A Weekend in Bordeaux and Toulouse

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I’ve officially decided the France is my spirit country…like you’re spirit animal, but it’s my country.  I have now been to France 3 times (Paris, Lyon, and now a weekend in Toulouse and Bordeaux), and each time, I leave happy, full [of cheese] and planning my next trip.DSC_0540 

Toulouse and Bordeaux both blew me away, and far exceeded my expectations.  Luis and I bought tickets to go to Toulouse because they were just 20 Euros (!!!) round trip, and after my good friend Meaghan encouraged us to also go to Bordeaux, we added made a quick stop there.  It ended up being perfect, and I would highly recommended visiting BOTH cities.toulouse architecture

It all comes down to the food.  I love food and France does food so well.  They appreciate good food.  I appreciate good food.  It makes me happy.lunch in Bordeaux

Our flight out of Madrid was at 6:00 am (it was about as miserable as it sounds…but worse for Luis, who went to bed at 3:00 am!!).  As soon as we arrived at the Airbnb, we dropped off our bags (check out the views!)nice views in Bordeaux

And then – since Luis was so sleepy – we decided to buy tickets to Bordeaux so he could sleep on the train.  Round trip tickets weren’t expensive (about 25 Euros each, but without realizing, we bought one way train tickets and the return trip was by bus) and I am so glad we went!  The train there took about 2 hours.train to Bordeaux

After buying a Subway sub, we settled in on the train.  Luis slept the whole way there, and as soon as we arrived, we set out for lunch since it was raining.DSC_0459

We settled on this little restaurant called La Belle Epoque, which looked warm and quaint, and it was!a day in Bordeauxa day in Bordeaux

We ordered their set menu, which included this delightful squash soup, warm goat cheese salad, and then main courses.  We chose beef (me) and duck (Luis).  Luis made the better choice.DSC_0472 lunch in Bordeaux French food

From there, we set out to explore!  I love, love, love the quiet streets.  We kept commenting on how empty it was, yet full of beautiful shops and cafes.  There seemed to be a lot of jewelry and home design stores, as well as clothing boutiques and specialty food shops.visit Bordeaux DSC_0511 visit Bordeaux

It started to rain again, so we stopped for a coffee in this brunchy spot.coffee shop Bordeaux Karl Bordeaux

And then continued wandering.Toulouse and Bordeaux tourism Bordeaux DSC_0548 streets of Bordeaux streets in Bordeaux visit Bordeaux and Toulouse weekend in Toulouse and Bordeaux weekend in Bordeaux DSC_0589 DSC_0585 DSC_0594 day in Bordeaux

This, to me, is France in a photo:DSC_0604

From there, we stopped for another coffee.  I told Luis “get the biggest one they have”.DSC_0615

We ain’t in America.

We continued wandering around, meandering in and out of shops and this petite market.DSC_0624 DSC_0629 Christmas market Bordeaux

Stopped for a [mediocre] bagel along the way and then found the best shops ever!  My heart fluttered/ skipped a beat when I saw this:Cheese in Bordeaux French cheese

Trader Joe’s ain’t got NOTHING on artisinal French cheese.  NOTHING.  I bought one to take home, and then the next day, three more.  They’re almost gone.

Remember how I said I love blue cheese now?  I bought three types and THEY’RE SO GOOD.  But if that’s not enough, we also stumbled upon this…french pastries bordeaux french pastires

We bought a little chocolate one and saved it for the next day, to eat with a coffee.  Made my day/ life.

From there, we headed to the train station and then found out we (I) had bought bus tickets.  Luckily, we got there with time, so we rode the bus for 3 hours back to Toulouse, headed to the airbnb, and PASSED OUT from exhaustion.  What a full, but perfect day.

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The next morning, once we were up, caffeneited and breakfast-ed, we went out for a run!  Running is a great way to see a new city, since you can cover so much ground in so little time.  We ran for about an hour and accidentally got lost, but we found our way home.  Seeing Toulouse on foot was great.  It was charming, and like Bordeaux, surprised me in how quaint it is!one day in Toulouse

After our cold run, hot showers were in order, followed by a quick lunch at home (and more cheese…) and then we finally got out to the tram stop.  We waited 10 minutes and then, to my horror, I realized I FORGOT THE PASTRY!  Had to run back and retrieve it from the fridge!girls love dessertClose call!!!  

We took the tram into town and found this little Christmas market, where they were selling homemade food, crafts, jewelry, and more.Toulouse Christmas market

We walked around for a while, bought some cheese from Xavier Fromagerie (amazing) and then stopped for some wine in a little bar.  We saw the Pont Neuf Bridge, which was beautiful since it was all lit up.  Eventually, we stopped for some dinner at a Korean restaurant called Boli Cafe.  We both agreed it looked better than it tasted, but we left satisfied.Toulouse and Bordeaux

That meal ended our trip to Toulouse and Bordeaux, as we had an early morning flight back to Madrid.  We both agreed it was a great little getaway, so if you’re looking for a quick trip, look into going to Toulouse and Bordeaux in a weekend!

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