Long-time readers may remember my attempt to visit Bordeaux using the local edition of the boar...

Video: Cycling through the Monopoly streets of Bordeaux


Long-time readers may remember my attempt to visit Bordeaux using the local edition of the board game Monopoly as my roadmap.

I thought the adventure deserved to be turned into a video, and so here is a GoPro view of an early-morning non-stop bike ride through the city. Starting out in the Le Lac district to the north of the city and finishing up at Bordeaux Airport in the western suburb of Mérignac, the adventure takes in a wide variety of the city's streets, squares, neighbourhoods and landmarks.

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The Salinières fountain, also known as Fontaine de la Grave , is one of the landmarks in the city...

Fontaine des Salinières: supplying fresh drinking water on the waterfront since 1788

The Salinières fountain, also known as Fontaine de la Grave, is one of the landmarks in the city of Bordeaux which people see but rarely stop to look at. That was certainly my case until I recently made a point of inspecting this unusual sight, on the left-bank waterfront more or less in line with the spire of Saint-Michel church.

The fountain was the work of the then chief city architect Richard-François Bonfin and was first installed here around 1787-1788. It was initially fed by the “Font de l’Or”, a spring captured on nearby Rue Carpenteyre and which had previously been channelled to a more rudimentary fountain a little further down the quayside near Porte de la Monnaie.

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We are at the grave of Henri Salmide in the Cimetière Protestant of Bordeaux. According to the i...

Henri Salmide: the local (German) hero who saved the port of Bordeaux

We are at the grave of Henri Salmide in the Cimetière Protestant of Bordeaux. According to the inscription, he “singlehandedly and on his own initiative saved the port of Bordeaux on August 22nd 1944”. So who was this local hero?

The local hero was in fact a German, born Heinz Stahlschmidt in Dortmund on November 13th 1919. His father, a plumber, died in 1937. His elder brother had taken up studies but the family couldn’t afford to bankroll a second student, so with the outbreak of war in 1939 Heinz volunteered for the German navy. His military career got off to a bad start though: in April 1940, he was on board the battleship Blücher when it sank off Oslo in Norway. In June 1940, a fishing boat he was on which had been converted into a coastal patrol vessel also sank. And in September 1940, he was on a frigate carrying troops which was torpedoed between Denmark and Norway. Stahlschmidt managed to swim back to the coast but 560 men died.

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