A Rainy Day in Bordeaux, a Photo Essay

Posted on 09. May, 2012 by in Destinations, Europe Travel, France, Photo Posts

If you’ve been in Europe for the last couple of weeks, you’ve noticed one thing: weather is sh*t.

It’s been overcast and rainy for the better part of the last two months, and honestly I wonder what the hell I’m doing in France with piss-poor weather when I could get the same exact thing in my beloved London instead - but that’s another story.

On my recent visit to the Bordeaux region, I was blessed with yet another day of heavy clouds and threatening skies. Not one to be intimidated by Mother Nature’s anger management problems, I put on my raincoat and wellies, went to explore Bordeaux, and make the most out of the little time I had in town.

Since black and white is pretty much the only way to render justice to that kind of weather, here’s a retro series of photos of Bordeaux, now one of my favorite French cities. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!

This is typical Bordeaux architecture. Pretty much all the buildings on the riverbanks were built after the same plans, apparently, which makes for a great unity effect.

Porte Cailhau

photos of bordeaux

Porte Cailhau

Place du Palais, just past the Porte Cailhau

I was quite taken aback when I walked past the Porte Cailhau - I really did not expect to find something like this in Bordeaux. While it looks like a castle tower on top, the bottom is everything it was meant to be back in the days: a controlled entrance point to the fiefdom. Today it gives access to the many terraces and shops of Place du Palais.

Place du Parlement

Walking towards the Place de la Bourse

Place de la Bourse was definitely the highlight of my visit. It is so grand, it’s pretty much impossible to photograph as a whole unless you have a fancy wide-angle lens (which I do not). My photos don’t do justice to the place at all, you really must see it for yourself to understand just how large and impressive it is.

Place de la Bourse

Place de la Bourse

Another place that took my breath away is the Place des Quinonces, just a few minutes off Place de la Bourse. While the square itself is set in a quite plain location, the Monument, which celebrates the French republic,  holds all the interest here - regardless of whether you’re mesmerized by the double fountains or the sky-high statue.

Fontaine des Quinonces

The level of details on fountain’s sculptures are quite amazing, and just when you think ‘wow, it doesn’t get better than this‘ - well, it does. Right on the other side of the monument stands what I thought was a simple replica at first, but wait, hang on -  it’s a different, completely unique work of art, despite the similarities.

Pont de Pierre

And last but certainly not least, the famous Pont de Pierre. It was built after very strict orders of Napoleon Bonaparte the 1st himself, whose 17 letters-long name will forever be associated with the 17 arches long bridge. While one could think the Pont de Pierre was named after one of the many worthy Pierres that have marked French history, each in their own way, the explanation is actually much simpler - it’s named after what it’s made of:  stone.

For Bordeaux is a city that will not be dominated or taken over by any other name than its own, says the legend.

Have you been to Bordeaux? What was your favorite thing to do, or place to see? Any recommendations?

email

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

24 Responses to “A Rainy Day in Bordeaux, a Photo Essay”

  1. D.J. - The World of Deej

    10. May, 2012

    Awesome…love the one of the bridge….

    Reply to this comment
  2. Brenna

    10. May, 2012

    Bordeaux is my favorite city in Europe, hands down!

    Reply to this comment
  3. Jeremy Branham

    10. May, 2012

    Love the black and white photos. I’ve been to France a couple of times but never got the chance to visit Bordeaux. Very classical architecture.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Alexa Meisler

    10. May, 2012

    I feel like I’m back in time while staring at these photos. That sucks that the weather was bad but you still got pretty shots out of it and you got to explore Europe!

    Reply to this comment
  5. Piss poor weather lends itself well to black and white photos, though! =P We had terrible weather the last few weeks we were in southern France, and it was such a bummer. Rainy weather sucks when you want to explore.

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie

      14. May, 2012

      Same here. I get really unmotivated whenever the rain sets in when I’m on a trip. Sunshine makes everything so much better!

      Reply to this comment
  6. fotoeins | Henry

    11. May, 2012

    The black and white sets the table from the start, and sets the mood to suit the grey gloomy weather. Great stuff, and thanks for your post, Marie!

    Reply to this comment
  7. Jeremy

    11. May, 2012

    Very cool photos! Did you drink the wine!?

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie

      14. May, 2012

      Yeah I bought a bottle at the village nearby, and I’m saving it for a special occasion :)

      Reply to this comment
  8. Caro

    11. May, 2012

    Lovely photos! We’ll be spending a couple of days in Bordeaux to see my cousin (whom I’ve never met!) and I’m curious to see what the city has to offer! I heard that Bordeaux has a great rivalry with Paris, which one do you prefer?

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie

      14. May, 2012

      They are very different. Paris is very urban and picturesque, while Bordeaux feels, to me, a little more authentic. Less tourists too, so more locals to chat with. Really depends on what you want - tick off bucket list items or visit authentic France?

      Reply to this comment
  9. Angela

    12. May, 2012

    Beautiful photo essay, well done!

    Reply to this comment
  10. Beautiful photos! Great idea of making them black and white because of the weather. Thanks for sharing this post!

    http://www.GreenGlobalTravel.com

    Reply to this comment
  11. Turtle

    08. Jun, 2012

    Well, you’ve managed to make the place look pretty beautiful despite the weather, so that’s something! :)

    Reply to this comment
  12. jenjenk

    20. Jun, 2012

    I love bordeaux!! your photos bring back great memories of my trip a couple of months ago!

    Reply to this comment

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. A Very Rainy Afternoon in Saint-Émilion - May 11, 2012

    [...] in Saint-ÉmilionPosted on 11. May, 2012 by Marie in Europe TravelYou know how I said it was rainy in Bordeaux?Well, I take that back. Bordeaux was gorgeous, and the weather was almost fabulous. A light [...]

Leave a Reply