Situated astride the mouth of the Garonne river, Bordeaux was once a thriving port with deep water access to the Atlantic ocean*. Whilst cruise ships still dock on a regular basis in the summer, the old commercial shipping quays in the city centre have been comprehensively refurbished to create a fabulous promenade which includes a park and the amazing 'Miroir d'Eau' ('water-mirror' in English).
When static, the Miroir d'Eau reflects all and everyone around it. Then, every twenty minutes, a myriad hidden jets emit a fine spray from the feature and hundreds of people walk barefoot through the cool mist, just because it's such fun - like walking in the clouds!
The photos above show the Miroir d'Eau in its mirror phase, its spray phase and its fill phase. As you can see, the Miroir d'Eau is a great photo opportunity!
And, for those who like street photography (and also for those who like to do a bit of shopping!), the fabulous rue Sainte-Catherine is a must. La rue Sainte-Catherine is the longest pedestrianised shopping street in Europe. Stretching 1.25 kms from la Place de la Victoire at one end to la Place de la Comédie at the other, la rue Sainte-Catherine has more than two hundred and fifty shops! Incidentally, it isn't always this hectic, the photo on the left was taken at the peak of the busy August holiday season!
Despite its ancient history and stunning 18th century architecture, Bordeaux is not stuck in the past. In fact it's a perfect advertisement for the modern France - a fast-growing, lively city, and a popular choice for many young French people who go there to study at one of its leading cultural and higher-educational establishments. In addition to its highly respected university, Bordeaux is a recognised centre for medical, veterinary, architectural and musical study in France. Bordeaux is also one of the two major French fashion centres. Here you'll see French 'chic' to rival Paris!