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Montparnasse – Gateway to Bordeaux and wine tasting

There’s something magical about being able to hop on a TGV train at 8 am, arrive in Bordeaux in time for lunch and then hop on a bus for a guided wine tour that stops in front of the Chateau Yquem in the Sauternes region. Some of the vineyards in Bordeaux have not finished their wine harvests so you can still see people picking grapes in the vineyards. It’s pretty easy to book a wine tour – if you book at least a week in advance with Bordeaux’s Office of Tourism. Bordeaux’s tourist office has two offices, one at the Bordeaux train station and the main branch which is directly opposite the tramline’s final stop in the center of Bordeaux. You can buy tram tickets at the train station. Our group of five bought a tram pass for ten Euros giving us five round trips from the train station to the town center.
The Tourism Office has various wine tours (28 Euros for a half day tour). You can visit the Sauterne region, the Medoc region. There are also full day tours which include lunch. You can go to St. Emilion for a full day tour.
Some of my friends acuse me of being a worrywort as I shepherd them around Paris and Bordeaux – but that didn’t stop one of them from getting pickpocketed in the Bordeaux train station (unfortunately, Chris and I left our group for just fifteen minutes to check on the departure ramp number for the return train to Montparnasse). In that fifteen minutes, one of our group had a $500 Sony digital camera extracted from her handbag while she waited in line at Paul’s take-out deli.
It was the classic routine – two people jostled her from each side – you kow the routine – everyone knows it. People still get rip off. I can’t remind you enough times – train stations, heavy traffic subway lines (like the La Defense-Chateau de Vincennes line in Paris), the Louvre, Notre Dame, any heavily populated urban area where you can’t avoid looking – and acting like a tourist. BTW even Parisians get caught. Our friend Alain, who’s no lightweight, was also scammed in the same manner.
Still, our visitors’ trip was not totally destroyed. Lori was wise enough to have downloaded most all of her previous pictures – you will see some posted in the coming week.