Thursday, 9 May 2019

Garden Inn by Hilton (Bordeaux, France)

I left the hotel around noon so I would have time to find a place to get my hair cut and to meet the tour group at the Bordeaux Tourism Office for the 2:00 tour. The weather had improved today so I can walk all the way. I found a place via Google to get my haircut and it was near where the tour starts.

When I got to the barber shop I found that they were fully books and also the next place that I found. I kept positive that I’d find a place and I did. I just happened to look down one street as I walked along and saw a sign that said “coiffure” and found they had an opening. I was glad to have my haircut. Even though I don’t have much, it feels good to have it trimmed.

It was a small group of us who went on the tour. Our tour guide, Rudolph, got the seven of us together and we loaded ourselves into his van. We were all about the same age. There were two couples from the U.K., one woman from Glasgow and another from Toronto. And they we were off to visit the Saint Emilion area of vineyards.

Today we will visit one “Château” and visit their vineyards and winery operations. As we were driving to Saint Emilion Rudolph talked about the history of the Bordeaux wine industry, the growing of the grapes, and about the various types of wines, classifications, etc.

When we arrived at Château Ambe we were taken to a nearby section of grapes and shown the process for growing the grapes used for the wine. We then went into where the wine is placed into big vats where it is fermented, then to where the barrels are kept for aging and then we had a wine tasting. So much information! So many factors that must go just right before a bottle of wine could be sold. Also found out that there were over 11,000 wineries in the Bordeaux area.

From there we visited the nearby village of Saint Emilion and the Monolithic Church of Saint-Emilion, the old hand-carved underground vault were wine was stored in ancient time, and a short tour of the village. We continued to hear more about the history of winemaking as we walked along.

At around 5:00 we started the drive back into Bordeaux. Our group got along very well but it became time to say goodbye once we arrived back at the tourism office.

From there I wanted to see a couple of nearby monuments that I didn’t see on Sunday. I was tired and it was getting late so I decided to take the tram most of the way back to the hotel. I took the time how to get a ticket and get it validated on the tram. The tram didn’t take me all the way to the hotel so I walked the rest of the way.

One of the couples on the tour are also staying where I am, talked favorably about the food court that was next to the hotel so I decided to try it out. There were a number of places to order food but I decided to get a cheeseburger. I hadn’t had lunch and was very hungry and wanted something that would fill me up.

I took my cheeseburger back to my room and enjoyed it there. It wasn’t too long after that when I went to bed. I was tired after the walking and learning about the local wines. Tomorrow I’ll have another half-day tour and will visit two more wineries. This tour will start at 9:00 so I’ll need my sleep before then.

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