So, Caiti’s two years at Bordeaux Uni are finished. She’ll be completing her licence (bachelor’s degree) at either Laval or Montreal Uni from September.

I went to pick her up last week. Betty, our bossy and opinionated satnav, took me the cross-country way which bypasses  all tolls (happy face) but also all toilets (sad, sad face). It was a very long three and a half hours before we reached a service area with a loo. I had words with Betty about that.

Anyway, after a cup of tea Caiti took me for a last explore in Bordeaux. We walked all the way along Sainte Catherine, which is the longest pedestrianised street in Europe at 1.2 km. We met a robot.

bordo robot

Caiti did some – slow! – clothes shopping while I tried to merge in the background as I realised my outfit was a little bumpkinesque for smart Bordeaux! I also found out from our vet if it was bad for dogs to eat toads (not our Nessie doing the crapaud-chomping, by the way) but I’ll save that story for another day!

We resisted the temptation to hire an electric car. These are available at various spots around the city. There’s a ‘vending machine’ next to each one where you pop in some money or credit card details and off you go!

bordo bluecub car

We pottered some more, definitely didn’t get on a tram going the wrong way, and had a quick look in the jardins publics. We spotted this little moorchick. I’d never seen one before.

bordo moorchick

Close by we came across this fabulous monument with fantastic statues of horses and fish and assorted gods and goddesses I assume. The horses were awesome, with water snorting from their noses. They also had fins for feet so clearly an interesting story behind them. Another one for another day.

bordo fountain big horses

We finished up by the river where we saw some ragondins (coypu). Ragondins are not a good thing in lakes since they do a lot of damage to banks but they love them in Bordeaux. People throw veggies for them. We saw a large amount of asparagus waiting for them (this stuff is €12 per kilo!).

bordo ragondin scratch

I slept well that night after the drive and our exploring. Just as well as the next day was crazy. We packed Caiti’s things and took them down from her fifth floor flat to the car, which fortunately I’d managed to park nice and close, and then we scrubbed and cleaned. We discovered that the best way to remove sticky marks left by those double-sided sticky pads that promise they don’t leave sticky marks behind, but always do, is with a mixture of vinegar and washing-up liquid. Works like a dream! We finished in the nick of time at 11 for her room inspection. The cleaner was delighted and said it was “nickel” (immaculate) and I’d have been mortified is she hadn’t. Caiti and I are pros after seven years of gite and cabin changeovers.

I went a different, much more bladder-friendly way home, despite Betty’s prolonged protestations. Whether I’ll ever go to Bordeaux again, who knows. I’ve enjoyed my visits there – it’s a truly beautiful city.

I'll miss this freaky-eyed guy!

I’ll miss this freaky-eyed guy!