"" Writer's Wanderings: France - Le Verdon to Bordeaux

Monday, June 28, 2010

France - Le Verdon to Bordeaux

Early in the morning, the Crystal Symphony docked in Le Verdon. We were about to spend the next two days in the famous Bordeaux region of France where many of its fine wines are produced. Quite a few people disembarked for a day long journey into the region to see the vineyards and taste the products. We opted to take a short look-see of Le Verdon and then stay on board and enjoy the half empty ship.
Le Verdon is a seaside town. I'm sure that sometime in the warmer weather it is bustling with visitors. The beach looked very nice but it is in the north of France and on the colder part of the ocean. Wonder how long their season really is? There were lots of shops to explore if you were interested in shopping. It took us about twenty minutes to walk from the complimentary shuttle stop to the beach and back again. We got back on the bus and returned to enjoy the ship.

Back on board, Bob got a massage (we were trying to use up some onboard credits that came with our cruise deal) and me, well, I just zoned out. A day to relax. It was great!

About 1:30 in the afternoon, the ship pulled in its gangways and we started up the Dordogne River and then made a starboard (right) turn into the Garonne River to our destination, the city of Bordeaux. It seemed strange to be taking a cruise ship up a river but it was a very pleasant trip with lots of great scenery along the way.

Since the rivers are tidal, the captain had to plan his journey around the tidal tables. Once we arrived in Bordeaux, we were intrigued by the crew setting up two different gangways, one on Deck 4 and another on Deck 6. We would see the next day why that was necessary.

Our attention turned to the city itself which was a wonderful scenic view from our docking area. A riverside boardwalk stretched as far as we could see lined on the land side with prolific gardens and stately old buildings that defined the term “old world beauty.” After dinner and a short walk, we were treated to a beautiful sunset that silhouetted church spires—every bit as romantic as an evening in Paris.

Along the way during our earlier walk, we had found exactly what we hoped, a restaurant featuring mussels in several different types of broth. Already our taste buds were anticipating a delicious lunchtime treat for the next day.

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