Welcome to Bordeaux!

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It was early morning when we arrived at the Amara train station in San Sebastian. We needed to purchase tickets to Hendaye in order to make our next train @ 9:45 leaving from Hendaye to Bordeaux. Also, like many transportation hubs this time of day, it’s not so unusual to encounter thieves looking for unsuspecting tourists. So, as we attempted to operate the ticket machine one questionable young lad insisted on helping us. Allan shewed him away, but he swooped in between us anyway and changed the language from English to French. He then wanted to take our money to put in the machine. Although we didn’t give it to him, he probably was just a nice young man helping out a couple of tourists. Maybe.  I’m not sure if we were paranoid or just being cautious.  For now I’ll  take the latter. 

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Soon afterwards we befriended an English speaking couple Curt and Rosa from Brisbane, who had questions about getting to Hendaye. They were frustrated with the language barrier since Basque is more prominently spoken here. We soon realized that we were all on a similar route going to the Hendaye station and then changing to the 9:45 SNCF train. We however would be getting off at Bordeaux, while they would be headed farther south to Toulouse.

While on the train we swapped travel stories and adventures. It was about then that I had misplaced my train ticket. This was important because I needed it to put in the turnstile in order to pass through to the Hendaye station on the French side. As I fumbled in my backpack I noticed two more dubious young fellows behind us. Neither passed us ….because…. They didn’t have tickets. I really felt vulnerable. Finally after finding my ticket and passing through the turnstile, they took off. Again I can’t over emphasize that as a traveler, especially in unfamiliar places, you need to be aware of your surroundings.  

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Once in Bordeaux we headed for the apartment where we would be staying for the next two nights. The proprietor Laurence gave us excellent directions, requiring only a 10 minute tram to the city center. Our stop was at Place de la Bourse, where Laurence met us a short distance away.

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We booked our accommodations Apparts en ville de la Bourse through Bookings.com. It was a good price in an excellent location. However, it was smaller then expected with low ceilings and a tiny spiral staircase. Typically this wouldn’t be a problem, but dealing with bikes the next day could be an issue.

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But tomorrow is tomorrow. So instead of dwelling on the logistics of our bikes, we embarked to explore this beautiful city and hopefully find a laundromat!

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