Bordeaux’s cast a spell on me

by Friday, August 11, 2017

As I write to you, I’m slowly wrapping up my second trip in as many months to France. The wheels are slightly falling off, but I’ve treasured every moment. When my Mum heard that I was doing back-to-back trips here (coming home, mad dash, back over again) she said ‘oh I’m sorry to hear that.’ I replied ‘Mum, the day I complain about two trips to France in one year, I need to change jobs!’ Mum quickly corrected herself and said ‘oh Darling, I just meant I wish you could stay over there!’

Mum and I are cut from the same cloth. Possibly you are too as we are on this site together. Travel is such a gift, even if you’re seeing the world like me, via your job, you’ve just got to grab every opportunity, put up with any tiredness, not complain about schedules (or the weather) and just enjoy. Experience!

If you’ve been following my posts (sorry about my lack of technical skills) hopefully you can see Bordeaux has cast a spell on me. I came over here thinking it was all vineyards and the odd old Chateau. Whoa, do I stand corrected. I’ve been dazzled by its diversity. I’m so impressed.

Take my visit to ‘the Guggenheim of Wine’ – the Cite Du Vin, a $100 million museum-type space in Bordeaux. The way it pays homage to the wines of the world in a fantastically sensory and interactive way, no matter what your age, was enthralling.

A change of clothes or two later and I was sliding down Europe’s biggest sand dune on a huge silver tray I borrowed from the kitchen. It was so much FUN it made me actually want to move to Arcachon. Better tell the husband and kids…

I also had the pleasure of visiting the Marche des Capuchins, dating back to 1749; meeting Serge The Baker at a Boulangerie with an oven that’s been in operation since the days of Louis XV; sipping a Cognac in its place of birth; and riding a bike along the Mediterranean coast while peering into the sublime gardens of sailors and captains.

Sorry to go on but it all just fills up my bucket, no end!

In this day and age, with travel more affordable than ever, journeys packed with experiences which fulfil us are more accessible than ever and this week’s Guest Traveller is a case in point. Genevieve Jackson ventured to Bali for some girl-time, away from the testosterone and her four walls of home, to experience the island’s feeling of freedom. When you read her story you’ll see she clearly took that feeling to heart – rising at dawn to experience dolphins at sunrise, and cycling through rice fields, villages and along jungle tracks, among other amazing things.

Cycling in the lush greenery, mangroves and villages of Singapore’s Pulau Ubin is one of the Chef Concierge of the Shangri-La Hotel’s favourite things to do on his days off because it reminds him of the Singapore of 50 years ago. Rajkumar Rajagopal recommends lots of other ways to experience Singapore in our Ask The Concierge this week so be sure to take some notes, for future reference.

And I can’t wait to read how Jamie Wilczek enjoys her own wild escape on Picnic Island in Tasmania. Jamie is thrilled to have won last week’s competition so thanks again to Picnic Island for making the unique experience available.

I really hope Jamie has the trip of a lifetime, just as I’m having, beyond Paris, in Bordeaux at the moment. Paris is undoubtedly the world’s most romantic city but even proud Parisians take a whole month off in summer to escape their beautiful city. You can track my travels on InstagramTwitter or Facebook or, ‘put some travel in your ear-buds’, via my podcasts.

As you know, I’m 100 per cent up for other-worldly experiences – that’s just how we roll in this Journeys To Come community – and I love that every self-selected one of you shares my love of travel.

For now, from France, safe travels to everyone who is heading out to experience this wonderful world of ours…in the flesh, or via a screen. Enjoy it all.

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