follow me aboard of the ferry boat and cross the Gironde estuary

follow me aboard of the ferry boat and cross the Gironde estuary

When you live here, you have to understand that this magnificent estuary, which, by the way, is the largest estuary in Western Europe, is above all a 3 km wide water barrier..... And when you want to go to the other side, it's not that easy!
 
You can take the ferry boat. There are 2 of them, one in one north of Bordeaux that connects Blaye, on the right bank, to Lamarque, on the left bank, within about 20 minutes.
There is another, larger one at the mouth of the estuary that connects Royan, on the right bank, to Le Verdon, on the left bank of the Gironde.
  
But watch out... if you miss it.... It will cost you to drive along the national road then to the highway A10 and then to reach the Bordeaux ring road, which is called here "Rocade". And I can tell you if we're talking about a Saturday summer time crossover of August, we're on a timing that will make you wish you had been the first in line to climb aboard....

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Come on coach driver! Take us to the horse drawn carriages museum in Bourg!

Come on coach driver! Take us to the horse drawn carriages museum in Bourg!

For once I will tell you a little bit about my last familial Sunday stroll..... to Bourg sur Gironde !
  
On a pretty sunday of March, we left to Bourg-sur-Gironde (which has not been on the Gironde for over 400 years!) to visit the horse-drawn carriages museum with the children. This little-known museum is surprising and has the special label : "musée de France" ! It houses a collection of old carriages from the late 19th century, an unbelievable collection assembled by an individual named Mr Raboutin. The collection has since been acquired by the town.

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Follow me in the alleys of wine tourism workshop in Bordeaux

Follow me in the alleys of wine tourism workshop in Bordeaux

As this is a trade fair for professionals, perhaps some of you have heard about it without being invited... If you had come to Need Wine's wine tourism workshop, you could have met 120 exhibitors but also many visitors who had come to meet wine tourism partners to organize wine tours in the Bordeaux region but not only... Let me tell you about it below!

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Unusual Bordeaux : Go to see Bordeaux zero point

Unusual Bordeaux : Go to see Bordeaux zero point

Just like the Paris zero point located in front of Notre-Dame, there is also a zero point in Bordeaux! But do you know where to find it?

The zero point or kilometer zero is a precise point, most often located in a capital city, from which road distances were calculated. A zero point sometimes does exist in some secondary cities, but not the least, such as Bordeaux!

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Have you ever heard about Manfredi's work of art in Libourne museum?

Have you ever heard about Manfredi's work of art in Libourne museum?

The Fine Arts museum in Libourne was created by Duke Decazes. The Libourne Museum is rather small but it offers visitors a beautiful collection of works from the 14th to the 20th century. Among them, a rare and wonderful Renaissance painting by Manfredi...

 

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Saint Peter Cathedral in Angouleme : a romanesque jewel

Saint Peter Cathedral in Angouleme : a romanesque jewel

Saint Pierre Angoulême Cathedral was built inside the Roman and medieval walls, at the end of the rocky promontory and especially close to one of the former gates, which facilitated the transport of the huge quantities of necessary materials.

This is the 4th building built on the site of the previous buildings.

Despite some restorations carried out by the famous architect Paul Abadie in the 19th century (also restorer of St-Front de Périgueux and builder of the Sacré-Cœur in Paris), we can admire in Angoulême a rare and precious jewel of Romanesque art. Apart from the representations of Saint Martin (to the right of the main gate) and Saint Georges (to the left), which are from the 19th century restoration campaign, this richly sculpted façade dates from the 12th century. It is the centrepiece of the building!

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How to make sure your driver is an official and registered private driver or taxi in France?

How to make sure your driver is an official and registered private driver or taxi in France?

A news item has recently been reported in various media..... it is an illegal driver who picked up a couple of Thai tourists in Paris and threatened them to get the incredible amount of 247€ for a 40 km service!
So how do you avoid being trapped and how do you recognize a regular and official driver... I am a VTC, both a driver and a registered private driver, operating in Bordeaux and Cognac area and I list the elements to be checked.

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3 unusual details that you could miss when visiting Talmont sur Gironde

3 unusual details that you could miss when visiting Talmont sur Gironde

Have you decided to come and visit the pearl of the Gironde estuary? I give you here 3 unusual details that you could miss in Talmont sur Gironde when scouting around without a guide....

Let's go, look up and observe these unusual details along the narrow streets of the picturesque village of Talmont sur Gironde!

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Why choosing a Bordeaux private tour?

Why choosing a Bordeaux private tour?

Why choosing private tours? A good question.
Why don’t you share your table at the restaurant with unknown people?
Do you like peace, tranquillity?
Why do you hate people talking during a movie at the cinema? You want to enjoy your favorite moments and your travels!

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An unforgettable 90th birthday in the heart of Cognac distilleries

An unforgettable 90th birthday in the heart of Cognac distilleries

Lisa contacted me almost a year ago to organize an exceptional day in Cognac with her family to celebrate together her father's 90th birthday!
Lisa said, "My dad's not just a 90-year-old man like you've never seen before, my dad's is some James Bond!"

 So, since I know that Lisa is a travel agent who works in the United States in Dallas, I immediately understood what would make her happy... So I organized a very special day in Cognac for the whole family.

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Enjoy Bordeaux wineries and Cognac distilleries tours on board of confortable & smart people mover

Enjoy Bordeaux wineries and Cognac distilleries tours on board of confortable & smart people mover

Ford's tourneo Custom is one of the best players on the people movers scene. That is why I have chosen this vehicle to offer my private tours through Bordeaux wineries and Cognac distilleries and to enjoy scenic drives along Arcachon Bay or the Gironde estuary wild banks ! 
It’s a flexible and capable people mover that features a modern design both inside and out, and a range of advanced options. This people carrier delivers first class travel for up to 8 passengers for all your private tours through Bordeaux wineries or Cognac distilleries.

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5 good reasons to prefer a real licensed tour guide to a free tour to discover Bordeaux

5 good reasons to prefer a real licensed tour guide to a free tour to discover Bordeaux

Maybe I am lobbying for myself , will you tell me?  Maybe...

But in the right now, I would like to give you here 5 good reasons to prefer a real professional and licensed guide to a free tour to discover the beautiful city of Bordeaux.

I don't fight against the modernity era , I fight against undeclared and illegal work! 

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What you've missed on Parliament square of Bordeaux on February 21st!

What you've missed on Parliament square of Bordeaux on February 21st!

hahahaha... Few people know it, but on February 21 every year, we celebrate International Tour Guides Day! Yes, this day would have been created in Great Britain in 2002... but apologise, few investigations from me on that side...

As an active member of the professional association AGICA, I was one of the volunteers despite quasi-polar freezing temperatures to promote our profession to the public through free "speed-guiding" sessions in emblematic places in Bordeaux!

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Why is the Garonne river so

Why is the Garonne river so "Dirty"?

Because I hear it too often, I try to answer to one of the recurring questions from my dear guests here in Bordeaux... Why does the Garonne look so "dirty"?

So, first of all,  we don't say "dirty"! It might offend us! The exact word is "TURBID". I relay here an article published on Facebook on December 14,2017... It captured one of my favorite bloggers attention : "the English man in Bordeaux"  behind the great blog :  Invisible Bordeaux.

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Meeting the Naked men of Bordeaux - By Anthony Gormley

Meeting the Naked men of Bordeaux - By Anthony Gormley

As part of the Bordeaux Métropole Cultural Season 2017named "Paysages" (=Landscapes), the British sculptor Antony Gormley exhibited 16 identical statues in the city. The goal of the game is to find them all! I entered into the game and I started my collection of photos! What about you, will you find them all scattered in the city by the British sculptor ?

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Custom combined Bordeaux and Cognac trip with 4 Norvegian

Custom combined Bordeaux and Cognac trip with 4 Norvegian

On Wednesday, May 10, 2017, I had the pleasure to welcome once again Ingolf and his friends from Bergen in Norway to discover the secrets of Bordeaux wines and new familial distilleries in the heart of Cognac. 4 beautiful days under the sign of discovery and conviviality!  

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4 australian couples from Adelaide touring Bordeaux wineries

4 australian couples from Adelaide touring Bordeaux wineries

Wednesday April 25, 2017 :  we had a meeting point in Blaye to take advantage of the farmer’s market. This group of 4 Australian couples from Adelaide was staying at Château Couffins on the banks of the Dordogne river.

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Bordeaux wine event : Printemps des Vins de Blaye !

Bordeaux wine event : Printemps des Vins de Blaye !

This weekend was for me jubilatory since I have tried for several years to encourage tourists to discover the lesser known northern part of Bordeaux vineyards that we call the « Côtes » : Côtes de Bourg and Blaye-Côtes de Bordeaux ...

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Do you know the

Do you know the "galette des rois"? A very French tradition !

The "Galette des Rois" is a cake traditionally shared at Epiphany, on 6 January. It celebrates the arrival of the Three Wise Men in Bethlehem.

It is composed of a puff pastry cake, with a small charm hidden inside. The cake is generally filled with frangipane. Every year, the French pâtissiers offer exclusive creations for the tradition of crowning the one who finds "the fève" as the King/Queen.

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May 2016 : From La Rochelle to Bergerac via Périgueux

May 2016 : From La Rochelle to Bergerac via Périgueux

It is in these overbooked weeks when I realized that the territory covered by the guided tours I propose is far from ridiculous! From Bergerac to the Atlantic Coast of La Rochelle via Bordeaux, St Emilion, Blaye, or Périgueux and Hautefort, it was a very intense period!

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April 2016 : parade of the cruises ship in Bordeaux port

April 2016 : parade of the cruises ship in Bordeaux port

These last days of April 2016, it was a real parade of cruise ships expected to dock in Bordeaux port of call!  The docking of these large vessels or their leaving combined with the lifting of the Jacques Chaban-Delmas Bridge is always a a real show ! This year nearly 50 calls are expected in the port of Bordeaux.

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Season 2016 start : Discovering the Gironde estuary...

Season 2016 start : Discovering the Gironde estuary...

Tuesday, March 22, 2016, is the kickoff of the 2016 season with a group of 8 people leaving from Jonzac. Drive to the banks of the Gironde Estuary for a nice discovery tour with a splendid spring sunshine.

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4 Norvegians discovering Cognac distilleries

4 Norvegians discovering Cognac distilleries

On last Thursday 07th January 2016, here I am under the traditional winter drizzle at Bordeaux airport to welcome 2 nice couples old Cognac lovers from Norway and guide them in Cognac vineyards and distilleries !

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Bordeaux wine festival : Bordeaux Fête le Vin 2014

Bordeaux wine festival : Bordeaux Fête le Vin 2014

Despite this crazy busy summer period and intense activity, I took the time to have a break at the Bordeaux Wine Festival called Bordeaux Fête le Vin...

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Grape harvesting on the slopes of the Cotes de Bourg

Grape harvesting on the slopes of the Cotes de Bourg

Co-organised by the Pays de la Haute Gironde and the wine syndicate of Côtes de Bourg, this “discovery of the harvests” day had, as its objective, to promote the Haute Gironde wine growing areas.

This year saw a gathering of 8 Norwegians, 4 Columbians, 4 New Zealanders, 3 people from Hong Kong, 4 from Quebec and 1 from England. So, 24 people in all who had come together to discover what goes on behind the scenes in Côtes de Bourg wine harvesting.

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A Columbian in the sweet Sauternes area

A Columbian in the sweet Sauternes area

Entrusted by a Burgundy wine broker, I had the opportunity to guide a really pleasant Columbian customer who had  come to visit wine producers with a view to stocking the French shelves of the supermarket chain he represents.

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A tapas walk in the vineyards at Château Boutinet

A tapas walk in the vineyards at Château Boutinet

Yesterday, in the summer season of 2013, I tried out a very pleasant and somewhat original outing in the Bordelais vineyards that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to you – a Tapas walk at Château Boutinet.

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Immersion in the Cognac "Bonnes Chauffes" - 2nd distillation

Following the advice of my twitter friend Agathe from Charentes at the beginning of January, I found myself off to discover the secrets of the distillation of Cognac and the famous charente copper pot still with its “bonnes chauffes“.. Did you know that the proper thing in Cognac making process is the double distillation? The second heating is commonly called "Bonne Chauffe" (good heating); it will result the "heart", which once aged under oak wood will be sold under the name of Cognac.

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Bordeaux Pink October !

Bordeaux Pink October !

Have you noticed the abundance of pink ribbons around you these days ? They are there to raise awareness of a great cause – that of breast cancer screening ...

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Happy Hawaïan Travelers in Gironde

Happy Hawaïan Travelers in Gironde

This year I had the pleasure of welcoming a group of 12 people from Hawaii who wanted to discover the authentic side of our region. When they contacted me – they made it clear that they would prefer to eat in farms/inns and to stop on small family run estates. I designed them a tailor-made programme and hoped they would not be disappointed with it...

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Harvesting in Cotes Bourg wine appellation

For the third consecutive year, I accompanied a group of tourists who had come from the four corners of the world to share an authentic moment of our culture – a day harvesting.

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Celebrity Constellation liner docks in Le Verdon

Celebrity Constellation liner docks in Le Verdon

On the 11th September 2012, for the first time in my career, I found myself in charge of a group of passengers from a giant of the seas – The Celebrity Constellation. It was docked in Le Verdon for a 2 days call.

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Short diary on board : September 2011

I just love these days when my group comes from the four corners of the world. It always makes for a really fun time! This year, it’s harvesting on the slopes of Bayon on an organic vineyard in the Côtes de Bourg wine making area – the Château des Cots. In the group there were 6 Australians, 1 Japanese, 3 Quebecois, 7 British and 3 Bordelaises.

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Short diary on board : June 2011

Short diary on board : June 2011

A little diary on board to share with you my experience as a professionnal guide in Bordeaux area - june 2011

Daytrip along the estuary and discovering the roman site called Le Fâ - welcoming a charming belgian group for learning about Bordeaux history through the different districts and major religious buildings

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The Gironde estuary : listed as a world heritage?

This was the subject of the third debate co-organised by the association Gens d'estuaire (Locals from the estuary) and the regional newspaper – the Sud-Ouest. It is a huge question to which the organisers of the evening did not expect a definitive answer at the end of the debate.

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