Sunday, 18 September 2016

Visiting the city using "Bordeaux Safari" as my guide

“Bordeaux Safari” is a distinctive yellow guidebook which can be spotted in bookshops in and around the city. Its publishers, Deux Degrés, recently got in touch with me to find out whether I would feature the book on the blog. Of course, I don’t simply produce book reviews upon request, but in this instance I did think that, by putting the book to the test, I would be able to get some interesting results.

Bordeaux Safari’s tagline is that it is “le guide dont vous êtes le héros”, in other words the reader is the central character and the book serves as an interactive roleplaying device that moves the aforementioned hero from point to point throughout Bordeaux, seeing and experiencing the different facets of the city. And so it was that early on a sunny Sunday morning, I set off on my bicycle without knowing where exactly I was headed.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Journées du Patrimoine 2016: the Invisible Bordeaux selection!

The annual European heritage days take place on September 17th and 18th. Hurrah! As always, there are hundreds of options available, making it difficult to know where to start.

So, to make things easier for you, Invisible Bordeaux has once again been looking closely at what’s on offer and here is a small selection of some of the more unusual and eye-catching visits... although this year’s choices come with a twist: all of these activities lie outside Bordeaux. Meanwhile, the full list of venues and visits - in Bordeaux and beyond - can be found on the official event website.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Fontaine de Tourny: a little piece of Bordeaux in Québec City

During a recent family stay in Québec City, Canada, I was able to witness a little piece of Bordeaux history which is now on permanent display outside the Québec province’s parliamentary building on Avenue Honoré-Mercier: the Fontaine de Tourny.

The fountain has already featured on the blog, as part of the investigation into the Léon Gambetta monument which was the centrepiece of the Allées de Tourny throughout much of the 20th century. At the time, the Allées were bookended by two ornate fountains which were first installed there in 1857. Just like the Gambetta monument, the fountains were removed during the 1960s overhaul of the esplanade (the main aim of which was to install an underground car park). As their upkeep was considered too costly, the fountains would never return.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

A new UFO has landed at the Ovniport d'Arès, part 2: meeting the designers!

A few weeks ago Invisible Bordeaux reported on the new spaceship which has been installed at the ovniport (UFO landing pad) in Arès, at the northern tip of the Bassin d’Arcachon. I recently caught up with the most excellent gentlemen who designed the stationary flying saucer!

A friend of mine had spotted the previous Arès spaceship on the car park of trailer company Sud Ouest Remorques in Saint Jean-d’Illac. I stopped there to get the full story and found out that two employees, Luc Albingre and Thierry Rouzade, were behind the design and manufacture of the new spaceship. I arranged to meet Luc and Thierry to find out more, and this is what they told me:

Saturday, 16 July 2016

A new UFO has landed at the Ovniport d'Arès (part 1 of 2)

Loyal readers will remember that, in 2012, Invisible Bordeaux reported on one of the most bizarre attractions in the area: the designated waterfront landing pad for unidentified flying objects in Arès, the quiet resort towards the northern tip of the triangle formed by the Bassin d’Arcachon.

I was recently disconcerted to see that the flying saucer which had been positioned there had disappeared, but lately found out that in June of this year a brand new UFO had landed. In part 2 of this feature, I will be meeting the people who conceived and built the new spaceship (and no, they aren't aliens) and finding out what happened to the previous spaceship, but for now let's revisit the story behind the UFO landing pad.

Friday, 8 July 2016

The unfolding story of Le Map Bordeaux

People visiting Bordeaux recently have no doubt found their stay in the city has been made easier and more enjoyable thanks to Le Map, a new free city guide that combines maps with tips, useful information and even a bit of local history.

To find out more about the publication, I arranged to meet Matt Mann, one of Le Map’s creators, for a coffee and chocolatine (that’s a pain au chocolat for non-Bordelais readers). The full story goes something like this:

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Introducing the Shuman Show, a live musical journey through the career of Mort Shuman

Invisible Bordeaux is proud to announce the first public performance of… (drum-roll please) the Shuman Show, to be held at Paul’s Place in central Bordeaux on Friday July 8th at 8:30pm.

This is the first instance of a former blog subject being transformed into a full-scale live musical revue. Loyal readers may remember last year’s article which uncovered the unbelievable career path of New Yorker Mort Shuman, who penned some of the most famous melodies of the late 1950s and early 1960s before he himself became an unlikely pop star in France, making hit records such as Le Lac Majeur and Papa Tango Charly. Shuman died in 1991 and, as a result of family connections, his final resting place is in Bordeaux.

As part of this live extravaganza, I will be singing, strumming guitars and playing piano to provide samples of the music Shuman wrote throughout his career, and recounting a number of anecdotes that not only connect to tell the full story, but add extra layers of understanding to the songs themselves. Above all, it promises to be a lot of fun.

So come along to Paul’s Place on Friday July 8th at 8:30pm. Admission is totally free and food is available if you’re hungry (dinner served from 7:30pm onwards, pre-booking recommended via
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