Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Bourdeaux Village

I have been at pains to differentiate Bordeaux (pop. 1 million+, in western France) from Bourdeax (pop. 570, in SE France), but of course you'll have noticed the names are spelled differently, so not be at all confused (I've just caught on to that).

We visited this village several times, as it was a pleasant 30 minute hike down / up a winding trail surrounded by wild flowers / nettles and nice views.  There are two castles in the immediate vicinity, both ruined, dating from around 1200.  One terrace of houses looks to have been built into a wall of one of the old castles.   

The mountains all have names...Bill seemed to soak up that information.
A tourist website indicates that the main business around here is agriculture:  wine, no doubt, but the coeur de boeuf (beef heart) tomatoes here were to die for.
The Roubion River runs through the village.  There was a white-haired gentleman standing on the bridge for the whole of our visit, so far as I could tell.  He seemed to enjoy watching the birds on the river, tossing stones and watching the people pass.

Had there only been a train station nearby to connect the village to the rest of the world, I would have seriously considered moving, in spite of the fact that I only have maybe 100 words of French I can shyly stutter. 

Not a handicapped-friendly place, this.

 Had there been a train nearby, no doubt a lot more than 570 people would live here. 

Salle des Fetes - Celebration Rooms, maybe like the English Assembly Rooms?
See second ruined castle at the top.

I suspect the village thrives in large part because of the caravan camping site bringing tourist trade, though given its long history, perhaps it would do fine without. 

We were quite taken with this lovely memorial for WWI (I re-wrote that sentence, to avoid putting 'lovely' and 'war' next to one another).  Two things were very interesting:  one is an added plaque concerning a soldier involved in France's war with Algeria in the 1960s.  We couldn't decide which side he was on.  I've tried reading about this, but haven't got my head around it yet.  The other thing was looking at the names of WWI casualties:  many losses had the same surname - an observation we made on every WWI memorial we saw.  The war must have not only decimated the male population of this small village, it may well have wiped out entire families.  It's impossible for me to imagine what living at that time must have been like.

We came here several times, exploring a bit further each time.  So don't think you've seen the last of Bourdeax on this blog...


Anonymous said...

Having been stuck in Bordeaux on May 1st a few years ago, when I found out that a national holiday in France means everyone (including the people who drive the trains, buses, and trams) takes the day off (or 2 days), I was not confused. My daughter and I walked all over that city. Don't get me wrong, I loved Bordeaux, I just couldn't get out of town.
Bourdeax looks lovely and worthy of a visit. I can appreciate your comment about great tomatoes. I think the ones I've had in Oklahoma would be pretty hard to beat.

Anonymous said...

One huge sigh...that's all I've got right now. Looks so wonderful.

Carolyn said...

Such a stunningly pretty little village! I can see why you would be happy to move there :)

Shelley said...

Anon - Yes, I have an absolute passion for a good tomato!

Bliss - Yes, I sigh when I look at these photos, too.

Carolyn - I'm sure it's partly grass being greener and all, but it was very tempting.