One of the reasons I decided to learn English was travelling. I love travelling, but above all, I love learning more about other’s people cultures, so once in a while, I pack my bags and head on a small adventure
This time my adventure was in Bordeaux, France. I’ve heard people saying that French people don’t like to speak English, but in my experience, this isn’t true at all. From the immigration officer to restaurants everyone was friendly and all of them spoke to me in English, not to mention local people who were friendly enough to guide us around the city and take pictures of us, etc. It wouldn’t have really been possible if we didn’t have one powerful thing in common: the English language. Thanks to that I am here writing this post to share my wonderful, even though short, time there.
Enough about trying to give you reasons to learn English, after all, you know that learning it opens literally all borders.
Let’s talk about Bordeaux. It is not the cheapest city I’ve been to, in fact in Europe, Portugal is winning so far, but it is not the most expensive either. We stayed in a private room in a very nice hostel which had an excellent location.
When travelling, my husband and I, like to explore as much as we can, however, we like to do it by foot, which is great not only for your fitness but also for your pocket, as sometimes transport can be quite pricey in Europe. I really don’t remember how much the bus tickets were, but it was definitely less than London, yet, why not to save a bit of money while enjoying the walks?
We walked all over the centre city which is absolutely stunning. Have you ever been to Paris? Forget it if you have; the city vibe is completely different. There are a few chapels around the centre and all of them are breath taken. I really like Paris, but for some reason, Bordeaux has grown on me much more.
There’s a lot to see and to enjoy there, but if you are looking for a city break, this place is exactly what you need. Good food, good views, good history, good people, as you see, a lot of good to enjoy.
Here is my tip: if you live in Europe keep your eyes peeled for cheap flights on Ryanair’s website. We paid only five euros for the tickets!!! Yes, I’m not lying, we paid ten euros in total each. So, if you want to do something different on the weekends, visit the Ryanair website, they have great deals for short trips.
We went just for the weekend so we were only carrying our light backpacks which made all the difference for our trip. Traveling light might be very difficult for a woman, especially in the winter, but when you learn how to pack light travelling starts to make sense.
I will try to summarise our 2 days there:
From the airport, we headed straight into town.
The trip from the airport to the town was terrific! Bus right outside the airport, it took only about 25 minutes to the centre, and it only cost €1,95. Do you guys know how much it costs to get from the airports in London to anywhere? It’s crazy expensive.
French cuisine is one of the world’s favourites, right? So, let’s talk about that.
The first day we didn’t have the pleasure to experience French food, unfortunately. We walked around the city and we had a delicious baguette for lunch in order to invest in a very good French dinner, however restaurants in Bordeaux seemed to close really early and of course, even with all the research, we didn’t know that. After lunch, we walked around the city and stopped in a pub, where they were having a happy hour with some very good music, and an excellent environment. Then, naively without knowing about the city time, we went back to the hostel for a quick shower before going out for dinner – sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? We were there in a lower season which means that we didn’t think that it was necessary to book a table and that was a mistake. At nine o’clock all restaurants were closed around us, and do not forget that we were in a very good location, full of restaurants, so that was a bit disappointing. We went back to the hostel (which had a good size restaurant) and had dinner there. The food was surprisingly good, but it wasn’t French at all. We ended up having a Delicious Italian Pasta.
The next day we were aware of the situation, but once again we lost track of time and we missed the dinner time, but the good news is, we went to an amazing street market and ate a delicious Moules-Frites along with an amazing white wine. I am not particularly fond of white wine, but it was splendid. Interesting fact, usually when we travel to tourist places we see a lot of tourists even when it isn’t high season right? In Bordeaux no, it was very different we did see some tourists, of course, after all, it is a really beautiful city, but we saw more locals than I was expecting, which is a good thing. When traveling to another country I think you have to try to learn as much as you can about the local culture and there’s no better way to do so than joining the locals as much as possible.
To conclude, we didn’t go to Bordeaux to see a lot of stuff, at least not this time, this time we were looking for food, wine, and nice walks in a different setting. Nevertheless, I know that there’s a lot to see there, such as the amazing chateaus in the countryside where you can drink really good wine.
With that said, I have two pieces of advice for you:
One: if you are looking for a place to have a nice weekend break, I highly recommend Bordeaux, there you will be able to eat good food, drink good wine, be impressed by the chapels and architecture plus practice English, after all, as I said in the beginning, in Bordeaux most of the people do speak English!
Two: It doesn’t matter if you are going to France, Italy or wherever, learning a few local words is always a good way to show your appreciation and respect to the other country, besides this is also a way to increase your vocabulary range worldwide.