Picture of the Week

19 September 2017

Week 36: Bordeaux, Nicole’s visit

Filed under: — Administrator @ 20:12

It was a French week in two ways: I was on business in Bordeaux from Monday to Wednesday, and the day after I came back, my French cousin Nicole, her husband Luc and their daughter Elsa came to visit us from Brussels.

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But we start with “my” kitties, sharing the meal I just served them:
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About 500 meters from our house there is a supermarket with several cats living in an adjacent vacant lot. Many people in the neighbourhood feed them, so they are not so shy:
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On Sunday morning I cycled to Elche and Santa Pola, for an easy, flattish 74 km ride. I took a break in Santa Pola harbour:
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Divine company for the fisherman:
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On Monday morning I flew to Bordeaux via Barcelona, arriving at my hotel around 5 p.m. There were some unusual sculptures in the lobby, considering that it was just an Ibis:
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After checking in, hanging my suit and shirts in the closet, and verifying that the wifi worked properly (my standard operating procedure when arriving at a hotel), I set out to explore Bordeaux. I have driven past this city several times on my way north, and have also visited the nearby wine-growing areas of St-Emilion and Pomerol, but this was my first visit to the city proper. The afternoon light was nice, and so was this young lady on a skateboard:
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Skateboarding outside the Bordeaux main courthouse. There are actually signs around indicating that this is a designated space for this activity, outside working hours:
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Another lady in contre-jour, relaxing with a friend:
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The law school adjacent to the courthouse, with the young people on the posters proclaiming their readiness to defend liberty and the rule of law:
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A play on words. In French “human rights” are “droits de l’homme”, which someone found a bit too sexist:
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I continued my walk towards the river, passing some old narrow streets like this one:
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Bicycle parking, Quai Richelieu, a main promenade along the Garonne river:
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Bordeaux is very much centred on the river:
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A bit further north along the Quai Richelieu, I came to the Mirroir d’eau, an amazing piece of aquatic architecture:
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This part of the waterfront is a wonderful urban space, suitable for active types:
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Or just for relaxing:
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As always when walking around the city, I was looking for little details. Like this sticker on the light pole, expressing a sentiment that someone like me, with family in Israel, fully endorses. The text in Hebrew and Arabic says “peace”:
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Moon over the Garonne:
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I then set out to look for dinner, passing this funny-named English pub:
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I ended up having fish & chips at another nearby English pub. Some readers might find it an odd choice of dinner in a French city, but the fish & chips I had here were some of the best I have ever had, and the beer selection was excellent:
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And there were two nice young ladies at the table next to mine, engaged in intense conversation:
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I spent Tuesday morning at the conference I was attending at the law school of University of Bordeaux. But during the generously long lunch break, I had time to explore the beautiful cathedral across the street:
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After the day’s proceedings ended around 5 p.m., I went back to the hotel, changed into comfortable clothes, and took a streetcar to the main modern art museum of Bordeaux, called CAPC. Looking at modern art is now a standard part of my travels. I loved the CAPC, housed in an old warehouse. On the ground floor, there was a large exhibition of works by Figueroa, a Guatemalan artist living in Berlin:
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Fabrice Hyber, Peinture Homéopathique no. 4:
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Fabrice Hyber, Peinture Homéopathique no. 4, detail:
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Simon Hantaï, Mariale m.a.2:
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Chohreh Feyzdjou, sans titre:
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After delighting in the art at CAPC, I took another streetcar a few stops further north along the river to have a look at La Cité du Vin, a truly stunning building:
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On the way back to the area around my hotel, I passed by La Place de la Comédie, known for this large head statue:
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I spent Wednesday morning at the conference, listening to various interesting lectures:
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After lunch, it was time to head for Bordeaux airport for the flight home. More of my images from the city are in this gallery.

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Back home, while walking Cheeta early Thursday morning, I enjoyed this lovely sky over our subdivision:
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And the children of the magic cactus greeted me with these glorious blooms:
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I went to work on Thursday but at lunchtime I drove to the airport to pick up my cousin Nicole from Brussels who came to spend a long weekend with us, with her husband and daughter. We went to lunch at a beachfront restaurant, and Nicole could not resist the temptation to get her feet wet in the warm Mediterranean:
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On Saturday, we went for lunch at Hostal Maruja. I always have some sense of trepidation about food and drink when hosting my French relatives, but there was no need to worry here. Nicole was happy:
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And so was her daughter Elsa:
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As usual, I turned my camera onto my fellow guests:
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Checking out the people on the beach:
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But in the end, we go to Hostal Maruja for the food. Here are the gambas:
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Sepia a la plancha:
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Pan de Calatrava, a common dessert around here. It is a bit like flan, but firmer:
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In the evening, we celebrated Nicole’s birthday with some good food and some excellent champagne which Luc is doling out here:
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