Some very quick notes because we're off on our bikes as soon as Pater finishes his tea. I love being able to come back to our charming house on Rue B for a nap after a busy morning wandering, but I also like to maximize our Bordeaux exploration time. Bit by bit, I'm also trying to write a longer, slightly more crafted piece, but there is so much to show and tell that I hope you'll bear with these smaller, looser snippets.
Recent excitements: we made a brilliant random find of a bar-cave yesterday. I'll divulge that bonne addresse later along with a description of the delicious lunch we enjoyed for the prix formule of 17 euros each. What I have time to tell you now, though, is how surprised I was, pushing open the cheery red door with WC Ici (toilet here) painted on it in jaunty yellow, to find that the toilet was Turkish style. I haven't seen or used one of those for a few years, and I was rather grateful for my runner's thighs. And very grateful, as I carefully placed my red Ferragamos, inherited from my mother as you might recall, in the foot-shaped ceramic platforms either side of the ceramic hole, that the white porcelain was very, very clean.
And I was grateful that I was not wearing these wide-legged white linen pants . .
In fact, these got their first outing yesterday when I realized they would solve the problem of what I could wear to the opera given that it was looking far too cool to wear the silk sleeveless shift I had counted on, even with the addition of a linen-silk shawl that "goes with." The cardigan I packed is the wrong colour, my coat a field jacket, and as the day progressed, it became increasingly obvious that I would have to wear my navy cashmere pullover no matter what with. This outfit isn't perfect, but given that we hadn't planned on attending opera here, and given that the audience was generally quite casually dressed for a final performance of the production's run, I felt good in this combo.
As for the opera itself, what a clever version of Mozart's La Flute Enchantée, set in a 60's mod Alpine setting, including cable cars and ski lifts, even a train that glided onto the stage at one point. The Queen of the night stumbled drunkenly out of a Klub, in a satin Marilyn Monroe gown, platinum hair and ultra-red lips complementing her coloratura brilliance. And when we weren't being dazzled by the singing and the costumes and the sets, we were thrilling to the opera house's immense chandelier, its gilt-accented rococo decor, and by the vertiginous view from our seats in the euphemistically termed Paradis. Colour me skeptical, but do door attendants really direct visitors to Paradise to take the stairs to the fifth floor? Not sure how that would fly back home, but we were very grateful to have scored the 40 euro seats for such a magnificent evening. And grateful we hadn't settled for the 8 euro ones, whose owners generally elected to stand if they wanted any chance of a view.
Off on our bikes now, but let me load up a few photos before I go. Some of Bordeaux's architectural-decorative charm, balconies, lacy wrought iron grillwork, and stonework embellishments everywhere. Enjoy!
Just curious: have you had to use a Turkish toilet? Would you, if confronted with one today, or would you squeeze and wait, if I may be so rude? It always strikes me, when traveling, how fortunate I am to take my bathroom comforts for granted most of the time.