Postcard from Bordeaux, France: Pathways lined with petite houses for the dead

Founded in the 17th century, the Chartreuse Cemetery is the oldest above-ground cemetery in Bordeaux. Little stone chapels appear to have been the preferred permanent dwellings for the affluent of the city.

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Postcard from Bordeaux, France: Another place Romans trod

Above, detail of a mosaic floor from Roman times uncovered in a house in the historic center of Bordeaux, Musee d’Aquitaine

In an effort to boost his power within the Triumvirate ruling Rome, Gaius Julius Caesar (100 to 44 BC) tucked Gaul under his balteus amongst his growing collection of conquered lands in 56 BC. Burdigalia, later known as Bordeaux, soon emerged as a favored city in the territory called Gallia Aquitania. Grapes assisted immensely: To keep the Roman army in conquering mode, soldiers required copious amounts of wine to wash down their spelt and farro.

The city’s most prominent landmark from the days of Roman occupation is the remains of an amphitheater, Le Palais Gallien. It is thought the once-enormous venue was built to accommodate the multitudes, more than 17,000 spectators, summoned to celebrate a visit from Emperor Lucius Septimius Bassianus, self-ordained as Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (188-217) and better known as Caracalla.

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Postcard from Guanajuato, Mexico: Makes no sense to start with a pair of French restaurants, except…

Above, a pistachio and berry chocolate tarte and a strawberry tarte from La Vie en Rose

I thought that love was just a word | They sang about in songs I heard | It took your kisses to reveal | That I was wrong, and love is real. | Hold me close and hold me fast | The magic spell you cast | This is la vie en rose.

English translation of Edith Piaf’s “La Vie en Rose”

Ah, finally rediscovering the boulevardier-type pleasure of entering a restaurant on a daily basis and ordering from a menu versus all that pent-up time of cooking at home during the past year or so. This blog will be taking you to numerous dining establishments in Guanajuato over the next week to help ignite your wanderlust. Two French ones come first because we are hoping to head to France in about ten days and don’t want you to tire of reading about French food.

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