14 In Travels

Gironde – A French Department with Much to Love

When my parents won a trip to Paris and took the opportunity to have their belated honeymoon, they decided to not just stay in Paris but explore a bit more of France. A friend of their friend was living in Bordeaux, which is part of the Gironde department in the south west, and so they headed there for a few days. They kept in contact and we saw them when they came to Canada, etc.

Last year, when I was living in Europe, I wanted to go explore a bit of the continent and we wrote to them to ask if I could drop by for a few days. They were delighted to have me over. So in January I flew from Edinburgh to Paris (with a very cheap 13$ plane ticket) before taking the TGV to Bordeaux the same day. I arrived in Bordeaux and was greeted by this fantastic couple who were so wonderfully generous and welcoming!

We spent the evening walking around the absolutely gorgeous streets of the town (which is also a World Heritage site) before going to dinner in a creperie. I LOVE crepes! I had an amazing salmon, two cheese and scallion puree crepe for dinner and a pear, chocolate and Chantilly cream crepe for dessert. We also drank an absolutely delicious pear cider! The whole thing was simply amazing and I was completely stuffed afterwards!

I also spent the next day wandering the streets of Bordeaux, stuffing my face with pastries and visiting a very cool history museum.

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yes that is a sea of people shopping on the high street

The friends of my parents now live in Audenge which is just under an hour from Bordeaux. On the third and fourth day they showed me around their wonderful coastal town. Sadly, I realised that since we were mostly in the car when we went around town I didn’t take any picture of Audenge! A real shame! This wonderful couple works and volunteers with the town council so they were attending meetings and events during my visit, but I was able to go have cake and a glass of bubbly after a presentation where I got to meet the mayor, lovely woman! They also brought me to have an exceptional seafood dinner in a nearby town. Absolutely delicious and fresh!

One morning we headed to the Dune du Pilat, which is a massive dune of sand. It’s 500 meters wide and 2.7km long. That’s a whole lot of sand I can guarantee! We went up the dune and it was exhausting! And when we made it up this hill, there were other hills to climb! I don’t even know if we made it to the actual top!


The visibility was pretty terrible once we got up the dune so we barely saw the Bassin d’Arcachon, which lied right beneath us. It was nonetheless a really cool thing to do and I will always remember my climb of the Dune du Pilat in January 2013.


Later the same day, after a hearty lunch, we headed all the way around to the other side of the bassin, we could even see the dune from the beach! The wind was biting cold, as you would expect in winter months, but then I saw people going into the water to surf….I was freezing for them!



There’s the dune! and the crazy surfers…


After those few days I was already on my way to another region in France, but I absolutely LOVED my time in Gironde. I look forward to going back, hopefully in the summer months to go enjoy a different kind of atmosphere! I also want to thank F and JF for welcoming me so generously and showing me around! I had a wonderful time! xx

P.S. You can check out the vlog I made about my wonderful trip by clicking here. It’s in French though, so you’ve been warned 🙂

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