Welcome to Bordeaux. City of blood orange sunsets, thunderstorms, crisp red wine and so much cheese.
Last week we visited my auntie and uncle in Pessach, a university town blooming with hydrangeas and roses just down the motorway from the city. In a tale of nineteenth-century twists and turns, they were forced to move southwards to accommodate my uncle’s rare blood disease. The warm weather is better for his bones and his blood and his moods – and Bordeaux is many times more lovely than the grey city bordering Luxembourg that they once called home – so the outcome seems win-win on all sides.
We spent our three days sipping strong coffee at pavement cafes, swimming twice daily, browsing French supermarkets (foreign supermarkets are somehow better), eating more cheese (with cherry jam! I’m a convert) than medically advised and necessary, and cycling as a fiery red curtain set on the Earth at dusk.
One day we drove to the beach and climbed to the summit of a towering dune, overlooking the Atlantic. Bordered on its western side by a forest of dense, dark pines, I truly felt far away from home – gazing across a scene that could have been south of the Equator, or far far away at least. Clouds had rolled in by the time we reached the beach, but I dipped my toes gingerly in the water and dreamt of America far across the sea. Then we sat in the car eating warm churros and enjoying the company of our two favourite sisters – our mother and aunt.
(Aside: in an unfortunate series of events, I absentmindedly left my camera on the garden gate, stepped on a plane home and only remembered it 34.000 feet above the Channel. By the time my aunt learnt of its whereabouts, it had endured twenty-four hours worth of torrential rain. Thus, all pictures from my fancy telephone camera.)