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 Bor...

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!
To be honest I wasn’t expecting this item to be ranked among the year’s most-read items, but perhaps its top-five status is a side-effect of the football (soccer) World Cup that took place back in June and July. The subject matter took me to the village of Saint-Savin where I hunted down the approximate spot where there was a failed attempt to kidnap France’s team coach Michel Hidalgo as he set off for the 1978 World Cup in Argentina. The story is an uncomfortable juxtaposition of sport and politics, and was also an excuse to publish a photo of the memorable World Cup match where France mysteriously wore green and white stripes.
The concourses of many railway stations have gradually become shopping malls, so it was fascinating to visit Gare Saint-Louis, which has gone one step further and is now the wing of a Leclerc shopping centre. Since publishing this article, the Leclerc superstore itself has undergone some radical changes, and it has been reported that the old railway station section is also to be given a facelift. Given that, right now, that part of the shopping centre is visibly struggling, the recovery plan will be interesting to monitor.
After quietly becoming a fan of the Bordeaux 2066 blog, which aims to visit every one of the city’s 2,066 streets in no particular order other than that chosen for them by an Excel spreadsheet, I thought it would be interesting to see how the team operates. A date was set and we hooked up for a joint urban adventure on Rue Fénelon, one of Bordeaux’s shortest streets. And it all resulted in a double-whammy for readers: their official account of what happened (complete with Bordeaux 2066’s trademark humour and observations), and my official account of how the official account took shape. It’s all a bit confusing.
This collection of photos merging old postcards with present-day views from the same vantage point sought to take before-and-after pictures to new heights. Photos of the like had been produced in other cities, but judging by the response these shots, produced with friend Anthony Poulachon, was a first for Bordeaux. The pictures of a contemporary tram meeting its old-fashioned counterpart, and of the long-gone statue of President Sadi Carnot back where it used to be on Place Jean-Jaurès, clearly struck a chord with readers. [Version française également disponible]
It can often take many hours of research and writing to produce an Invisible Bordeaux article. So isn’t it ironic that this year’s most-read piece was, in essence, just a set of postcards showing the Garonne riverfront at various points throughout the 20th century, along with paragraphs that basically pointed out what could be seen. I should do that more often! Right, when’s the next postcard fair?...


  1. The next postcard fair in Paris is this weekend. Any requests?