August 27 – 31, 2012

The last stop on our road trip was one we were really looking forward to – Bordeaux!  On top of being a beautiful city, it also has an abundance of two of our favorite things: beaches and wine!

On our way to Bordeaux we stopped at a beach called Contis-Plage, which we had picked at random on the GPS. This enormous beach with flour-like white sand and glassy waves quickly became our favorite beach of the trip!

Stop number 2 on the way was to check out the infamous "Dune de Pyla" - Europe's largest sand dune. It is 2.7 Km long and 108 meters high, and is surrounded by dense forest, making it a very impressive site!

Climbing to the top of the sand dune proved to be a hot and tiring task, but we were rewarded with great views at the top and a refreshing dip in the Atlantic Ocean on the other side. And of course we had to snap a one-armed couple portrait from the top!

Running down the sand dune at full speed was a lot more fun than climbing up!

Once we arrived in Bordeaux we took an evening stroll around downtown and checked out the lively streets that are lined with cool cafes and restaurants. We stopped at one and had another delicious French dinner. They even had a vegetarian special so chalk up an extra point for Bordeaux!

The next day we explored the city and took in the beautiful sights of Bordeaux. It has tons of character, including beautiful architecture, and interesting city landmarks such as this intricate fountain.

One of the coolest sights in Bordeaux is the reflection pool. It fills with a few centimeters of water and is a refreshing spot for naked children to play and for passer-bys to walk (or cartwheel!) through.

The water is drained out periodically, leaving only a thin layer on the surface, making it nearly as reflective as a mirror.

The next day we signed up for winery bus tour, and the first stop was Saint Emilion, a Medieval town nestled amongst the vineyards outside of Bordeaux. This beautiful little town has churches and ruins lining its narrow streets. The tour took us to an underground church, then we had some free time to wander around, which we used to stop by a couple of the local wine shops for a tasting!

The second stop on the wine tour was a beautiful Chateaux (which is also the French word for Vineyard, not just Castle as the name implies) called Chateaux De Pressac. Here we were given a tour of the winery and an explanation of the wine making process, and finished off with a tasting. Wine tip: if you are looking to buy a Bordeaux wine, go for a 2005 or a 2009, those were the most "stunning vintages" in recent years!

Ahhhh Bordeaux - just lovely!

We really loved Bordeaux and didn’t quite feel ready to leave.  Luckily we had planned a fun week ahead with friends at the Sun and Bass festival in Italy to look forward to.

From Bordeaux we made our way back up to Paris for our flight out, and it marked the end of our France road trip!  It was an awesome two weeks taking in all the sights of this beautiful and diverse country.  We have come to realize that for a relatively small country (well I guess most places are, compared to Canada!), France certainly has a lot to offer, and we are excited we picked it as our home for the year.

See the full album of photos here!