Links to trip parts
Part 1. Amsterdam
Part 2. Stuck in Amsterdam
Part 3. Rouen France 
Part 4. Le Havre and Honfleur
Part 5. Caen and the D-day beaches 
Part 6. St Malo
Part 7. Lorient
Part 8. La Rochelle
Part 9. Bordeaux

Sunday & Monday September 3 and 4
Sunday was our last day aboard. I hate the final day. It is hard to think it is over. At the same time, I am always anxious to get home after about 2 weeks. Sadly, they lay a mat on the bed that protects it from dirty luggage so now the reality of repacking all the clothes hits home.

The ship sailed down the Gironde river for several hours. It was peaceful. I got up early because I wanted to see us enter the river. So I got the sunrise. Just before we arrived in Bordeaux we had to go under a drawbridge. It was very unusual. The section of the highway actually lifted up. It slid on four big pylons. Picture below. The last picture is of the place we docked. There were several riverboat cruisers parked there too.At least it wasn’t a gravel pit like the last one. This one was pretty and had a bikeway along the river. It was quite the show for everyone to watch us dock.

We had 2 full days in Bordeaux; one while on board, and one after we debarked on Monday. We had booked a tour of the Medoc wine country for after our arrival. We booked a night in a small hotel in the city center called Yndō.

The wine tour was not so good. Our guide felt the need to talk the entire trip. We got more random information about all kinds of random things about Bordeaux. He was amusing…sort of. We spent a lot of time in a bus which stopped in front of some beautiful Chateaux so we could take pictures. Then we went to a winery to take a tour and have a tasting of two of their wines. The tour was kind of kitschy with projectors showing what looked like a cutaway of one of the big vats and what happens inside. Then a projection of the wine-maker giving her talk. Sadly most of the wineries in the Medoc are owned by insurance companies and banks now, having been sold by the families who used to own them. Now it is merely business. Takes all the romance out of it for me. Medoc pictures with subtitles.

Beautiful grapes ready to harvest
Lynch Bages. Very famous
They call all wineries chateaux but not all have an actual chateau as this one did.
This is the Chateau where we stopped for a tasting and tour – Lamothe Bergeron.
Ancient Sycamores on the property.
This is a pine planted in gardens all over. It lives long and grows huge. I cannot remember its name but I think it’s something biblical. If you know please tell me. [EDIT – Cypress of Lebanon]

We barely made it back for the on deck BBQ which they postponed until the last night. We went straight there after arriving back from the tour. The food was good. They always have a huge variety. We headed down to our rooms and showered and then packed up our things. The suitcases had to be in the hall the next morning before 6:30am. After all our hard work we went to the Star Bar for a last glass of wine.

We had a sad and quick breakfast. The last morning is not the fun of the prior days. We went down to say goodbye to our room attendant whose name was Edi. He was Indonesian. He told us today was his last day on ship and he was going home for his shore leave. They work something like nine months onboard and then get five or six months off to go home. He told us he was getting married in December. He was a nice guy. He sing-songed his greetings and best wishes for a good day every morning and evening.

We had ordered a taxi for 8:30 pickup. Things didn’t work out as planned. Our hotel told us that getting a taxi in Bordeaux was not easy. There is a shortage. After waiting an hour the hotel called me to tell me they had found a cab. So we finally made it to our hotel. Entrance to the hotel.

Yndō has only 12 rooms and is in a beautiful old building. Our rooms were both nice but the one we got was super quirky, or “crazy” as the woman said. Our crazy room.

We decided to take a walk right away because the temperature was supposed to get to 98 degrees today. We went to the so-called golden triangle. A shopping area of pedestrian streets. We visited the biggest plaza in Europe (according to our guide to the wine country) with a tall tower holding lady Liberty on top and a great fountain at the bottom.

Our hotel recommended a traditional Brasserie for lunch called la Noailles. It was a perfect last lunch and we splurged and had fun. Here are pictures with subtitles.

Our waiter. We thought he was perfect in every way. Then we found out he was Argentinian! Hahaha.
Our good Bordeaux wine
My gazpacho. Deliciously cool on a hot day.
Grilled turbot
Luther’s duck breast.

We all had a great time and walked back to our hotel to escape the heat. We ordered a light dinner to end the trip together. It was simple and fun. A couple more delicious wines later we were ready for bed. It was great to spend time with my sister 🥰

On our way home Luther and I both commented on how much more friendly the French were on this trip. I wonder if this is a result of Covid? They missed us and our money and now are happier to see us than before? What do you think?

The trip is done. I’m traveling on the train towards home finishing this post as I go. I am looking forward to being back and with my two kitties who were well cared for by our house sitters. Au revoir to France!

Links to trip parts
Part 1. Amsterdam
Part 2. Stuck in Amsterdam
Part 3. Rouen France 
Part 4. Le Havre and Honfleur
Part 5. Caen and the D-day beaches 
Part 6. St Malo
Part 7. Lorient
Part 8. La Rochelle
Part 9. Bordeaux

14 thoughts on “Bordeaux

  1. Nancy Hampton Post author

    Thanks Carlo, I can go back and relive it through my posts. It is part of the reason I do it. It is always sad for it to end. . . 🎻

  2. Nancy Hampton Post author

    Hi Carlo, the mega-ships are not for me! I’ll stick to the small ones. Our Star Legend had 277 on board this trip. The yachts hold 300 people when full. Thing is, they never feel crowded. I like that.

  3. Nancy Hampton Post author

    Hi Doug, when we traveled to the Medoc on the bus, the tour guide mentioned the pine forests. They are enormous. We drove through some of it.

  4. Nancy Hampton Post author

    Hi Colleen, I hadn’t ever done a cruise either, but way back in the 1990s I read about the Windstar sailing ships and ever since I had wanted to take one. They sail a lot around Italy so we took the opportunity to take a cruise from Venice down the Croatian coast. After that we’ve taken one a year, missing a couple years during Covid. They are nice. My heart is still with the Windstar sailing ship with its four masts and sails. I don’t like the yachts as much.

  5. Colleen Costello

    Hi Nancy,
    I loved following along with your trip report. It all looked so nice. I have never taken a cruise but I think I would enjoy this type of small cruise. Maybe a future sister trip for me.

  6. Carlo

    I agree with you on the idea of cruising in general. I never thought I would be much interested. But, due to friends, we’ve been three times now—on successively smaller ocean-going cruise ships: Holland America’s Rotterdam (about 1,390 passengers onboard), Azamara’s Jormey (about 490 passengers onboard), and Windstar’s Star Pride (190 passengers onboard). Both Azamara and Windstar were great experiences. Holland America was okay but definitely too big for me. Image what those 4,000 plus cruise ships must be like! No thank you. I credit Azamara with the best food and adult beverages so far. Looking forward to trying a River cruise.

  7. Carlo

    As Shakespeare wrote, Juliet famously tells her lover Romeo that “parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say good night till it be morrow!” Glad you had a great cruise. Thank you for sharing it along the way. I almost felt I was there!

  8. Nancy Hampton Post author

    Hi Cynthia, I never liked cruises either. Especially those mega ships. I’m not into crowds and entertainment isn’t necessary for me. But ever since I first read about Windstar and it’s beautiful sailing ships back in the 90s I’ve wanted to go on one. The sailing ship which is my favorite holds only 148 people. This one we were on had 277. The cruise was not in rivers primarily but in the Atlantic along the French coast. The nice thing about the smaller ships like ours was it COULD sail up rivers like the Seine and the Gironde. My sister and I live on different continents so we like to do something together every year. The small-ship cruises fit the bill for now.
    Thanks for the nice comment and I’m glad you enjoyed sailing along with me! ~Nancy

  9. Cynthia M

    I really enjoyed these trip reports, Nancy. Loved the commentary & photos. I’m not a big fan of cruises in general, but these river cruises seem lovely.

    It’s sad how much insurance companies, banks, private equity & venture capitalists own what used to be smaller or family run businesses. It’s happening all over.

  10. Nancy Hampton Post author

    Rosemarie!!! So happy to know you’re following along. Yes there were multiple jigsaw puzzles. We love them. They do things like teaching you how to make towel animals etc. —- carving fruit. It was a fun trip. We want to visit England for a week in the fall. And next March we are coming to deal with our storage unit. My sis and I want to do an England trip. So it is all in flux. Maybe we can see each other next March! We will be near old town.

  11. Nancy Hampton Post author

    Hi Phil, I agree with you. In the Medoc region the wine makers are left alone to create the wines but they want to branch out with weddings etc. To me that is the worst.

  12. Rosemarie Lentini

    Awww. I am sad that the trip is over too! I anticipated each day’s activities except those full days of sailing. Did you have a jigsaw puzzle to help with those times?
    The great thing is I can go back and board and do it all over again! 😂😍
    Thanks for inviting me along. You do such a great job with these trips. When and where is your next one?

  13. Phil

    Hello Nancy,
    I enjoyed reading your trip report. I wonder if insurance companies own the top vineyards in Italy too? Once big business takes control the quality is sure to fall.

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