Saturday, March 27, 2010

My weekend in Bordeaux - the Hot Dry Docks

Bordeaux was the most important harbour in France during the 17th century and using the Garonne River for transport was an important factor in making Bordeaux wines known world wide. Since then the activity of the harbour has declined a lot and the dry docks north of the centre had become a wild and partly abandoned area, with empty hangars and other storage buildings.

But now the docks are getting a new life as the hot spot for the festive part of the young Bordeaux people! Here you find some the hottest bars and dance places in town. Or at least that is what I had been told. So I suggested to our friends that we go there on a Saturday evening in May 2009.

We took the tramway to the last stop - bassins à flots - and got off. This is what we saw.

View over the canal at the docks in Bordeaux

The docks in Bordeaux

Dock area building in Bordeaux

My friends and my husband looked very sceptically at me. Are you sure we aren't lost? Is this the hot party area you were talking about? I confirmed, but of course I was starting to wonder myself....
Then we found her, the Lady Shanghai, dance club and restaurant, where I had planned we have dinner. She looked very rusty from the outside.

Restaurant Dame Shanghai in Bordeaux

I gently dragged the others with me and we stepped inside. Actually, the inside was really nice, the walls covered in dark wood and cosy little lamps.

Inside Dame Shanghai in Bordeaux

Dinner was OK, but when we had finished, my company wanted out of there. No persuasion possible, they wanted to go back to the centre of Bordeaux. So I can't tell you much about the night life in the docks really, but like I said, I heard it's supposed to be good.... Among the names I've heard are Café Maritime, Blush, Le Deck, Pier 6...

View over the docks in Bordeaux

Back in the old Saint Pierre area in Bordeaux we ended up at a bar called Calle Ocho. Crowded, excellent music with hot salsa and samba rythms, excellent mojitos and a very good, happy feeling about it. How can you listen to Latin music and not smile? The photo is terrible, but trust me, this place rocks! Along the same street you find lots of other bars.

Inside latino bar Calle Ocho in Saint Pierre in Bordeaux


  1. Oh la la!!! que de souvenirs quand je lis...Effectivement c'était une aventure dans des endroits un peu isolés. Mais celà vaut le détour nous y reviendrons bien un de ces quatre.

  2. Tu faisait moins la fière à l'époque... mais je suis contente de voir que cette expérience t'a plu!

  3. Moi, je dis que ce sera PEUT-ÊTRE un endroit chaud dans .... euh ... 10 ou 15 ANS !!!!!


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