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2018 Harbours of Western France Overnight:

Day one and we've actually booked a trip! Had to set the alarm (just in case) and were up for breakfast before 8. We booked it because it was supposed to leave at 10.30 but the time was changed to 9.30. Not a good start. Anyway (of course) there was a delay and we didn't get away much before 10.30. Had a very pleasant panoramic tour of the City and then went to a winery (Chateau Larrivet Haut-Brion). It seemed that Saga had tried to organise things so that we didn't get there at the same time as the other coach going to this particular Chateau (they went to the Chateau first and then did the panoramic tour) BUT they were held up in traffic and when we got there they were only just going in for their tour of the Winery (only one guide). Hanging around outside, no seats and very hot (although I enjoyed it). Edna decided to have a sit on some grass in the shade but it had been watered! We're wishing by now that we'd stuck to our policy of not doing morning trips. Never mind, the tour of the winemaking area was interesting but we were on our feet for a long time and Edna gave the wine tasting a miss and went back to the coach for a sit down. She didn't miss a lot (in my opinion).

Outside and inside Chateau Larrivet Haut-Brion

The vinyards (taken from the coach)

When the coach got back to the ship (it actually gets worse) we were asked to stay on the coach while a group going on a tour came down the gangplank (I would have thought we were mature enough to get off and wait for them to get off the ship). One or two had got off the coach (as did the driver) and waited by the coach door. The rest of us stood up expectantly (we'd had enough sitting and I'm 6'3" so coach sitting is not my favourite thing). Question. What should a driver do before he leaves his vehicle. Put in neutral, yes. Switch off, yes. Apply handbrake, no! There we are, reversing across the quay with no driver. He jumped on and stopped it but we were all jolted and one poor lady was knocked over (not seriously). A pleasant little morning trip, NOT! But, it could have been worse and we won't forget it in a hurry. Obviously we were late back for lunch so to the cabin (quickly) and to the Beach Club (lunches served until 3pm), I don't mind, their fish and chips are delicious and Edna had a jacket potato and noted that she should ask what potatoes they use as they are so nice (I wonder if she did). Didn't do a lot else, they had a party on deck in the evening but we gave it a miss (miserable old gits).

Day two and in on the shuttle bus about 10. They dropped us by the Grand Theatre

The Grand Theatre, Bordeaux

WOO HOO! There's an exhibition on about Nureyev "The God of the Dance". Edna thinks that Nureyev is that if you cut out "of the Dance". What a result after the disappointment of yesterday. Hang on, it's Sunday! Not open! I bet it was bloody open yesterday when we went on the trip. Excuse the expletive, there aren't many on this site but this deserves one.

Not to worry, Bordeaux is a nice City (it's not their fault that so much has gone wrong for us) and we walked to the Monument aux Girondins in the Esplanade des Quinconces. Somewhat over the top but magnificent.

Monument aux Girondins

Edna had a sit by the Monument while I went for a walk to take a few photos.

Statues of Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, Lord of Montaigne (1533-1592) and
Charles Louis de Secondat, Baron de la Brede et de Montesquieu (1689-1755) in Place des Quinconces

The impressive entrance to Place des Quinconces with Girondins Monument in the background in the 2nd. (Pity about the fair vehicles!)

Then a walk to the Porte Cailhau via Place de la Bourse (just the sort of Square I like)

Place de la Bourse with the statue of the Three Graces at it's centre

Porte Cailhau - built in 1494 but still (almost) as it was!

We were going to walk to the Cathedral from here but time (and legs perhaps!) was getting short and we had to get back to the Grand Theatre to catch the shuttlebus. We had passed the Cathedral on our coach tour the previous day so the only photo I have is taken from the coach

Bordeaux Cathedral (not bad considering it was taken through the coach window!)

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