Bordeaux is a pretty town to walk through, especially if you like the look of pale sandstone and don’t mind cobble stones underfoot. I had a great time exploring the city with my camera and a map with the main points of interest marked out. The city was still in a festive mood and I was able to enjoy many beautiful Christmas shop fronts and the Christmas lights were still decorating the streets at night. I’ll admit I was intrigued to stumble across a small barracade around a rectangle of ground, bare except for a couple of broken branches. When I read the sign on the fence, all became clear:
‘Christmas tree waste only. Thankyou for your understanding’
It seemed so bizarre to me at the time that I had to laugh. On reflection though, it makes sense to recycle used Christmas trees in the middle of the city to use for mulching the city parks, but the sign still makes me laugh.
Even when the weather wasn’t so beautiful the city managed to remain picturesque… although the fog frequently made it hard to see the tops of the taller monuments and managed to obscure the far side of the Garonne when I went for a walk along the river.
The city also has many information signs posted next to old buildings and streets which explain their history. I was intrigued to read that the fence surrounding the city archives is home to an ‘Outstanding French Tree’ as declared by the association A.R.B.R.E.S. (this initialism reads as ‘Trees’ in French). The ‘tree’ in question is a Wisteria sinensis which traveled from China to be planted in Bordeaux in 1863. The City of Bordeaux fortified the base of the plant after it was damaged by termites, in order to keep this piece of living history from dying. As you can see in the pictures below (click to enlarge and view the captions), the Wisteria is now flourishing and will probably produce some beautiful flowers once Spring arrives.