This jetlag is a nuisance. Your body is so totally out of whack and you don’t know whether you are Arthur or Martha. Well ok, I’m Martha, but for those who have done long haul and not slept for 48 hours, they will understand.
A solid sleep of 7 hours was interrupted by an out of whack body. So I gave in and rose early and we hit the streets to check out Bordeaux.
Did I mention coffee? We sat down near La Bourse, overlooking the Garonne. I ordered an espresso but when I saw Tony’s coffee I ordered a second coffee.
Next thing I found myself sitting on a horribly sloping, slippery wooden seat, in a confessional box in a lovely church I wandered into. I do have a fascination with churches from around the 11-13th centuries, marvelling at how they could achieve such brilliant stone vaulting and arches.
Surely the could have designed better seating in the confessional box? I’m mean if I am going to be there for a while, make me comfortable with a nice leather recliner?
Bordeaux has some beautiful old buildings and fountains.
I was particularly impressed with the Monument to the Girondins.
I sat on the edge of the fountain for some time, legs dangling, enjoying the sun, mesmerised by the sound of falling water. I allowed my mind to wander, thinking about life and some of its challenges. I think I could easily have fallen asleep but I was aroused from my deliberations with the site of a young bloke.
I have long held a fascination with Aquitaine, and the region of Bordeaux forms one of its five departments known as Dordogne. Around 400,000 BC, the first hunters arrived, living in rock shelters making flint tools. Whilst that is cool, my real interest is far more current.
I have a few heroines I favour. My favourite is Eleanor of Aquitaine, an extraordinarily strong woman who lived an extraordinary life. I like her because she did not take crap from anyone and did what she wanted. She was Queen of France before marrying Henry Plantagenet. Together they ruled England as King and Queen, parents to Kings Richard the Lionheart and John Lackland.
She was a rebel. I admire her ‘ I don’t give a stuff’ attitude to ‘it can’t be done by a woman’ scenarios. She was told a woman can’t rule Aquitaine on her own – but she did. She was told she could not possibly go the The Crusades. But she did and she personally ‘won over’ Saladin.
A few years ago I was so excited when I was able to trace my genealogy to her as my 24th great grandmother, and since then I have traced multiple links via my genealogical research. I like to think I have some of her spark, spunk and zest for life!
So it was natural that I wanted to visit St Seurin’s Basilica, church where she married Henry, right here in Bordeaux.
However after walking there I found out Monday is the only day it closes. So after all that, I will return after one of our day rides, but here is the side door.
Below the church the crypt was open, with tombs going back to the second century.
Heading back to our Air BNB accomodation we passed by the local Cathedral and has a quick squiz.
To finish on a light note, there are lots of naked men in Bordeaux. I found this fellow ( he is one of many!)
I also tried hula hooping today. One of my Zwift buddies Brian ( Betty) made me believe this was easy to do. So here I was, in a shop giving it a go. I am sure Eleanor would have applauded me. I can hear my daughter Hannah saying ” Oh mum!”.
So next up is a bike ride! Stay tuned!