The time had therefore come to report to Blanquefort railway station and buy a €4.30 ticket for the 35-minute journey into Bordeaux’s Gare Saint-Jean. The big question before the train arrived was would I spot anything new from this rear-window vantage point? The answer was not exactly a resounding “yes” or a definite “no” but somewhere in-between: it would simply provide a sample of the city’s suburban living quarters and landscapes, some of which we’ve almost stopped noticing.
Boarding the train in Blanquefort with five other passengers (on a Saturday morning, these trains are not exactly buzzing with life) the initial surrounding environment is marshy wasteland with factories in the distance on one side, and work in progress on the future “tram-train” connection with the Médoc on the other. Then everything suddenly turns green with what is the first - but will not the last - sight of expansive vineyards.
|The vineyards of Blanquefort.|
|Ultimate frisbee training (possibly a pre-match warm-up) and a fleeting glimpse of the racecourse (beyond the digger at the end of the lane).|
Then the train pulls into the multi-modal public transport hub that is Mérignac-Arlac, with its range of tram and bus options for onward journeys. For some reason, here and here alone the name of the station is displayed both in French and what I think must be Gascon. If you know why this should be, do get in touch.
|Bilingual signage at Mérignac-Arlac.|
|The architecture of the Bordeaux 'burbs.|
|Alighting in Bordeaux.|
- Cats on Trees appear unmoved by our near-miss in this video of a new song road-tested at the Krakatoa that night:
- And here is their fine hit "Sirens Call":