Bordeaux

30 December 2017

Festivities call for family to gather together. For New Year’s we were at the grandparents’ house. Papi and Mamie (French for “grandpa” and “grandma”) lived in Arcachon, in a cozy house well-lit by natural light from the numerous picture windows.

Of course we weren’t going to sit around all day being couch potatoes while waiting for the new year just around the corner. One hour drive later we found ourselves ambling through the streets of Bordeaux, the famous city of wine.

Originally we wanted to visit the Musée des Beaux-Arts (Fine Arts Museum), but for some reason ended up wandering through the Musée des Arts Décoratifs et du Design. It was a small mansion that was once the house of French nobles.

There were many artifacts from back then, and I noticed that quite a lot of them had the portraits of the nobles printed on them. There was even a jewelry set with pendants of full-body portraits. (I wouldn’t wear a necklace like that though…) Other types of objects that kept appearing were beautifully designed tableware and timepieces.

What interested me the most was the piano. In fact, there were two very special ones. Both were rather small compared to the pianos we have today. One of them was kind of hidden, because the entire piece looked like a normal office table when the piano cover is closed. The keyboards only took up half of the length of the “table”. The other one had the colors of the keys reversed – black keys were white and white keys were black. It was a bit weird, and I wondered if I would be able to play a memorized piece with the keyboard like that. Unfortunately, like any other museum, we weren’t allowed to touch the displays.

After having a coffee, we went for a walk in the busy city center. Shops were everywhere and the streets were swarming with people. Quite predictable for a holiday season like this. Just when we were about to leave and head towards the cathedral, something caught my attention.

“Once I knew a girl, she was a flower in a flame…” he sang. There was something captivating about his voice. He was pretty young but already an experienced street artist selling his album. And yes, I bought one.

And then was the last stop of our afternoon in Bordeaux – the cathedral. The architecture was just as intricately designed like the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, but it had more spiky towers. The temperature inside the cathedral was much colder due to the stones used to construct it. We did a quick tour and exited, to be greeted by a sun-setting sky with magnificent colors.

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