for that!
An hour bus ride and a 10-minute walk, we arrive at our apartment. WHAT IS THAT SMELL!!!!! We get hit with the most horrendous smell you can imagine! What in the world in rotting in here! Rats perhaps?
It was so bad that within 5 minutes Bruce was online looking for another accommodation. Unfortunately or perhaps fortunately, we couldn’t find anything else in the city (that seemed reasonable). We decided that one night is all we can take. We needed to LEAVE! So we booked a hotel in Biarritz!
Once we knew our olfactory senses will only be tortured for one night, we headed out to at least explore the city and stay out of the apartment for as long as we possibly could.
And then there was the city! Since we hadn’t purchased a French sim card yet, we were navigating by a downloaded map and weren’t quite sure where we were going. We walked through some pretty sketchy neighborhoods and I must say the sidewalks in Bordeaux are filthy and the smell outside wasn’t that much better than what hit us in the apartment. We eventually found our way to the tourist area and boy were we glad for that! I don’t think I have ever been happier. Usually, we opt more for the quieter, off-the-beaten-path areas. But not in Bordeaux. I wanted to see other tourists!
We walked around the old part of Bordeaux which was somewhat better and cleaner. At least no smell! We found a cute little restaurant called Melodie on Rue des Faussets but they were only opening at 7pm. We took a little walk around the area and went and sat on a bench at Place de la Bourse facing the fountain to do some people-watching and let the clock tick away towards 7pm. I must say even the square was filthy. Kasm and Bruce went up to check the fountain and the report was far from stellar! Kasm was pretty grossed out by it and then we noticed kids playing in the fountain! YUCK!!!
7pm it is! Let’s go eat. We enter the restaurant and were seated at the WORST table ! It’s right by the cash in the middle of the restaurant. We asked to be moved since the place was empty but they refused! Why? Because we are three and that’s the only table for three people! Seriously?!! Then we asked if we could sit outside since you didn’t even need a reservation for it. Again they refused. Ok, I’ve had enough! Let’s get out of here.
We left the restaurant and went in search of something else and I am glad we did. We had dinner at La Table du Parlement and it was wonderful. Probably the ONLY good thing about our visit to Bordeaux.
Once our bellies were full and our nerves had settled from the day’s events, we reluctantly made our way back to our apartment making sure to walk on the main street only!
We crawled into our silk sleeping bag liners and tried to sleep the smell away which was quite impossible. After a horrible night of sleep, we were up at the crack of dawn. I’ve NEVER seen Bruce get out of bed so fast! We made our way to the Train Station making sure to keep our eyes on the sidewalks to avoid dog poop, broken glass, or any other grossness we would encounter.
What a relief it was to board that train! Smell you later Bordeaux – NOT!!