Greg Eden’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 17 Sep 2014

MapDay 22 Biaritz to Bordeaux 
We leave the hotel at 8.30 by taxi to Gard de Biarritz for the 2 hour train journey to Bordeaux. During the night I receive a text from Georgie Schapel asking if I could contribute to a eulogy for Bill, whose funeral is on Friday. My absent mindedness amazes even me as I nearly leave my backpack ( with passport, iPad etc) on the platform at Biarritz. A guard alerts me just as I am about to board. Shit, I can't believe my luck. How could I do that?? Ruth just shakes her head. Anyway all is ok and we spend the next couple hours on the train, which is an ideal way to travel as it is comfortable and relaxed. I spend most of the trip writing the eulogy. We arrive in Bordeux and have a coffee near the train station then get a taxi to our hotel, about 2pm away. It is a very busy city and we go through many dodgy back streets but we arrive in the old city. The taxi driver has a special permit to be able to drive in there. We check in and the room is ready. It's quite a nice 3 star right in the middle of the action. We walk up to the central square and find the tourist office and book a 1 hour tour of the city on a small train. It's a good way to see the city and get the bearings quickly. The commentary tells us it is the 9th largest city in France and has 270,000 people. This is hard to fathom. It's one fifth the population of Adelaide and yet it seems far busier. There are hundreds of cafes, bars and restaurants all in close proximity. The city is bustling and is similar to Adelaide mall on a really busy day. Perhaps it's because the population is concentrated into a much smaller area. The train station is bigger than Adelaide and it has many more shops. It is a beautiful place situated on a river with many great buildings and big statues. We walk around for a couple of hours then meet our tour operator who explains all about our bike tour for the next 7 days. He is very personable and gives us plenty of information so we feel quite comfortable about it. Dinner is earlier here than Spain. Our street is full of restaurants.