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.

Bordeaux trams and new stadium

Tagged: , , on July 26, 2015 by cubsur51

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Cricket at Tunbridge Wells – 2

In Pictures from England, sports cricket on July 22, 2015 by cubsur51 Tagged: ,

The week has ended very satisfactorily! Monday was a very grey and drizzly day, but we only lost lost a very short period of play. Tuesday was a hot day (by Kent standards), much beer flowed and the best thing was that Kent won the match with a record score.

Those who know about cricket will understand what I am on about.

Here’s the scorecard summary.

Essex first innings 260 all out
Kent first innings 633 for 8 declared.
Essex second innings 166 all out

Kent win by an innings and 207 runs. The score of 633-8 was Kent’s highest ever single innings total for any match played at any home venue and the third highest anywhere. In fact, three of Kent’s highest four totals ever have been scored against Essex.

There are few picures at

For some reason I cannot yet figure out, the thumbnails of the first pictures are not showing but they are there and can be seen if you download. The second few are as per normal.


Cricket at Tunbridge Wells

In Pictures from England, sports cricket on July 19, 2015 by cubsur51 Tagged: ,

The annual Kent County Cricket Club festival week at Tunbridge Wells has been moved this year from its long standing traditional slot at the end of May. This new mid-July slot was chosen in the hope that we would actually be able to watch some cricket rather than rain lashing down.

So far, good. Today, Sunday, started with heavy rain but that was gone by 9am. They day got better and better until by late afternoon the sun was shining from almost cloudless skies and it actually felt hot.

A good day’s play, the first in this four day match, sunshine and beer at £3.20 in the Camra (Campaign for Real Ale) tent made for a pretty good day.

Tunbridge_Wells_Cricket (8)

Tunbridge_Wells_Cricket (7)

Tunbridge_Wells_Cricket (6)

Tunbridge_Wells_Cricket (5)

This is the Camra tent, where a contented bunch of beer bores (people I know) spent the day with pints in hand. Various different beers appeared during the day and when one barrel emptied, another was opened.

I recall Harvey’s Dark Mild, Westerham Ales Summer Perle, Whistable East India Pale Ale and there were more.

Tunbridge_Wells_Cricket (4)


Pre season football in the Algarve

In Albufeira, Sports - football on July 15, 2015 by cubsur51 Tagged: ,

In July several well known English teams come down for a week or so in the training camp and play some pre season practice matches on the local grounds. These games make for a pleasant couple of hours and a chance for fans to get close to the stars.

Both the games pictured were played at the ground of Ferreiras FC, just outside Albufeira.

Aston Villa v Fulham pictures at

Brentford v Farense (Portuguese 2nd division) pictures at


Albufeira to Praia da Oura

In Albufeira on July 13, 2015 by cubsur51 Tagged: , , ,

This afternoon I walked along the beach and cliffs from Albufeira to Praia da Oura and back. Perhaps not the best decision I have ever made, as it was 33C in the shade and the sand was too hot to walk on in bare feet!

Remember that most of the English schools are not on holiday yet. The beaches are busy without being overcrowded except on the main town beach, which is the locals favourite. The bars along the beaches were pretty busy also.

Here are three pictures I took earlier of the main beach in the old town.

There will be some more in the same place a bit later tonight.


A visit to Tavira and Tavira Island

In Algarve on July 8, 2015 by cubsur51 Tagged: , ,

I needed a day out yesterday and on the spur of the moment decided to visit Tavira Island, a place I have never been to before.

It was a hot day, 32C, but quite windy once I was there. The sand is very soft and hard going when walking.

The island is a very popular venue for local people as well as tourists. There are no roads and therefore no cars etc on the island. The only access is by boat. You step straight onto sand except for one narrow concrete path which runs across the island, past several restaurants and bars, to the ocean side and the beach.

There is a campsite on the island and I also saw a some bungalows etc for holiday rent. I should imagine it would cost the ransoms of several kings for two weeks in summer.

Dogs and bicycles are also prohibited on the island.

Click here for information on how you can get there. Ferries leave the town quay, which is about 10 minutes walk from the railway station and a little less from the bus station.

Sample picture below, the rest at


Summer time in Albufeira

In Albufeira, Algarve on July 4, 2015 by cubsur51 Tagged: , ,

Yesterday afternoon Galé beach and Salgados beach, 3 miles west of Albufeira. They are not as busy as they will be in a couple of weeks time but there were plenty of people there. It was getting quite windy later in afternoon, temperature was 29C / 85F.

Galé beach July 2015

Salgados beach. The buildings in the background are the town of Armação de Pêra.

Salgados Beach July 2015


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