Grey days continue in Médoc

In France, Médoc on July 26, 2017 by cubsur51 Tagged:

Raining until early afternoon today. It cleared up a little, but there were not many people sur la plage here in Soulac-sur-mer.


But a few lunatics braved the grey, icy, waters!




Look both ways!

In France, Médoc, Trains on July 24, 2017 by cubsur51 Tagged:

Update 31st July – for those of you who like to see the old railway pictures, this website has a very good collection of postcard views from maybe 100 years ago. Many of the locations are recognisable to this day. descriptive text is in French. One of the pictures shows a very early double-decker train!

Spotted this delightfully retro sign at a foot crossing near Lesparre station in the Médoc region of France. It’s a new-ish sign, not an old one still there. It’s a single track at that location.

Ne Traverser pas

Look both ways

Wikipedia article, in French,

One of the new trains now operating on that line near Lesparre.


Train on Médoc line near Lesparre



In France, Médoc on July 23, 2017 by cubsur51 Tagged:

Cycled past this huge field of sunflowers at a place called Neyran. I measured it later on a map as about 400 metres x 350 metres.


Sunflower field Neyran, France



Médoc, France, 20th July 2017

In Animals, France, Médoc on July 20, 2017 by cubsur51 Tagged: , ,

After a dull and misty start, the day turned out quite reasonable although somewhat windy. Temperature 23ºC, a good day for a couple of hours on the bike.

I came by a small group of horses, not enough to be a herd really. Just grazing happily  as they do, across a narrow canal from the bike path. Among them were two much smaller and oddly coloured animals, ponies perhaps. Any ideas anyone?


A horse


Several horses. I doubt the countryside has changed much in a few hundred years. Very low lying, lots of canals and quite marshy in places.


A large and a small horse or pony


The Gironde at Port de Talais. At this point the river is about 5.5 miles or 8.8km wide. It is very tidal, fierce currents are to be seen. Vast areas of mud are exposed at low tide (below) which in years gone by had oyster beds. Pollution ended that little industry.



Bordeaux, 14 July 2017. Part 2, a bit later than planned.

The important national holiday in France was commemorated in Bordeaux by a formal military parade on the Quai des Chartons, while the city was out in its tens of thousands. These are a few of the pictures I took. I wasn’t early enough to be at the front of the main event. Many citations were read, medals awarded and not just to the military but to members of the fire service and police.

I wasn’t sure that a picnic was a good idea on the rather threadbare grass possibly coated with who knows what.

A couple of them did succumb to the heat, which was 30ºC during the two hours or so they were standing there. Or, as in the case of those below, sitting in full ceremonial uniform.

After the presentations, there was a kind of drive by and march past.

After the event, local bikers and those in uniform were seen exchanging words on the merits of their various mounts – these were customs men with BMW’s – and they nicely let children sit on them and have their pictures taken by mum and dad.

Bordeaux, 14 July 2017 – Part 2.

Tagged: on July 19, 2017 by cubsur51

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Montalivet 18th July.

In France, Médoc on July 19, 2017 by cubsur51 Tagged:

Took a bus yesterday morning to Montalivet to visit the large outdoor market there. I had hardly stepped off the bus and made my way to the market when police of various kinds started running around, yelling at everyone to evacuate.

The market remained closed for around 3 hours, by which time I was waiting for the bus back.

A local ‘nutcase’ had driven a car through the barriers, was stopped by traders throwing things at his car windscreen. He was dragged out by the nearby people, the gendarmerie on duty locally quickly reacted, some say to stop a public lynching! During the time it took for the bomb squad to arrive and declare the vehicle safe, most of what I heard was traders complaining about loss of business, never mind any possible danger.

Picture from local news :

Definitely not a terrorist incident. The man concerned had actually been arrested the previous evening and released. He is, as they say, ‘known to the police’ and is now in a psychiatric hospital ward.

I shall try another day!


Visit to Lormont, 14th July 2017

In Bordeaux, France on July 17, 2017 by cubsur51 Tagged: ,

Lormont-Bas is the northern destination of the Batbus, Bordeaux’s scheduled ferry service along the river. Lormont is a suburb of the city, on the right bank. Population is around 20,000 these days, it has declined slightly in recent times. It is a nice wooded area with some parts of some antiquity, with the Chateau of Lormont dating from 1060, the church from 1451 and many of the buildings in the older part of town from the 17th century.

Wikipedia article in English –

Beyond Lormont are areas of docks and industry.

I took a random walk around for a couple of hours. These are some of the pictures I took. First is the plaque on the side of the viaduct that carries the Paris – Bordeaux railway through the town alongside the river. The line still carries trains on the main route between Paris and Bordeaux, the recently opened high speed stretch joins this much older line a few km north of Lormont.

No I do not know why this house has an orange spotted cow on the roof!

One of of the several old public wash-houses around the town, now all locked up and out of use.

Hard to believe this is only about 8km from the centre of Bordeaux.

The former Gendarmerie dates from 1900, still in use for some local council offices.

The Chateau de Lormont, now an upmarket restaurant and offices. The main Bordeaux ring road, or beltway, runs in a deep trench immediately to the right of this picture.

A local resident outside the gates, perhaps looking for a way in.

Another of the old wash-houses, the Lavoir Banchereau, was in use from the late 18th century until, apparently, 1975. Once again locked up and inaccessible to visitors.
Article and pictures in French from the local historical society

These houses opposite date from the 17th century.

Some nice flowerbeds outside the church.

A church has stood here since 1294. This edition was consecrated in 1451. The bell tower was built slightly earlier. Observe the rather crude join between the two parts, the buttress cuts across a former doorway and even a window!

The rear of the church has several stained glass windows.

How to get to Lormont? The ferry runs at off peak times on weekdays, at weekends and on public holidays it runs every 45 minutes. All Bordeaux daily, weekly and multi-ride passes are valid, a single trip paid cash on board is €2. More information and current timetable at scroll down to the very last item on the list. Lormont-Bas (down by the river) is also served by city bus routes 7, 40, 91 and 92. The more ‘modern’ part has a stop on Tram line A (the branch to La Gardette) and bus 40 wends its way up there. Also, bus 32 goes over the Pont D’Aquitaine and into that area. All the timetables can be downloaded from that same page. Make sure you are looking at the current edition as a different timetable applies on many city routes during July and August. Also be aware that the entire city tram and bus system (and the ferry!) does not operate on the Labour Day holiday of May 1st.