Saturday, 22 October 2016

Inside Cestas’s PIC (Plate-forme industrielle du courrier)

One of the more unusual outings on offer over this year’s European Heritage Days weekend was a guided tour of the PIC, or Plate-forme industrielle du courrier, the massive postal sorting office that can be found in Cestas, just off the A63 motorway to the west of Bordeaux.

Having often driven past this massive facility, I was particularly looking forward to enjoying the inside view, so there was a definite sense of anticipation as we joined a group to be ushered inside in scenes reminiscent of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. 

Sunday, 16 October 2016

New video: the extreme Gironde roadtrip!

Over the past few weeks, you have possibly enjoyed the accounts of the joint Invisible Bordeaux/Bordeaux 2066 roadtrip to the four corners of la Gironde: north, east, south and west. 

The adventure is now also available as a scintillating Youtube video, so sit back, relax and follow us as we visit the remains of a brothel in Captieux, the wharf in La Salie, admire some boats in Le Verdon-sur-Mer, and study some trees in Saint-Avit-Saint-Nazaire. All you have to do is hit the play button and make sure your internet connection remains stable for the next eight minutes! Enjoy!

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

The Gironde four corners road-trip > Part 3: west (La Salie and its wharf)

This is the third and final part of a travelogue following Bordeaux 2066’s Vincent and me on our quest to visit the extreme northern, eastern, southern and western points of the Gironde over the course of a single day. So far we have viewed memorials in Le Verdon, admired some trees in Saint-Avit-Saint-Nazaire and, a-hem, explored a former brothel in Captieux. What would the département’s westernmost point have in store?

It was now 6:30pm and we had driven some 485 kilometres by the time we parked our car in the shade of the pines at la Salie Sud beach, on the Atlantic coast more or less mid-way between Arcachon and Biscarrosse. Venturing out onto the sandy pathway over the dunes to the sea we gained a little height and enjoyed our first view of La Salie’s distinctive – and controversial – landmark: “le Wharf”.

Monday, 3 October 2016

The Gironde four corners road-trip > Part 2: south (Captieux and its former brothels)

In the first part of this travelogue recounting an attempt to visit Gironde’s four cardinal points over the course of a single day, Bordeaux 2066’s Vincent and I successfully conquered Le Verdon and its countless memorials, followed by Saint-Avit-Saint-Nazaire and its nothingness. From there we headed to the département’s southernmost point, Captieux.

We arrived in a part of Captieux known as “Le Poteau” at around 4pm, 380 kilometres on from our starting point. Looking south we were gazing into neighbouring département Les Landes. A large milestone was in position at the border between the two administrative areas although Vincent soon spotted an anomaly: beneath the painted inscription correctly identifying the road as being the D932 were traces of the milestone’s previous location on the Nationale 10. Isn’t it great to know that milestones don’t die, they’re just recycled and turn up elsewhere!

Monday, 26 September 2016

The Gironde four corners road-trip > Part 1: north and east (Le Verdon and its memorials, and Saint-Avit-Saint-Nazaire and its trees)

Loyal readers will remember past adventures in the company of Bordeaux2066’s Vincent Bart, which include travelling to the point in Puynormand where the Greenwich Meridian converges with the 45th Parallel, and cycling the full length of the Eau Bourde river.

Meeting up once again, the challenge we set ourselves this time was to set out on a day-long road-trip that would take us to the extreme northern, eastern, southern and western points of the Gironde (mainland France’s vastest département), secretly hoping that something interesting might happen somewhere along the way. To achieve this, we plotted our route and set out early on a Sunday morning from Saint-Aubin-de-Médoc, knowing full well that we were about to drive almost 600 kilometres together, i.e. the equivalent of travelling to Paris.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Visiting the city using "Bordeaux Safari" as my guide

“Bordeaux Safari” is a distinctive yellow guidebook which can be spotted in bookshops in and around the city. Its publishers, Deux Degrés, recently got in touch with me to find out whether I would feature the book on the blog. Of course, I don’t simply produce book reviews upon request, but in this instance I did think that, by putting the book to the test, I would be able to get some interesting results.

Bordeaux Safari’s tagline is that it is “le guide dont vous êtes le héros”, in other words the reader is the central character and the book serves as an interactive roleplaying device that moves the aforementioned hero from point to point throughout Bordeaux, seeing and experiencing the different facets of the city. And so it was that early on a sunny Sunday morning, I set off on my bicycle without knowing where exactly I was headed.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Journées du Patrimoine 2016: the Invisible Bordeaux selection!

The annual European heritage days take place on September 17th and 18th. Hurrah! As always, there are hundreds of options available, making it difficult to know where to start.

So, to make things easier for you, Invisible Bordeaux has once again been looking closely at what’s on offer and here is a small selection of some of the more unusual and eye-catching visits... although this year’s choices come with a twist: all of these activities lie outside Bordeaux. Meanwhile, the full list of venues and visits - in Bordeaux and beyond - can be found on the official event website.
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