Day 7 |
May 04, 2010

Bordeaux, France

By Stefan Kredel, Geologist

Co-ordinates: 41°11’N, 08°42’W

Weather: sunny

Air Temperature: 23°C

It was an early morning, but for our guests more than for me. They came yesterday evening a bit late back from a – as I understood and heard – superb dinner at Château Kirwan. And our morning tour “The Highlights of Bordeaux” started already at 07:45. That was by no means the idea to give our guests the feeling and idea of expedition cruising, what we usually and mainly do aboard the Prince Albert II, it was only because we needed the right tides to get back on the ocean by sailing the 80 km on the river from Bordeaux. And this meant that we couldn’t be back onboard later then 11:00! So quite some guests decided to do their own thing this morning.

It was another wonderful tour, and I have to admit that Bordeaux was another positive surprise to me. Even though it was only 8°C today, and the strong winds made it seem even colder than that, it was worth it to walk a bit through this city rich in historical buildings. We saw the Grand Theatre, which was built by Victor Luis in 1773. And just when I thought that this building resembled the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, our guide mentioned that this theater here in Bordeaux was actually the origin for the plans of the one in Buenos Aires!

Later we visited the museum of Decorative Art. And even though we had only a short visit, it was worth to see this museum; it was like visiting someone’s home. The whole museum with all its decoration and exhibited items remained in the environment of a former house.

Next we went to the St. Andrew Cathedral, from the 13th century! Very impressive!!! And there was even someone playing the organ, which made it even a bit mystical.

The visit was short, but it gave enough opportunity to get an impression of this city, and I am sure that many guests agree with me, that Bordeaux is definitely a city worth another and longer visit!

Back on board, we left the city and sailed the 80 km down the river before being back out on the ocean. After another nice lunch I had a powernap, and I am sure many guests did the same. At 15:30 I followed the lecture of Richard Sidey, our onboard photographer. It is always nice to learn a bit more about the tricks and tips to take better photos. Especially the part about achieving the right composition fascinated me, and Richard demonstrated that nicely with some examples.

For teatime I got into a discussion if I prefer the Arctic or the Antarctic. That is hard to answer, as those two regions are very different. Besides the fact that they are both cold, they don’t have much else in common, I would say.

Later at the Recap, Conrad, our Expedition Leader, explained our plans for tomorrow. We plan to go from Nantes to Angers, and as Christian Sauleau, Silversea’s Executive Vice President of Fleet Operations, is originally from this town, he helped Conrad through the briefing with some informative and entertaining side comments. In the Recap I talked about the tidal influences into rivers, and the coins of the Euro, and their differences. I was followed by Gordon who showed an impressive gun used in wars in our days, and then Olga recapped the history of Bordeaux.