Long after the pyramids have turned to dust, there be still be a lasting reminder of our existence on this planet in the form of the U-boat pens in Bordeaux.. With a roof made from reinforced concrete as thick as a house and space for 14 U-boat docks it is huge. The local authority wanted to demolish it, but a quick survey showed it was going to cost a very large sum to do so, so they turned part of it into and exposition centre and the rest lies unused. Its out of town in a very grotty area surrounded by squats, gipsy camps and hostels and not the sort of place tourists are encouraged to go. Although closed on Mondays the front door was open so I just walked in and looked around without a soul about.
Then into the town centre for a tour of the sites. Again, being Monday, lots of places are closed so I cycled the backstreets searching out the gems. Back on the campsite I spent a plesant evening with Burkhardt and Uschi, IT workers from Stuttgart. They too had braved the weather from La Rochelle where we had previously chatted sheltering from the rain.
Coming to Bordeaux and not tasting thr wine is like going to the pool and not getting wet. St Emilion is very pretty village nestled on the side of a hill overlooking the prime winegrowing area of Bordeaux. A climb of the clock tower requires the key from the tourist information desk and I was the only one up there. The views over the town and surrounding vineyards are stunning.
The large chateau wine houses line the roads in and out of St Emilion, but my eyes were set on something a bit smaller and run by someone with a passion for wine, not just an employee. On a country lane I noticed Chateau Bonesperance and sounds of work from the rear. At once the owner and proprietor Jean-Marie Fritegotto had me tasting the offerings. I purchaced a bottle of his 2011 and 1.5 litres of the 2012 from the tap. Total bill, 5.50 Euro.