Bordeaux is a very beautiful city of bike riding, smiling, friendly people and is recommended for a visit even though if you visit somewhere with such obvious attractions where you rub along with the locals and your not too distant family tree means you might have even come from here had things been different, and if you’re feeling more and more alienated by your own country as it becomes increasingly ugly and full of hate, you might find it hard to leave.
Arriving in town it was raining, the rush hour traffic was deafening, there were road works everywhere and heavily armed police mixed with the rushing commuters on the station concourse. One thing the French do a bit differently, even maybe better than us though, along with knowing how to run a railway and finding creative things to do with garden invertebrates, and something which makes Paris more than just Leeds with croissants is that they still have a proper Sunday. The twelve million inhabitants of the metropolitan area may outnumber the population of several EU member states and certainly that of the top half of the British isles between my house and the Pentland Firth but apart from those folks jogging around the Jardin du Luxembourg or whizzing silently on bikes along the city’s wide empty boulevards early on the seventh day the place is pretty much deserted. To wander around the thinly peopled fells of my neighbourhood on the day of rest is a beautiful thing but to have one of Europe’s largest cities to yourself is quite special and for that, when it comes to all that other stuff that the place throws at you for the other six days, well, all is forgiven.
Staying off the beaten track and avoiding the tourist trail in Paris like the seasoned traveller that I am. I would tell you where this place is but I don’t think I could find it again if I even tried.