One for the tram geeks I think.
Bordeaux has opened several extensions to its tram system over the past few months. I took advantage of a dull day to visit them. At €1,50 a journey or €4,60 for the whole day, it’s a great way to see not just the city centre, but the outer areas not on the usual tourist itineraries.
Bordeaux, like most French cities and probably cities everywhere, has the usual suburban collections of dreary grey sheds housing DIY warehouses, furniture stores, car showrooms, kitchen, bathroom and carpet sellers plus of course massive shopping centres.
But among all the drabness, there are little surprises like the vineyards in the suburb of Pessac, the pleasant woodlands in Mérignac and the arty Eco suburbs springing up in Begles and around the tram stop of Berges du Lac.
The latter is on the northern extension of Line C and originally was to be called Ginko, after the new district. Apparently someone said the name sounded too much like a lizard. The tram stop became Berges du Lac, but the Ginko name remains attached to the area around it.
Just beyond the new northern terminus of Line C is the new football stadium. This will be the home of FC Girondins Bordeaux from this season. France will be playing an international there in September and it is also to be the venue for several matches in the Euro 2016 championship finals.
I would not want to be there when 42,000 fans leave at 11pm. Even if 25% of them want to use the trams to get home, there is going to be the most almighty scrum. They had better run extra and later trams on match days or there will be tears.
The stadium is in a completely sterile area, there is not a bar, café or restaurant anywhere in sight, for pre or post match fun. The good news is that it will be a 25 minute trip from the city centre, for that €1,50, if you can get on a tram.
Anoraks and others can see the picture set here.