Saturday, June 4, 2016

Wandering through Bordeaux

Spent way too much time faffing about this morning and didn't get going until much later than I'd have liked. So then I went to a café to have breakfast – croissant, juice, tea – and had to keep from punching the sparrows who were hopping around my table. It might be a crime in France 'cause of the whole Edith Piaf thing.

Then it was time to see some things. I hit up a museum first, the Museum of Aquitaine, which has a lot of fascinating archaeological stuff from around that part of France, where there's been human habitation in some form for many thousands of years.

And lots of Roman stuff as well, since they had a big presence here.

A reproduction of the tomb of Eleanor of Aquitaine – interestingly enough in 2015 I'd done backstage crew for a production of The Lion in Winter in which she is a character.

The English spent a lot of time here, too.

This thing is the rose window from a church. It was only in French, so I didn't get a lot of information. But it's huge.

Freemasons run the country!

Um, isn't this one of those boxes from Hellraiser?

I don't remember why this was significant.

Bordeaux was France's largest trading hub, and (sadly) this included slaves. So there's a significant section devoted to the cultures the French, um, colonised.

One can see the roots of 'the south' easily enough.

They have a big section on slavery. It's quite moving.

Then it was off to see the inside of Bordeaux Cathedral.

Someone was actually playing the organ while I was there, which was awesome. I'd have liked to see the manual, but I had no idea where it was.

The cathedral was where the aforementioned Eleanor of Aquitaine got married the first time.

And, lastly, I went to the Musée des Beaux Arts.

They have a Brueghel.

And a Joris van der Haagen, who I wasn't familiar with. But this landscape was very impressive.

It has two sections. Between the two I went outside and took some photos.

Then it was onto part two. And a Delacroix.

A sculpture called (something like) dying Mozart. The detail was incredible.

And a Picasso.

Back outside.

And that was pretty much it. Oh, except I had dinner not far from the hotel and learned that not all French cheese is soft, smelly and interesting. Some of it is hard, mild and terribly unsurprising. Lesson here: ask what kind of cheese they're going to bring you.

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