OK, everyone else is doing it, so why shouldn’t Invisible Bordeaux? As I’m a bit short on time these days (but the blog will hopefully be ba...

Ten unusual sights to see in Bordeaux… at least, according to ChatGPT!

OK, everyone else is doing it, so why shouldn’t Invisible Bordeaux? As I’m a bit short on time these days (but the blog will hopefully be back sometime soon with new articles), I wondered whether the already-infamous AI chatbot ChatGPT could provide some instant top tips about the secret sights of Bordeaux. I booted up the bot and ran this exact request: “Provide ten very unusual secret sights to see in Bordeaux, France”. Below are the ten items ChatGPT suggested. Between each I provide my very real, live human take on the responses! What are your thoughts? 


> ChatGPT - Sight #1. "Le Passage Souterrain des Moulins: An underground tunnel system built in the 17th century to transport flour between mills, it's now a secret passageway beneath the streets of Bordeaux."

Invisible Bordeaux -
No idea what this is or where it might be. If it does exist it is truly a remarkable find and surely the city’s best kept secret. I do have a feeling that it doesn’t though, are you aware of it? 

> ChatGPT - "
Sight #2. La Tour Pey-Berland: A 15th-century bell tower attached to the Cathédrale Saint-André, offering panoramic views of the city."

Invisible Bordeaux -
OK, not exactly unusual, not very secret, and not exactly physically attached to the cathedral, but let’s go with it! 

> ChatGPT -
Sight #3. "La Grosse Cloche: A medieval bell tower that served as a gate to the city, with a small museum inside."

Invisible Bordeaux -
Hmmm, not sure about the museum inside, and this apparently obscure subject happens to be on the city’s coat of arms, but hey. 

> ChatGPT - Sight #4. "Le Jardin Botanique: A lush and peaceful botanical garden located in the heart of the city."

Invisible Bordeaux -
Approved, a great place to unwind and a fascinating place to visit. 

> ChatGPT -
Sight #5. "La Rue Saint-James: A narrow street lined with historic buildings, including the oldest house in Bordeaux."

Invisible Bordeaux -
Most sources concur to say that the oldest house in Bordeaux is on Impasse de Rue-Neuve, but admittedly that is fairly nearby. But, yes, rue Saint-James is a quaint street and well worth a visit. 

Rue Saint-James and le Jardin Botanique, yesterday.

> ChatGPT - Sight #6. "Le Pont de Pierre: A stunning stone bridge over the Garonne River, built in the early 19th century."

Invisible Bordeaux -
I think you’ll find most people in Bordeaux are left stunned by the Pont de Pierre just about every day of every week, it is arguably one of the city’s most prominent and recognizable landmarks. 

> ChatGPT - Sight #7. "Les Catacombes de Bordeaux: An underground network of tunnels and chambers filled with human bones, dating back to the 18th century."

Invisible Bordeaux -
Not sure here whether ChatGPT is getting Bordeaux muddled up with Paris, or whether this is referring to the incredible Roman-period cemetery below Saint-Seurin church. There are actual catacombs in nearby Saint-Emilion, could that be what this is all about? 

> ChatGPT - Sight #8. "Le Musée des Arts Décoratifs et du Design: A museum dedicated to decorative arts and design, housed in a beautiful 18th-century mansion."

Invisible Bordeaux -
Yes, Invisible Bordeaux approves once again, an unusual museum in a spectacular building, although if you want to check it out you will have to wait until the ongoing refurbishment work is finished. The museum is scheduled to reopen in 2025. 

> ChatGPT - Sight #9. "La Place de la Bourse: A grand square with a stunning water mirror reflecting the majestic Palais de la Bourse."

Invisible Bordeaux -
This unusual and secret sight can sometimes even be spotted on Instagram! 

> ChatGPT - Sight #10. "Le Jardin Public: A vast public park with a lake, a botanical garden, a zoo, and plenty of peaceful spots to relax and unwind."

Invisible Bordeaux -
Hmmm, the Jardin Public is indeed a great spot, and does have its own lake and botanical garden. Not sure about whether there’s a zoo per se, although the Natural History Museum and its collection of slightly deceased animals is there. Could ChatGPT be getting mixed up with the Parc Bordelais and the goats, geese and sheep of its “ménagerie”?  

Sooooo, all in all, a very mixed bag. There are a few IA-generated suggestions in there that are definitely valid, other suggested sights that are far too obvious to be classified as “unusual” or “secret”, and a couple that are just totally mystifying. 

Anyway, there is no doubt that we have turned a major corner lately with regard to AI-powered capabilities. However, perhaps, for the time being, if you’re on the lookout for obscure places to visit in Bordeaux, it’s best to refer to real-world guides and local heritage experts such as Marie Hallier, Fleur Borde, Caroline Calvet and Hela Mansour… or else simply liaise with the official Bordeaux tourism board and check out their excellent local slow tourism website Un Air de Bordeaux!

Ce dossier est également disponible en français !

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