History Lesson: As some of you will remember from World History, Eleanor of Aquitaine (in the 1100's) was a great queen of Aquitaine (here in Bordeaux). She eventually married the king of France, then divorced him and married Henry II of England and gave birth to Richard the Lionhearted. France wasn't always France, and Great Britain wasn't always Great Britain but this place (Aquitaine) was right in the middle of Europe. If you wanted the quickest way to get to the Mediterranean Sea from England you came across the English channel, down the coast and up the Gironde river, which runs right through Bordeaux, to Toulouse, carry stuff for awhile and then down the Aude River to the Med.
People who lived on the shores of the Gironde were big traders and what people really wanted was a good bottle of local wine, so by 300 AD Bordeaux wine making was in full swing. So, my point, is they really know how to make good wine. This part of France was claimed by the English because it was so good, and they fought a really long war (remember the 100 years war? it ran from 1336 to 1565) because the British didn't want to give it up. Bordeaux wine was very important to the English aristocracy. They called it claret.
I digress. But it is important to understand that to see what kind of history and tradition we are dealing with. And of course, with good wine comes......food. And that is why we are here.
We left Carcassonne on Sunday after another fun night out in the old city.
|We ran into our friends from Andorra again and had a fun visit.|
|We had a local dish called Cassoulet which is leg of duck, pork sausage, and white beans. Amazing|
We jumped on the train and came West and North to Bordeaux. Some scenes from the train.
|vines, and vine, and vines|
Bordeaux is a big city (France's 3rd largest) so back to traffic and noise. The apartment we rented is not in the center which is bad, but it is quiet and cheap. Just a long way from anywhere.
Going to have to learn the bus system.
We had difficulty with the internet and again Corey our son in law came to the rescue. I don't know what we would do without him. Finally, up and running. Got some laundry done, hung up and crashed.
Today our plan was to get to the store and buy some groceries, then have lunch. Mission accomplished. It is a struggle, because so few speak English, but my high school/ college French is paying off. Fortunately this is not our first rodeo with apartments and stores, etc.
Jerry found a place to eat lunch about 2 miles away, so we hoofed it up there, checking the map all the way. Again, this is an old city, and there are not too many straight streets, but we found Au Roi Carotte, which was fabulous and quite inexpensive. Madame did not speak any English, but Monsieur did and came out and talked with us. I had translated the menu. He was impressed. We both had duck breast with port wine sauce, salad, and frites. Glass of wine. Total....30 euros. Not bad.
We may venture out on the bus today. We bought a week long pass that is unlimited rides, so we might just try and get a feel for the surroundings. Eating in tonight. Bought stuff for pasta primervia. and of course a bottle of Bordeaux wine.
I'll write tomorrow. Au revoir!