Thursday, August 22, 2013

L'autostop en France: Bordeaux

The trip to Bordeaux started out with some very creepy guys in a tiny green car offering to take us there in the morning if we partied with them that night in Royan... Hmm.. what a good decision we though as we got into the car.

OK, mother, breathe. Sheesh - ye of little faith. The guys existed the poor decision making did not and we were soon nestled in the back of a hippy van en route to Bordeaux. Being hippies it was a particularly pretty route though.

I love sunflower! Tournesol in French = turn sun

It took us a few more rides, including our second truck (which we were no less excited about), but we made it to Bordeaux.

We got some dinner and Bordeaux wine (yes, I know it's rose and thus not proper Bordeaux wine).
And there was another carousel.
Then we decided to hunt down somewhere to sleep. We weren't actually in Bordeaux at this point but rather a suburb just outside.

It got reasonably dark and we still hadn't found anywhere better than a clearly fenced off park. We decided to kip out in the airport which was reasonably close and had decent reviews on the equivalent of tripadvisor for homeless people. This was the first night we'd really been caught out.

BAM - we weren't caught out anymore. Always talk to random people as much as you can and make it clear that you are very, very pathetic. We saw some guys packing up outside the place we'd got pizza earlier and asked directions to the airport. They asked some questions and eventually established that we were planning to sleep there and not because of an early flight. One of them immediately (well, post-call to girlfriend to check) offered us his couch!

We were incredibly excited. See the smiles below!

Our saviour! And decent pizza too!
We even got free drinks while waiting for them to finish.
We followed him home and he and his girlfriend were super hospitable - playing for us, showing us a short video of their trip to Turkey and generally just being good sorts. Turns out they'd wanted to get into couchsurfing for a while so this was the perfect opportunity. Also turned out that he was new at that job and his workmates all think he is very odd now...

A bad effort at a group selfie
The next day was Saturday and there was a farmer's market on. We wandered around feeling very whimsical amongst the fresh bread and nougat before catching a tram into Bordeaux proper.

This involved yet more churches...

I'm endlessly surprised by the detail on these!

This little girl was extremely cute if a little less sombre than the setting demanded.

I particularly liked this - it is a model of the cathedral so blind people can 'see' it too!
We had a quick look at the Hotel de Ville but weren't able to get inside.

On our way out we discovered this gem of a store: Otago Rugby. Obviously quite taken aback to see it in Bordeaux of all places we took a peek inside.
This shirt seems pretty standard. But after that it get's a little weird...

I suppose Otago technically has beaches but I'm not sure I'd associate this van with them.
I think someone got a bit confused between Maori and other Pacific Island cultures...
After chatting with our ride later that day we established that the southwest of France is Rugby country which at least partially explains the shop!

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