Archive for November 20th, 2021

November 20, 2021

How to move about in Bordeaux!

These are always challenging posts by me as road warrior of and by heart. However, been to many cities in my time and always enjoy going in with my car, rental or whatever means available. I have several posts on the wonderful favorite city of Bordeaux but not on transports! Therefore, this is as good a time as any to tell you a bit about it. Hope it proves helpful to you too

Bordeaux is in the Gironde dept 33 of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of my belle France, It is aprox 172 km from Pau, 202 km from San Sebastian, Spain, and 220 km from Toulouse as well as 498 km from Paris. And 494 km from my house ! For info it is also 700 km from Madrid (which we have used as a rest area on our way to Spain). The main roads in general are the A10 from Paris and the regions of the West and North via Poitiers, Nantes, Orléans, The A62 from the Mediterranean via Toulouse, Montauban and Agen, The A63 from Spain via Bayonne and Dax, And the A89 from the South-East and the East via Lyon, Clermont-Ferrand and Périgueux.

The city has an extensive highway system with many signs not so hard to get by and attention is needed not to pass the exits. There is a rocade or beltway of the city of Bordeaux , one of the most densely trafic roads in France for its 45 km . It is compose of the autoroute A630 on the left bank of the Garonne river or the N230 on the righ bank, the continuation of the autoroute A10 and the intersection of autoroute A89 is the A631, A62, and A63 .  This rocade , also, takes you into the Médoc, the famous area of wines but it has a lot more. From the rocade you  take exit 4 to go into central  Bordeaux or exit /sortie to no 7 that takes you into the side D1/D2 of wine country along the Garonne river, the other exit/sortie no 8 takes you into the beaches and central area of Médoc. For a scenic ride into the city coming from Paris or my new area of Morbihan breton down on the A10 cross the Garonne river, into the A630 rocade direction Mérignac airport and get off at exit/sortie 4 bd Alienor d’Aquitaine bear left on Rue Lucien Faure passing the pleasure boat marina on your left hand side continue to the river and turn right on the Quai de Bacalan, not far on your left hand side of the Cité du Vin or wine city of Bordeaux, Continue along the Quai de Bacalan along the Garonne river on your left hand side for a wonderful ride, enjoy it !

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The car-free day, until then limited to the city center, becomes “My street breathes” and extends every first Sunday of the month (except January and August) to all the districts of Bordeaux. In streets equipped with parking meters, in squares and spaces (road markings or vertical signage), parking is chargeable all year round from 9h to 19h, except Sundays and public holidays. You can Telecharge the app EasyPark and create an account or otherwise touch the screen and hit 1(one) to put in your car matriculation plaque and then pay normally, There are 45 parkings in the city with more than 20K places handle by different firms such as Effia, Geraud, Indigo park, Interparking, Megarama, Met Park, Q-park ,and Urbis park. They are all reliable just choose the location closest to your venue. The parkings I have used over the years are : Victor Hugo, Capucins, Tourny ,Grands Hommes ,and CC Meriadeck. For trafic info in Bordeaux and I always do when leaving home see the moving about webpage: https://sedeplacer.bordeaux-metropole.fr/

Now on public transports in Bordeaux i used very limited but for general information here is the rundown,

They say there are 78 bus lines, 32 of which are accessible, serve Bordeaux Métropole and adapt to your mobility needs. The electric shuttle (Citéis 47) drops you off wherever you want between Place des Quinconces and Place de la Victoire in Bordeaux. Several parc relay to drop off your car and take public transport into the city, the TBM network will tell you. The Bat3 are 2 catamarans, L’Hirondelle and La Gondole, which serve 4 stops, with connections to the 3 tram lines. 2 river shuttles from 7h to 19h. every day: Stalingrad <> Quinconces <> The Hangars <> Lormont Bas and Stalingrad <> Quinconces: Reinforcements during busy hours.

The tramway of Bordeaux is quite nice and did tried it once,,It has four lines A,B,C , and D, Line A serves the airport, line B goes along the river and into Pessac, Line C goes to Bordeaux lac (lake) and Bégles etc, and line D is a project by the passarelle Jean Jaurés, see the network TBM for schedules.

Bordeaux cours intendant the gang bus ha ha aug08

The network TBM of Bordeaux for bus and tramways, and boat on itinerarieshttps://www.infotbm.com/en/routes/

And TBM network on routeshttps://www.infotbm.com/en/lines/

You, also, have 79 bus lines all year with 59 bus lines regular rides and 20 school bus lines for the Département of the Gironde no 33, this is handle by the Modalis network, See the region Nouvelle Aquitaine on this here: https://transports.nouvelle-aquitaine.fr/modalis

The Bordeaux-Mérignac airport covers 32 regular connections (and more than 60 charters) to the major regions of France and European metropolises, as well as 24 international destinations. About twenty flights connect Paris daily. Regular shuttles connect with the city center. Webpage : https://www.bordeaux.aeroport.fr/en

The airport shuttle is a direct connection in 30 minutes (journey time given as an indication and subject to the vagaries of traffic) from Saint-Jean train station to Bordeaux Mérignac airport, 365 days a year, with 1 departure every hour from 6h to 23h, webpage : https://30direct.com/schedules/

They say , 10 minutes from the historic center by tram, Bordeaux Saint Jean train station, the largest train station in the Nouvelle Aquitaine region, accommodates 260 trains per day and in particular 25 Bordeaux-Paris round trips, 5 Bordeaux-Roissy Charles de Gaulle, 6 round trips / Bordeaux-Lille return, and 3 Bordeaux-Strasbourg return trips by TGV. 200 TER also connect the regional capital to all the towns of the Nouvelle Aquitaine region. The SNCF and TER Nouvelle Aquitaine to follow

TER webpage : https://www.ter.sncf.com/nouvelle-aquitaine/gares/87581009/Bordeaux-Saint-Jean/pratique

SNCF webpage : https://www.garesetconnexions.sncf/fr/gare/frboj/bordeaux-saint-jean/transports-horaires

There is a self-service bike rental V3: More than 2000 V3 (known as VCub), including 1000 with electric assistance, are spread over 184 stations in the Metro area of Bordeaux, and offer you mobility in complete freedom, 7 days a week and 24 hours a day! More info here : https://www.infotbm.com/en/v3-how-it-works.html

Good to know: users of trottinettes, skates or scooters are considered pedestrians when traveling on public roads. There are several taxi stands in the city of Bordeaux, the ones I have seen were at Place Tourny, and Tour 5 rés. Jardins de Gambetta Rue Père Dieuzaide Meriadeck shopping center.

The city of Bordeaux on its heritagehttps://www.bordeaux.fr/p80990/histoire-patrimoine-et-architecture

The Bordeaux tourist office on must seehttps://www.bordeaux-tourism.co.uk/city-and-its-heritage/must-see

There you go folks, my humble contribution to transports of Bordeaux! A wonderful city to drive on its wide streets, and plenty of parking, and nice tramway service. Hope the post can be useful for your next trip to the city of wine. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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November 20, 2021

The Château de Montreuil-Bellay ,part II !!

And back to another wonderful castle of the Loire ! On the road warrior team we set out again for the region of Pays de la Loire and the dept 49 of Maine-et-Loire to visit Montreuil-Bellay! And visit we did wonderful place indeed. Just to show you, we have castles to create a new country lol! Old France never died it just faded away a bit but still plenty of stones around!!! I like to update this post with newer text and older pictures not shown in my original post on the castle ; hope you enjoy it as I,

The Château de Montreuil-Bellay is a vast medieval castle, several times remodeled and standing in the heart of the old town of Montreuil-Bellay. It has 13 defense towers and 600 meters of ramparts, looks like an impregnable fortress! The feudal castle of Montreuil-Bellay was built around 1025. From this period, you should see the barbican, the fortified moats and ramparts, the vaulted cellars, the kitchen with a central hearth, vestiges of the Middle Ages. Then the lords flanked the fortress with elegant constructions based on large vaulted cellars dating from the 15C. The new castle and the collegiate church, the home of the canons, the stoves date from the 15-16C. The chateau is fully furnished. It is also a wine property whose different vintages you will discover. Inhabited by the same family since 1822 and rich in precious furniture handed down from generation to generation,

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Among the owners of the Château de Montreuil-Bellay, Geneviève de Condé, Duchess of Longueville and cousin of Louis XIV, is among the most illustrious. Instigator of the Fronde (rebellion vs king authorities) with her brother, the Grand Condé, she is forced by the Sun King into exile behind the walls of this golden prison. The highlight of the visit to the Château de Montreuil-Bellay is the moving discovery of the bedroom of this woman who marked history with her strong character breaking with the strict codes of the court, During the French revolution, the castle was requisitioned and transformed into a prison for monarchist women. A few years later, it was bought by a wealthy trader from Saumur whose daughter married Baron Alexandre Adrien de Grandmaison, an officer in the guard of king Charles X. Their nephew, parliamentarian of the district of Saumur for nearly half a century, opens the doors of its castle to nearly 1,200 soldiers wounded during the Great War or WWI.

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There is a new guided tour «  Marche dans les entrailles de la forteresse » or walk in the bowels of the fortress, Discover the bowels of the fortress during an unusual visit that will take you from the barbican to the medieval kitchen, via the moat. We discuss the medieval part of the castle, its history and its architecture. Adult: entrance fee 4€ worth it me think.

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The visit of the castle is combined with the tasting and sale of the Domaine’s AOP Saumur wines, frequently awarded for their quality which is always appreciated. And very good value/quality wise, we purchased, The vaulted cellars that support the castle and into which the astonishing Brotherhood of the Knights of Sacavin was enthroned in 1904,serve as the tasting venue! wonderful!!

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The official Château Montreuil Bellay webpage: https://en.chateau-de-montreuil-bellay.fr/

The Official Château de Montreuil Bellay wine boutique onlinehttps://www.chateau-montreuil-bellay.fr/en

The Saumur tourist office on the castle of Montreuil Bellay and heritage sightshttps://www.ot-saumur.fr/MONTREUIL-BELLAY_a14817.html

There you go folks, it is a beautiful castle and great wine tasting venue at the end to finish a wonderful day in the Pays de la Loire! Do come to the Château de Montreuil-Bellay you will be glad you did.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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November 20, 2021

The Château de Brissac !! Part II

And I am back with castles!!! I love castles seen so many in my belle France but each new ones is just more beautiful lol except one…hehehe you know if you read my blog.  I like to expand on my previous post on the Château de Brissac as found more pictures me think should be in my blog, This is in the old town of Brissac-Quincé , dept 49 of Maine et Loire in the Pays de la Loire region.

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The town was born in 1964 from the grouping of two old neighboring towns of Brissac and Quincé. It is then consolidated in 2016 in the new town of Brissac Loire Aubance. Brissac-Quincé as the best known name still is located on the D 748 road, 16 km south of Angers, 29 km from Saumur, 46 km from Cholet, 85 km from Nantes and 266 km from Paris; and 252 km from my house. I will cut short on the text as mainly was told in the first post, this is some new info and plenty of older pictures but new to the blog, Hope you enjoy them as I.

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The Château de Brissac is the tallest castle in France with its 7 floors and 204 rooms, this monument deserves its nickname “Giant of the Loire Valley”. Acquired in 1502, by René de Cossé, 1st Lord of Brissac, it is today the residence of the 13th Duke of Brissac. It remains open to visitors; so much there is to contemplate its dazzling decoration made up of gilded ceilings with leaf, tapestries and precious furniture. Its park offers beautiful views in the shade of hundred-year-old trees. The castle can only be visited on a guided tour.

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In the large living room are collected family memories and are mixed with portraits and photos, flowers and candles … Because Brissac is a family castle in which each generation has endeavored to transmit love and respect for a heritage to maintain a tradition of hospitality. In the dining room you will see the place setting as if, in the evening, many guests were invited to the duke’s table! The visit continues in the footsteps of King Louis XIII who came to Brissac in August 1620, from historic rooms to painting galleries, Awesome !

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The alleys have been designed over the centuries by those who have lived in and loved these places. In successive strokes, the inhabitants of the Château have shaped nature, transforming a marsh at the foot of the original fortress into an elegant landscaped park. Unveiled in this way, from the hill of the Mausoleum, from the vines, or reflected in the pond, the facades of the castle elevate their monumentality in a site with majestic perspectives and bucolic tones.

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The city of Brissac Loire Aubance on its heritagehttps://www.brissacloireaubance.fr/patrimoine-et-monuments/

The official Château de Brissac webpage: https://chateau-brissac.fr/?lang=en

There you folks,recommended , really nice castle in the other Loire, Pays de la Loire, a lovely trip indeed in my belle France! Do come and enjoy the Château de Brissac!

And remember, happy travels, good health ,and many cheers to all!!!

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