Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Stade des Chartrons: the Girondins stadium which has disappeared from view

Local top-flight football (soccer) team Girondins de Bordeaux will soon be leaving Stade Chaban-Delmas and moving to their new purpose-built stadium in the Lac district of the city. But did you know that in the early years of the club, les Girondins in fact alternated between two stadiums: Parc Lescure (now Chaban-Delmas) and Stade des Chartrons, aptly enough in the Chartrons quarter.

To get the full story, Invisible Bordeaux teamed up with fellow blogger Antoine Puentès, also known as MyStickTroy, who had suggested the subject as a potentially interesting one to pursue together. To add an extra layer, a request had also come through from David Ledru, the webmaster behind the marvellous site (the definitive online database and guide to the history of the Girondins de Bordeaux), who wanted to track down information about the buildings which had taken the stadium’s place, on behalf of the descendants of Olivier Lhoste-Clos, a former chairman of the club.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Saint-André-de-Cubzac, where the Jacques Cousteau story started… and finished

Yes, this is a wooden dolphin, and in its beak (sorry, its rostrum) the dolphin is holding a red hat reminiscent of the knit cap famously worn by the underwater explorer and filmmaker Jacques(-Yves) Cousteau. And the wooden dolphin is to be found in Saint-André-de-Cubzac, the town to the north of Bordeaux where Commandant Cousteau was born in 1910 and buried in 1997.

His birthplace, celebrated by a plaque, was a room above the pharmacie ran by his maternal grandfather Ronan Duranthon, from a long line of illustrious local land-owners and wine-growers. Cousteau’s father, Daniel, was from a similarly wealthy background and was heir to the legacy of a merchant-shipping dynasty. He had become a reputable lawyer who had followed in the footsteps of his own father, a notaire. After graduating from Law School in Paris, Daniel returned to Saint-André where he practiced for three years.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Video: A stroll in Saint-Aubin-de-Médoc

A few months ago I published a couple of items about some of the sights in Saint-Aubin-de-Médoc, and the story of the Diamant A roundabout that can be found there. 

I recently went back and this time filmed the evidence, which you can view in this brand new Youtube clip. Hold on to your hats, it's pretty spectacular. 

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Exploring the Portuguese Jewish cemetery on Cours de la Marne

In every city there are secret and often surprising places hidden behind closed doors. Bordeaux is no exception and a few weeks ago Invisible Bordeaux again joined forces with the guys behind the Bordeaux 2066 blog (the French-language version of this article can be found on their website here). Together we enjoyed a private tour of one such gem, to be found at the end of a tiny alleyway just off Cours de la Marne, the busy street that connects Place de la Victoire and Saint-Jean Railway Station. For it is here that lies, behind a door that is usually locked, the 18th-century Portuguese Jewish cemetery of Bordeaux.

The person providing the tour (and the key to the door) was none other than writer, journalist and broadcaster Michel Cardoze, known to many as a former TF1 weatherman but best-known to myself and my Bordeaux 2066 friends as the man who delivers “l’histoire du jour” every morning at 7:55am on Radio France Bleu Gironde. In his short monologues, Cardoze glides effortlessly through some of the most amazing tales from Bordeaux and beyond.

Friday, 26 December 2014

2014 in review: five personal favourites

All the subjects covered by the website over the past twelve months have once again been a delight to compile and research. But here are five subjects which proved particularly interesting when peeling the layers away. Click on the titles or associated pictures to read the items!

Saturday, 20 December 2014

2014 in review: the year’s most-read Invisible Bordeaux items

The time has come to finish off the calendar year with a couple of items that look back on some of the features that ran on Invisible Bordeaux over the past twelve months. This first set compiles the five most-read articles. Click on the titles or associated pictures to read the full items! 

Friday, 12 December 2014

"Blogging the World" item in Voyage, the Liverpool John Lennon airport magazine

The latest issue of Voyage, the official Liverpool John Lennon airport magazine, features a double-page feature about Bordeaux. The question-and-answer session is part of a regular series of interviews with bloggers who have gained insider's knowledge of their city and, yes, for the Bordeaux piece they looked to... me!

You can therefore read what I say about the best places in and around Bordeaux to get a sense of history, to take in an unforgettable view, to be surprised, to take in a concert... and even where to go if you're in a romantic mood. Loyal readers will be pleased to see that I also squeezed in a reference to Cacolac (though sadly not in the paragraph about getting romantic). 

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