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Spain Travel

12 Grapes and greeting the New Year twice [New Year Spain tradition]

I have a cousin who likes to make a shrill noise; that high-pitched scream of a person usually induced by pain. Only she is not in pain, she just (only God knows why) likes doing this and uses every chance she gets like New Year’s eve. She does this every year, as soon as the clock strikes 12 that it has become some sort of a tradition in the family. I remember this fondly whenever NYE comes alongside other Filipino traditions I grew up to, such as having round-shaped fruits, keso de bola, and hamon for media noche, wearing polka dot dress, and jumping at 12 midnight. As a kid, I’ve always wondered how people from other parts of the world celebrate theirs. In 2018, I would get my answer when I welcomed the New Year, not just once but twice in Marid, Spain.

It was the last day of 2018, my friend, Krizh and I explored Madrid from morning until night. She told me that she would cook that night for our Media Noche and celebrate with her godparents.

Back in the apartment, they prepared Filipino food; palabok, fried rice, lumpia shanghai, and roasted chicken. For dessert, we had egg pie and chocolates, and fruit salad. These are not standard Media Noche dishes, but it was still amazing to have familiar food after days of eating European cuisines. As they say, you can take a Pinoy out of the Philippines, but you cannot take the Philippines out of a Pinoy.

We watched the countdown on TV as it happens at Puerta del Sol. It is located just a few blocks away from the apartment. The Spanish have quirky NYEs traditions of their own like wearing red undergarments. But the thing that I found most interesting is the 12 Lucky Grapes. 12 symbolizes the months of the year and the Spanish believe that eating 12 grapes will bring them good luck. During the countdown, you have to eat a piece of grape for every second the bell chimes. I really thought this was not possible especially when I saw how big the grapes are. Nonetheless, I was very excited to give it a go.

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Grapes in hand, we waited for the TV host’s signal to begin the ritual. As soon I heard the first chime, I popped a grape inside my mouth. I chewed immediately to make way for the next grape. I realized it was not as hard as I thought it’d be, you just have to be really fast at chewing. We finished all 12 grapes down to the last second, chased it down with wine, gave each other two-kisses on the cheeks, and just like that, we said goodbye to the year 2018.

But wait… There’s more.

After eating, Krizh and I went out to join the celebration at Puerta del Sol. I looked up and saw the building where the TV countdown was being filmed. It was very cold, but merrymakers seem to pay this no mind. A lot of them were even wearing funny hats and wigs and they were drinking right there on the streets.

As we walked on we suddenly heard the bell chime. Krizh and I exchanged puzzled looks, “The countdown was over right?” I asked.

Krizh thought for a moment then she remembered something, “They greet the New Year twice!” she said excitedly.

Wait what?

It turns out they greet the New Year twice because the Canary Islands, a Spanish archipelago is one hour behind Spain. Thus, the second countdown to herald the New Year of the Canary Islands. Isn’t that interesting? And just like that, I celebrated the New Year two times in one night.

Filipinos tend to spend the holidays with families so I used to go back home in the first few years of my independence. Eventually, it got old and I just stopped doing it. In recent years, I’d been spending NYEs alone I had almost forgotten how fun it is to observe it with other people.

Thus, this NYE is quite memorable, not only because I was in another country but more importantly, I was not alone. For this, I am quite thankful to Krizh and her godparents for welcoming me to their home and letting me join in on their celebration.

Spain Travel

The sun is shining in Madrid [places to see]

Rice, Tagalog, familiar faces, these are the things I thought I would yearn for when I go to Europe. But I ended up missing the only thing I detested all my life, the sun. Having been born in a tropical country where the sun is always shining and white skin is considered beautiful, I grew up dreading the coming of summer and rejoicing the arrival of the rainy season. But after experiencing the bitter cold in France where I spent days exploring cities under a gloomy weather, I found myself missing the warmth of my country. Until I hopped on a bus and saw my first ray of the sun after 5 days in Madrid.

Getting to Madrid

I took the overnight bus from Bordeaux and traveled for 8 hours. I booked my ticket at Flixbus for €90.99 (₱5,194.56). Around 8:00 in the morning, we reached Madrid Barajas Airport where I got off to meet my friend, Krizh.

Krizh has been living in Spain for years and upon learning I’d be going to Europe, she offered to host me in Madrid. We used to hang out at Greenbelt with our other friends, most of which, just like her, have already left the Philippines to live abroad.

Staying at my friend’s place at Malasaña

We took the train to Malasaña to the apartment of her godparents where she resides. It’s a one-bedroom unit with a spacious living room area and a kitchen. I met her godparents, Tita Emily and Tito Edgar, an amiable and charming couple whose kindness allowed me to have a warm place to stay during my visit.

Unlike France, there are many Filipinos in Spain, especially in Madrid. In fact, many of Krizh’s relatives have been living there for years.

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Places to see in Madrid

Krizh took some days off her work to tour me around Madrid. The weather was a few Celsius higher than France but it was still very cold especially at night. The sun had me feeling like myself again. I was smiling a lot and had more energy for a day stroll.

So here are the places that we went to in 2 days.

City Hall of Madrid

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The City Hall of Madrid was built in the early 20th century. It can be found along Plaza de Cibeles. The architecture of the building is so impressive, I mean look at the picture. It is no wonder that it has also become a tourist attraction (wish I could say the same with our own Manila City Hall but eh…). It used to be home to the Spanish postal service [hence, its former name, Palacio de las Comunicaciones (Communications Palace)] until 2007.

Edificio Metrópolis

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A corner building along Calle de Alcalá and Gran Vía, Edificio Metrópolis is owned by Metrópolis Seguros, an insurance company. The building has been inaugurated in 1911, designed by Jules and Raymond Février using the French Beaux-Arts style. It is one of the most famous landmarks in Madrid.

Puerta de Alcalá

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Krizh and I

Puerta de Alcalá is a neo-classical monument at Plaza de la Independencia. It is the first modern post-Roman triumphal arch in Europe, even older than the popular Arc de Triomphe of Paris.

Parque del Buen Retiro

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 Estanque grande del Retiro

My most favorite spot in Madrid is Parque del Buen Retiro, a public park that used to belong to the Spanish monarchy until the 19th century. It sits in a 350-acre land with several Instagrammable spots like some monuments, beautiful gardens, galleries, and a lake. There are a couple of street performers too like this woman who danced flamingo as shown in the video.

Iglesia Parroquial de San Jerónimo el Real

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Los Jerónimos, as it is called locally, is a 16th-century church located at Calle Moreto, right next to Museo del Prado. It is considered as one of the most important convents in Madrid.

Chocolateria San Gines

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Chocolatería San Gines is a café known for their chocolate con churros. They’ve been around since 1894 and it is open 24 hours. It is located at Pasadizo de San Ginés close to San Ginés church. It’s popular to the locals and tourists alike so you have to wait in a queue. The wait is worth it, the churros here are on completely different level, soft, a bit chewy, and not too oily. I thought Krizh was just hyping it, boy I was so wrong. For only €4 (₱239), you have 6 pieces of freshly cooked churros and a cup of thick, not overly sweet hot coco.

Cines Callao

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Out of all the places we didn’t enter, this is my regret. It would have been great to see a film at Cine Callos, a cinema established in 1926. Aside from movies, it is a venue for comedy acts and concerts. I’d love to go back and catch a show here next time.

Plaza Mayor

Formerly called, Plaza de Arrabal, Plaza Mayor dates back to the 15th century. It is a public square with some bar and restaurants and market stalls. It is always filled with tourists especially in December for the Christmas bazaar.

Mercado de San Miguel

A few minutes’ walk from Plaza Mayor is Mercado de San Miguel where people go to have a taste of some authentic Spanish cuisine. There you can find gourmet food and fresh produce, which I find to be on the pricey side. I was just happy taking photos because I wasn’t too keen on wasting my euros when there are good food back at Krizh’s place.

Plaza de la Villa

Plaza de la Villa is within Madrid’s historical zone. There you will see the Lujanes’ House and Tower, Cisneros’ House, and Casa de la Villa.

Palacio

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The Royal Palace of Madrid or “Palacio,” built in the year 1735, is the official residence of the Spanish monarchs. Presently, Palacio is used for state ceremonies. The royal family lives at Palace of Zarzuela.

Temple of Debod

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The Temple of Debod, an ancient Egyptian temple is the most interesting thing I’ve seen in Madrid. In 1968, UNESCO relocated the shrine from Aswan, Egypt to Spain as a way to save the historical site.

Parque de la Montana

Our tour concluded at Parque de la Montana where I found myself doing what the rest of the people came there to do, wait for the sunset.

Having originated from a country where the sun is always shining, I don’t make much of a spectacle of the rising and the setting of the sun. But in Madrid, I gazed at the orange glow in the horizon like I was seeing it for the first time. It is easy to ignore or underestimate of what is always there until you don’t see it and suddenly you’re made aware of its importance. It’s funny that I had to be miles away from home to appreciate what I had always loathed.

And what a marvel it is to see the sunset on that side of the world.

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Philippines Travel

Baguio Museum (Learning about the people of the Cordillera region)

More than the panoramic views, the thing I loved most about traveling is discovering the way of life of people from different parts of the world. The denser the display of their culture, the more fascinated I become. Human behaviors and peculiarities, origin story, why people do what they do, these are the things that pique my curiosity. Which is why when I went to Baguio recently, my most favorite part of the itinerary is the visit to the Baguio Museum. There, I learned about the interesting story of the people of the mountains.

I joined some bloggers and other social media influencers on a familiarization trip to Baguio organized by Azalea Hotels and Residences. One of the places we went to is the Baguio Museum. It holds a large collection of artifacts and other objects of historical significance from the 6 provinces that make up the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Benguet, Mountain Province, Kalinga, Ifugao, Abra, and Apayao. Cordillera is the home of the Igorots, or the people of the mountains.

With the help of the museum’s curator, we found out about the stories, customs, and traditions of the different Igorot tribes. There are 6 glass cases inside the Baguio Museum for each province, holding relics that depict their way of life.

Benguet

Benguet is the frontier of Cordillera and the most populated of Cordillera provinces. It is known as the Salad Bowl of the Philippines for its great production of upland vegetables. It is described as the simplest tribe, which is evident in their modest clothing and other paraphernalia. Some of the things that they have on display are as follows:

  • Bango – A rain gear made by woven rattan, nito fiber, and pine needles.
  • Bangew – a bag made of the same material as bango.
  • Kuval – a red-colored G-string that symbolizes power.
  • Latok – a set of serving plates.
  • Kayabang – baskets carried by Ibaloi women over their heads.
  • Duli – a necklace made of a snake’s vertebrae, which women wore during childbirth to ensure safe delivery.
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Mountain Province

Mountain Province is in the center of the Cordillera mountain range. This is where you can find Sagada, a municipality known for the hanging coffins as well as the caves that tourists like to visit for spelunking.

Ifugao

Ifugao is the land of the best woodcarvers, with their woodwork prominently displayed at the Baguio Museum. The name Ifugao came from the word, “i-pugo,” meaning people of the hill.

The Ifugao worship gods and deities, one of which is the Bululs, the gods of household. The people carve small statues of Bululs out of hardwood and store them inside the rice granary. Their purpose is to guard the wealth and food of the house owners against thieves, rats, and pests.

Situated in this province is the Banaue Rice Terraces, a declared UNESCO World Heritage site.

Kalinga

Kalinga is the tribe of the most skilled craftsmen proficient in metalsmithing, pottery, beadwork, loom weaving, and basket making. This is the home of the famous last mambabatok, Apo Whang-Od, a traditional tattoo artist.

Kalinga and Apayao used to be a single province until 1995.

Abra

The province with clear Spanish influence is Abra, as shown in their artifacts. Some of their objects that are on display are the following:

  • Kalugong – cone-shaped, bamboo hat worn by men.
  • Badu – White jacket made of cotton.
  • Ukken/Kimona – Blouse made of Rengue textile.
  • Piningitan – Wrap-around skirt.

The Abrenians are good at creating products out of bamboo, which they celebrate in their yearly Kawayan Festival. The festivity includes parades, street dancing, and bazaars where people can buy local products.

Apayao

Apayao is the last frontier of Cordillera and the least populated out of the 6 provinces. Formerly, it was part of a province called, Kalinga-Apayao until they became two independent provinces in the 90s.

Apayao’s artifacts show a strong Moro influence. The first Apayao inhabitants come from a tribe called Isnag (or Isneg). Families often live in a household with their extended families, usually in great numbers as they practiced polygamy.

Igorot Customs and Traditions

We learned other interesting facts about the people of the mountains which are as follows:

Mummification

The Igorots practiced mummifying or preserving their dead long before the Spanish occupation. It was most prevalent in the provinces of Benguet, Ifugao, and Mountain Province. The process includes water, salt, water, and smoke to dry the corpse and to prevent insect infestation. Finally, the dead is placed inside a wooden coffin and buried in caves. For info, there is an actual mummy inside the Baguio Museum, but visitors are not allowed to take photos of it.

Bodong

Bodong is an agreement where they settled tribe disputes. Representatives from two opposing tribes would meet to discuss and form a treaty to end the tribal wars. A successful Bodong ends in a feast with some rituals that include butchering a pig, throwing rice over the heads of the visiting tribe as a sign of welcome, drinking fermented rice or sugar wine between the warriors, native dances, preparation of a rice cake called, inandila, and the pagta where old men and women engage in debates.

Hagabi

Carved entirely from a single trunk of a tree, this piece of furniture is usually about 3 meters long and 50 meters in height. It’s a symbol of social prestige, only seen in the houses of the wealthy.


I’ve always felt like I’ve barely scratched the surface of the meaning of being a Filipino. It doesn’t help I am a Tagalog and an urban dweller since birth. Old traditions in this part of the country are textbook material rather than a practice. Hence, I appreciate opportunities like this, to learn the rich history and heritage of Filipinos.

The Igorot culture is complex and quite distinct. To me, a visit to the Baguio museum made this trip all the more meaningful for me.

Baguio Museum Information

Baguio Museum
Address: Dot-PTA Complex, Gov. Pack Rd, Baguio, 2600 Benguet
Schedule: Open daily from 9:00 – 5:00 p.m. except for Monday
Telephone no.: (063) 444 7451
Entrance fee: ₱40

France Itinerary Travel

Traveling the city of wine, Bordeaux (story and guide)

I wish I could tell you it’s all about the wine, but that would be lying not to mention pretentious. Bordeaux made it into my itinerary because I thought it would be a little warmer than Paris in winter. I wanted to go someplace where my figurative balls would not freeze. Google searches yield Aquitaine is the answer, Google photos swayed me into visiting Bordeaux. Who was I kidding really? Why the hell did I think it would be warm in Bordeaux in winter? But I digress, warm or not, traveling the city of wine, Bordeaux is worth it and I’ll tell you why.

Getting to Bordeaux

There are four options to get to Bordeaux from Paris, by car, plane, train, or bus. I can’t drive and plane and train fares were worth more than my life, so that leaves me with the last option, bus. I booked my ticket ahead of time via Flixbus for €28.90 (₱1,657). From the hotel, I took an Uber to Quai de Bercy where the Flixbus terminal is. I had to walk a couple of minutes to get inside the terminal, the cold winter morning biting me in the ass, all the while pulling the burden that is my big luggage.

I checked my e-ticket, I was supposed to wait for bus route 703 Biarritz. A tad too early for the departure, I had one full hour to kill; in the cold, that felt like years. I kept looking at the rows of buses, searching for my bus ride. Other passengers were also there waiting, busy with their phones. I saw a vending machine and had a mental debate about getting something or not. Back then, I was not yet confident with my French. I kept thinking, what if the machine is in French and I’m not able to figure out how to operate it. But it was too cold, I had to get something warm so I went ahead and gave it a try. It turns out, I wasted time worrying because it wasn’t difficult to use.

I sipped my coffee, found an empty spot on the bench and sat there. The bus has finally arrived. As I was waiting in the queue, I heard two men speaking in French, which to my surprise, I was able to understand. One told the other where the luggage goes. After hearing this information, I went to the side of the bus where one man loaded my bag into the compartment.

When I booked my ticket I had specifically reserved a seat by the window and even paid extra for it, but when I went up to the bus, the window seat was taken by another girl. I called out the attention of the driver but I didn’t know how to say that somebody was sitting on my seat in French, so he dismissed me. I sat grudgingly beside the woman. Somewhere along the way, she tried chatting me up, but I told her honestly that I could only speak a little French. She said she couldn’t talk in English, hence, we spent the rest of the ride in silence.

We reached Bordeaux a little before 4:00 in the afternoon. From the bus station, I booked an Uber to get to the hostel.

Staying at Central Hostel

There on the cobbled street, I strained to pull my luggage. The Uber cannot go any further, I had to walk a block to get to Central Hostel. I knew based on photos that the hostel is pretty but I was still very much impressed when I saw it in person. It is housed in an old building that it shares with a local SIM provider. I love how they maintained the architecture of the building’s façade when inside the design is modern.

The staff was welcoming, warm even. This time I didn’t get to use my rusty French because they spoke in English.

After checking in, the staff gestured to the door that leads to the stairs. I went in and saw the long flight of stairs waiting for me. I don’t even remember now how I managed to pull my luggage up to the second level. Later on, I found out there is actually a lift.

I paid €90.20 (₱5,162.28) for a 3-night stay. They put me in a room with 4 beds, overlooking the street. Each bed has a night light, outlets, and a shade for privacy.

The shared bathroom and toilets are out in the hallway.

The common area looks lovely that I like going there in my free time to have coffee. The place is usually busy at night as they serve dinner even to non-guests. There’s a free breakfast of bread and coffee/tea, but if you want the buffet option you have to pay extra.

I was having breakfast the next morning when a woman from the other table smiled at me. We started talking, her name is Maria from Spain. She shared that she was also in the midst of a solo trip. Aside from her, I also met two other guests from the hostel, a French guy and a Korean guy. On my last night in Bordeaux, the four of us went out to have dinner in an Italian restaurant.

Central Hostel is located at Place Saint-Projet. It is a walking distance to some of the best spots in Bordeaux like the popular shopping center, Promenade Sainte Catherine.

Touring Bordeaux

Years ago, I went out with some friends and met Jane. She was on the other side of the table, we didn’t really get to talk. Jane is now living in France and when she heard through my IG stories that I would be flying there, she offered to meet with me. She and her boyfriend (now husband, they just recently tied the knot, yay!) traveled to Bordeaux and helped me discover the beautiful things the city has to offer. Jane used to live in this city and knew exactly where to take us. I had Maria, the Spanish girl as my plus one.

Here are the spots that we visited in our 2-day DIY tour.

La Grosse Cloche

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The Grosse Cloche or in English, the large bell dates back to the 15th century and it can be found at St. James street. I thought at first that I was looking at a church (yes, because of the bell), but I learned that it is an entrance to the city. The bell weighs at about 7.75 tons and in the olden times, was used to signal the start of harvest or to alert the citizens of an impending attack or a fire.

I heard that it has a dungeon where people who violated laws were incarcerated, but I think you will have to go on a paid tour to see them.

Place de la Bourse

I visited it in the morning and at night, both times it looks incredible. Designed by French architect, Jacques Gabriel, this architectural marvel was built for over 20 years. Today, the square has become the city’s symbol and is one if not the most photographed spot in Bordeaux. It looks especially spectacular when you take a picture in front of Miror d’eau (water mirror), a 3,450 square meters pool. Unfortunately for me, the pool had no water during my visit.

Cathédrale Saint-André de Bordeaux

By accident, I stumbled upon this beautiful gothic church while searching for St. Michel. Also known as Bordeaux Cathedral, the church is said to be constructed for almost 400 years, between 12th to 16th century. Behind the cathedral stood its bell tower called, Tour Pey Berland. The architecture of this cathedral is mindblowing, such a beaut.

Place de la Comédie

In the city of Montpellier, you can find Place de la Comédie, a grand square named after the theatre that burned down in the 17th century.

Grand Théâtre

Here you will find the Grand Théâtre, Intercontinental Bordeaux Le Grand Hôtel (said to be a favorite among Instagram influencers), the oldest shopping alley, and the brass sculpture of Jaume Plensa called, Sanna.

La Cité du Vin

Winter, they say, is not an ideal time to visit a vineyard. Thus, I did the next best thing and that is to go to a wine museum. La Cité du Vin (wine city) is an interactive museum located at Esplanade de Pontac, 134 Quai de Bacalan. It has numerous exhibitions, workshops and tours, a reading room, and a Belvedere.

The metamorphoses of wine

Admission fee is €20.00 ( ₱1,135.56), which includes the following:

  • admission to The Permanent exhibition,
  • use of the Visit Companion, an interactive multimedia guide available in 8 languages (French, English, Spanish, German, Italian, Dutch, Chinese, and Japanese), and
  • one glass of wine from their vast selection in the Belvedere.

I don’t remember having this much fun in a museum; the interactive element would make you feel like a kid. The visit companion is a digital audio guide that looks like a mobile phone. You only need to tap the device into the specified audio spots then voila, it activates the content of the multimedia animations that show valuable information about winemaking.

There’s a lot to see and it might take me forever if I discuss all of them so let me just mention the areas that I liked the most and they are, Le buffet des 5 sens (the buffet of five senses), Le mur des tendances (the trend wall), The Gallery of Civilisations, and E-Vine. The tour ends at the Belvedere where you can have a glass of wine; I asked for a rosé.

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The Belvedere

Basilique Saint-Michel

The Basilica of St. Michael is another gothic church located at Place Canteloup. It was declared in 1998 as a UNESCO world heritage site.

Just outside the basilica along Place du Maucaillou, we found a flea market that sells vintage stuff. As I was not yet confident to bargain in French, and I’m not particularly fond of vintage, I just went around to see what’s out in the market. They have everything, from old home decors to art and clothing.

Marché des Capucins

Marché des Capucins is the largest farmer’s market in Bordeaux. If you want to have a glimpse of local living, this is the place to be. There you will find restaurants, caterers, florists, bakers, wine merchants, fish vendors, and cheese, lots and lots of cheese. Speaking of cheese, this is where I bought the smelly camembert cheese.

Place de la Victoire

Probably the most touristy thing that I did in Bordeaux is finding the brass tortoises at Place de la Victoire. They were made by Ivan Theimer and they symbolize Bordeaux’s wine industry.

La Porte de Bourgogne

La Porte de Bourgogne (the gate of burgundy) is a Roman-style stone arch built in the 1750s. Today, it serves as a symbolic gateway to the city of Bordeaux. It is located at the end of Victor Hugo Avenue. In 1808, Napoleon Bonaparte celebrated the arrival of the Emperor in Bordeaux in this gate.

Le Pont Jacques Chaban Delmas

Named after France’s former prime minister, Le Pont Jacques Chaban Delmas is a vertical lift bridge built over the Garonne river. It has a span of 110 m or 361 ft long and is considered as the tallest lift bridge in Europe.

Darwin

Lastly, we went to what they call, the hipsters’ spot in Bordeaux, Darwin. It can be found at Quai des Queyries and is a favorite hangout place of young people. It sits on a 10,000-square meter land that used to be a site for military barracks. In 2009, a group called Evolution bought the land and renovated the once-abandoned place into a hub for education, art, and sports.

It has cafes and restaurants, co-working spaces, an organic grocery store, a skate park, and art/graffiti-covered walls.

Eating at Bordeaux

What I wasn’t able to do in Paris, I did in Bordeaux. The following shows the cafes and restaurants that we tried in the city.

Authentic Coffee

I went out in the freezing cold without my scarf and my bonnet that Jack Frost nipped my ears. In a panic, I ran toward the first cafe that I saw and that’s how I discovered Authentic Coffee. It is tended by a lady, probably in her late 40s, who greeted me as soon as I entered her little cafe. I found a single table against the wall and sat there.

My ears were burning from the cold that I had to compose myself before I was able to get up to order something. I had a latte and grilled cheese panini. The lady spoke something in French, it took me a moment before I understood what she was trying to say; I had to wait for a few minutes because she still had to make the sandwich.

The place is simple with no fancy ornaments, the menu is not extensive, but it’s quiet and I liked it.

Umami Ramen

Japanese food in France? Why not? Jane took us to Umami Ramen, a popular Japanese resto in the area. How does it compare with Asian ramen? Let’s just say I’ve had better ramen in the Philippines.

Books and Coffee

Books and Coffee is one of the busiest cafes at Rue Saint-James. Out of all the cafes I visited in Bordeaux, this is where I had the best tasting one. The place is inspired by the New York culture of combining coffee and a good place to read. They have books on display that customers are free to read.

St. James

St. James is a chic cafe named after the street where it can be found. It is less busy than the other cafes that we went to. It has a modern and relaxed setting and it offers a selection of hot drinks, homemade pastries, and aperitifs.

Les Chez Ploucs

I’ve never raved about a salad before until I went to Les Chez Ploucs. The food in this countryside-themed restaurant is surprisingly flavorful. They serve traditional South-West dishes freshly made from ingredients sourced from the market.

We ordered from their set menus (€22.90), which include a starter, main course, and dessert. I had Salade La belle Landaise and Poisson du marché. The salad alone was so filling (I mean look at all that duck meat), I had a hard time finishing the main dish.

The place becomes busy in no time so it’s best to call for a reservation or to come over a little early for dinner. We were there around 6:00 p.m. the first time but we came in a bit late the next day that we didn’t get a table.

La Tagliatela

On my last night in Bordeaux, I and my new friends from Central Hostel went out to have dinner. We ended up at La Tagliatela, an Italian restaurant at Rue Guiraude. We shared a whole piece of Tonno, a crisp, thin dough pizza made with “fuzzer,” a variety of tomato that is widely used in Italian cuisine. One of us ordered risotto iberico and another had parmigiano speciale pasta. It was a sweet way to end my Bordeaux trip.


I don’t think I can verbalize just how beautiful Bordeaux is. The impressive architecture, the buildings, and infrastructures that stood the test of time, everywhere I looked, it was such a delight. Paris is lovely but it didn’t feel like home. Bordeaux, on the other hand, had me dreaming about living there.


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