Archive for the ‘Bordeaux’ Category

Photos

One is new, in the old docks area. Art by one Suzanne Treister, completed about a year ago.

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In the background is the looming mass of the World War 2 U boat base.

The second dates from 1938 and is an air raid shelter in ‘Flash Gordon’ style. It’s not accessible, being behind a tall fence in what is now a large government works depôt. A nearby plaque tells its story. I assume the shape is intended to deflect bombs but the designer clearly had influences.

 

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As with many one time dock areas, new building is fast changing the area. It is still criss-crossed with long abandoned railway tracks, but apartment blocks are springing up all over.

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No sign of this civic improvement around the base, which is no longer accessible to the public except on special occasions. Signs of the damage caused in 1944 and 1945 are still visible.

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Two strange shapes in Bordeaux

on August 15, 2018 by cubsur51

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Photos

The northern end of the Médoc, the Atlantic coast near Soulac-sur-mer.

Coastal erosion continues. The sea is inexorably chewing away at the sand. This campsite a little way to the south of Soulac sur mer gets a little closer to the sea every year.

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This house has been teetering on the brink for some years, but is protected from the direct assault of the waves by a huge wall of rock. It looks to have been abandoned.

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Just to the north, the sandy cliff is 50 metres or more back. Those dots in the sea are the remains of one of the many fortifications dating from the German occupation during World War Two. As you can see, they are underwater now even at low tide, showing how much land has been lost in the last 75 years. The tall building shape on the right is an apartment block built in the 1960’s, when it was about 200 metres from the sea. It is now less than 10 metres from the sea. It has been evacuated and is now serially vandalised. For unknown reasons it has not yet been demolished, but the next big storm will probably do the job for nothing!

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Large areas of mud and shingle are exposed at low tide. In some areas there is also a thick layer of a sought after blue-grey clay. I shall try to get a sample.

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The villas in the town of Soulac will last a good while yet. I have the impression that there are more and more empty every year. Since they were built perhaps 120 years ago, they have been handed down through families. I would suspect that they are too big and too costly to maintain for many people. Some are also decidedly weird. This one in particular needs only a black night, some dark clouds and bats flitting around the tower to make a very forbidding picture. Maybe also Morticia standing in the doorway.

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Morticia? Look it up! Those of us of a certain age will know what I mean. Younger ones, go back beyond the Christina Ricci movie.

This area is slowly disappearing!

Tagged: , on July 27, 2018 by cubsur51

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Photos

Three hours before moonrise and the start of the total eclipse and we have thick cloud! Might not see anything!!! And there I was hoping to post some pictures later.

No lunar eclipse here?

on July 27, 2018 by cubsur51

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Photos

Just a couple more pictures. First, the wide and sandy beach at Soulac-sur-mer.

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And I spotted these among a flock of a dozen or so in a yard. Was it a co-incidence that there was a place selling foie gras a few doors later?

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Geese getting fat

The Médoc

Tagged: , on July 26, 2018 by cubsur51

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A quick bike ride

It’s getting hot, 30ºC this afternoon and very humid. So I went out early on the bike for a couple of hours into the countryside and across to the other side of the peninsular.

Spotted from afar, docked at the outport of Le Verdon, the 95,000 tons of the cruise ship MSC Magnifica. I wonder if its 2,500 passengers realised they would be in this bleak out-station rather than Bordeaux itself.

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The tide was out, no wonder this monster couldn’t make it the 90km or so into Bordeaux itself.

I took this picture from the ‘port’ de Neyran. Located there are the remains of one of the many World War Two strongpoints held by the Germans until the very last days of the conflict.

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The plaque in close-up.

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Sand and time have taken over the interior of the bunkers but they are still recognisable.  They looked out over the Gironde, towards where the cruise ships now dock. The roof of this one was about 1 metre thick.

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And on the way back I passed this sunflower field. Normally there are more, but the others looked decidedly ravaged.

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But a while later, I was overtaken on the cycle path by a guy on skates! I thought I was making respectable progress, so maybe I am getting past it!

A quick bike ride

on July 24, 2018 by cubsur51

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Bordeaux new tram lines

I will be sending some of these pictures to various journals, but you get to see them first. Bordeaux is building a new 10km tram line (Line D) from the Place Quinconces in the city centre out to the north western suburbs of Eysines and St Médard-en-Jalles. The first section, to Eysines, is scheduled to open in about a year. Along the whole route, tracklaying is under way and a host of other jobs also. In the city centre, numerous roads are closed to traffic. Pedestrians are picking their way around various obstacles.

There  is a fairly decent map of the route at https://www.sudouest.fr/2018/03/27/chantier-du-tram-d-a-bordeaux-en-images-un-projet-vieux-de-10-ans-4316014-5022.php but the likely extension to St Médard is not shown. However surveyors were working there and I saw posters on the lines of ‘save our path, no tramway here’! The line would partly follow the line of the railway through St Médard which was closed and dismantled in 1978.

Pictures – work at the existing Quinconces tram station.

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Forming the junction for line D at Quinconces

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Track panels awaiting installation at Quinconces

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Track already in place with the Girondins monument in the background.

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Rue Fondauège

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Rue de la Croix de Seguey

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Preparatory work near Eysines-Cantinolle

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Meanwhile, to the south of the city centre, a short extension to Ligne C is under construction. This will extend Ligne C about 1.4km to a park and ride facility at the Avenue des Pyrenées in the town of Villenave D’Ornon.

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Bordeaux new tram lines

on July 20, 2018 by cubsur51

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Bordeaux – some picks

Yesterday I took a couple of bus rides and a very long walk around the area. It was mainly to see progress on the new tram line, Line D, that will run out to the north western suburbs. More of that later. I was able to take a few pictures of general interest.

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The electrical engineers working on the tram line have found a novel, interesting and almost artistic means of safely storing their plastic cable ducts until they are needed.

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The town of St Médard en Jalles, the ultimate destination of the new line, has one of those imposing town halls so common in France.

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The former railway station at St Médard. The line was closed in 1978 and later converted into the Bordeaux to Lacanau cycle path. The new tram line will come here.

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They will have to either move this or smarten it up a bit! Left in situ, the remains of one of the locomotives that once plied the route. It dates from 1913. The goods wagon and loco sit on about 100 metres of track. Far beyond any usable condition!

The station building and annex are now a popular restaurant, while a rest area and water supply for cyclists is available. Here’s the station in its working days, date unknown.

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There are more pictures of the Bordeaux to Lacanau railway at http://voiesferreesdegironde.e-monsite.com/pages/s-e-de-la-gironde/bordeaux-lacanau-ocean.html

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A short distance down the road is the old water mill at Gajac. First mentioned in documents dated 1289, it remained in use much modified until the 19th century. It is private property. This is the only view, from the nearby road.

Bordeaux – some picks

on July 20, 2018 by cubsur51

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