Bicycles and monsters

Biking in Bordeaux.

We rode along the Quais of Bordeaux on bikes today. It’s a lovely, flat and mostly smooth ride. Because the Bordeaux River Festival starts up tomorrow, there are interesting boats moored alongside the quais and all sort of activity on the river itself. We got a close-up look at a frigate of the French navy and a lovely three-masted sailing ship. For some time we kept pace with a fat, round-bottomed river boat pushing its way up river.

The river here’s a bit interesting in itself. The Garonne is a massively tidal river. It perplexed us the first couple of days that the river did not seem to be flowing consistently. The massive tides are the reason for this – the river around here changes direction depending on the tide. To give some idea of how serious this is: surfers and jet-skiers can apparently ride the tidal bore (the wave at the leading edge of the changing tide) at least 120km upstream from the Atlantic.

This afternoon Jennifer went shopping and the boys and I played a computer game together on our Ipads. Monsters died in their thousands in the face of our team’s swords and spells.


For those who might come after: Finding bikes to hire in Bordeaux was harder than we expected – probably because the city council organised hire is so easy and ubiquitous. Unfortunately, the city hire is no use for kids. We found Cool Bikes on Quai des Chartrons by chance. Perfect new bikes for 5 Euros for the full day is an unbeatable deal. The shop is near Cours de Medoc and it’s not immediately obvious that it does hire as well as sales – go in and ask and they are very helpful.

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