Category Archives: special places

12 Responses to A French neighborhood: Les Chartrons, Bordeaux

  1. Once again your writing takes me right back there.

    I think my first visit to Bordeaux was in the mid-80s and I thought it was pretty impressive. But since then I kept reading how the “dingy and decrepit” old town was being revitalised. Well yes, I visited a few years ago and it was seriously smartened up, from an already impressive starting point. Indeed the whole inner old-town got UNESCO listed. Back then half the streets dug up for the new tramway–including the “wireless” sections–(Alimentation par le Sol)–such as in front of the Place de la Comedie/Grand Teatre; I believe Bordeaux may have been the first to use this system which is now spreading around the world. This aspect of Bordeaux was featured in Michael Portillo’s tv series Grand Continental Rail Journeys.

    I looked at the online property market around Chartrons because it was one of the few places in France where you can get genuine warehouse space for private apartments and for very good value per sqm. But I haven’t looked for several years and with all the publicity it gets one can’t imagine that has persisted. OTOH, while toying with the idea for a while, ultimately my stupid obsession with Paris won out! And speaking of which, the TGV Océanic opened in July so now one can do Paris-Bordeaux in 2 hours. (Takes longer to get to most airports!)

    • Bonjour Michael. Quel plaisir de vous retrouver ici! Your observations about Bordeaux confirmed what everyone I have met has said: We are looking at a “much improved” version today. I am certain locals loved their city way back when just as it was, but am not sure they will be able to stop what started years ago. Bordeaux is on her way to greatness, or at least to great fame. Les Chartrons is the perfect illustration. We will wait and see what the future holds for that beautiful, elegant, but oh so dynamic city! A bientôt.

  2. I love Bordeaux. I love all these smaller cities around France. Lively, but without the stress of Paris.
    The point about Vatel school speaks volumes about France: in the U.S., waiting tables is something you do until you can do something else. In France, it’s a decent career and one that should be done correctly–which requires training.

    • Merci de votre visite. I have been following your blog for a while, as you know, and share your excellent observations on French life often with the French Girl in Seattle Facebook community. Your observations about the Vatel school and the restaurant industry are spot on. That young waitress was truly proud of studying at the school when I asked. I saw the future of the French hospitality industry, and it looks like they have bright days ahead.

  3. Oh man! I so want to go!! Thank you for the ride. I enjoyed it very much. I was surprised how much British blood I had in my DNA test. I think my mother will be surprised too. This area of the world has been mixed for centuries. Love the ‘Do you speak Francais’ boutique.=) Check out my blog to Iceland. xo

    • Merci de la visite, Sandy. I am not surprised you enjoyed Bordeaux. Here’s another corner of southern France you must explore when you get a chance. I have followed your Icelandic adventures on IG but will head over to your blog tonight. A bientôt!

  4. Je vais tâcher d’apprendre à traduire…!!! A partir de mercredi en huit, je commence à prendre des cours d’informatique…
    Les photos sont absolument magnifiques, tu es très jolie et très en forme tout au début…

  5. Sra. Veronique:

    ¡Muy lindo e interesante su nuevo articulo! Comme d’habitude, su dicción y sus fotos son impecables.
    Muchisimas gracias por pasearnos por su bella ciudad.


  6. What a wonderful virtual trip to Bordeaux! Thanks Véronique for the journey, it’s confirmed I need to go back for a visit. I myself also have wonderful memories of dining on fresh oysters and crisp white wine at nearby Cap Ferret…

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