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Hi, any info on life in Bordeaux??

Hi, any info on life in Bordeaux??

Old Aug 19th 2011, 12:47 pm
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Default Re: Hi, any info on life in Bordeaux??

Originally Posted by loy loy View Post
That's awful, I'm sorry about your childrens experiences.

For us the French have been nothing but lovely towards us as English. Although the children don't start school until September they have made lots of friends in the town. Perhaps we've been lucky, our neighbours often bring us gifts of fruit and veg too.
The locals in our village are lovely towards us, also our neighbours are great, infact most people are nice here, much more friendly than England. We just find them not so helpful when it really matters, like in the schools or the dreaded tax office etc. We felt bad for our girls as it was our choice to come here, not theirs and assured them they would be accepted easily, but it was not to be. I think perhaps it is our area as other english families have had the same problems at the same schools.
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Old Jan 6th 2012, 2:10 am
  #17  
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Default Re: Hi, any info on life in Bordeaux??

hey guys I realise this is a pretty old thread but thought i'd join in anyway ! We are moving this summer - where thinking of Charente but now also looking at Medoc as major requirement for us is to be near to good tgv connection (OH travels a lot). Have been to the Medoc a long long time ago in the early summer and have happy memories therof, but wondered if anyone has any thoughts on living there...mainly is it really dull in winter? how easy is it to travel into Bordeux / Royan for urban pleasures / train pick ups. Any thoughts gratefully recieved... PS we are planning to rent for the first winter so any ideas on that score also good...
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Old Jan 6th 2012, 2:07 pm
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Thumbs up Re: Hi, any info on life in Bordeaux??

Hi all,
I was in Bordeaux last October for a long weekend, drove down from Angouleme to watch Wasps v Bordeaux-Beigles in the junior version of the Heineken Cup. That's an aside, what I wanted to say was that the city of Bordeaux is up there with the best of them. It has a wonderful park and ride system of state of the art trams (run every 10 min or so), the centre is almost totally traffic free and even in the rush hours the service at restaurants and cafes is first rate. I wouldn't shop too much there tho' very very expensive (120 Euros for a rugby shirt ?), and I'm aware that housing is pretty pricey, but with the advantage of the P&R system, you could live further out and commute without too much strife. That said, the traffic on the Rocade can be a total nightmare and please don't try to drive straight through the city!
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Old Jan 6th 2012, 7:25 pm
  #19  
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Default Re: Hi, any info on life in Bordeaux??

Originally Posted by Blackladder View Post
Hi all,
I was in Bordeaux last October for a long weekend, drove down from Angouleme to watch Wasps v Bordeaux-Beigles in the junior version of the Heineken Cup. That's an aside, what I wanted to say was that the city of Bordeaux is up there with the best of them. It has a wonderful park and ride system of state of the art trams (run every 10 min or so), the centre is almost totally traffic free and even in the rush hours the service at restaurants and cafes is first rate. I wouldn't shop too much there tho' very very expensive (120 Euros for a rugby shirt ?), and I'm aware that housing is pretty pricey, but with the advantage of the P&R system, you could live further out and commute without too much strife. That said, the traffic on the Rocade can be a total nightmare and please don't try to drive straight through the city!
Blackie
I agree with that. The last time I drove through was early one Sunday evening with folks returning home after the weekend. The rocade was bad, then found that one of the main bridges connecting the eastbound motorway was under repair with diversions - badly indicated. Absolute nightmare finding the best alternative route back to Toulouse.
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Old Jan 8th 2012, 10:19 am
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Default Re: Hi, any info on life in Bordeaux??

We've lived in France nearly 45 mins away from Bordeaux. I would say anyone looking for a bit of life needs to be closer. Its a pan if, say, you just want to go to the cinema to see an English film. Often they are not on until 10pm and the cost without transport is a hefty 80 with drinks. English films are not the same dubbed in French,sorry). Now that our children are getting older they need more to do and more independence than they can get here in rural France. I haven't found Bordeaux particularly friendly, but it's like any city. It does feel very safe.
Very expensive here, I now shop on line and it is still cheaper to have things delivered than buy here. I get a full UK Tesco's shop delivered once a month and can order clothes from M & S , Next and Tesco direct now - so all is not lost.
The international school is very good (a friend commutes there from here daily) but it is the American curriculam rather than English, so literature etc. Many lessons are still in French, unlike other international schools around.
We have found the primary schools generally very good but very different from the UK. (The 3 local schools from age 3 - 11 have 65 kids in total.) Strict and by rote, no calculators until College. However one child is at College and whilst she is doing very well and about to do her Brevet we have had no end of problems. She is creative and very bright but there is no encouragement at all, no flexibilty in lessons, no practical lessons i.e art has purely been drawing for the last 4 years - no use of paints,sculptures anything. Music - they haven't touched an instrument, - technology - they made a remote control car, great but nothing else in 4 years. Very dissapointed and to such a degree we are now returning to the UK in the hope we can rescue the rest of her education.

Sorry to put the other side to life here, but in conclusion, don't go too rural because as your kids get older their needs change. Maybe schools in city's are better? A French teacher once said College is to be endured, if you can survive that it gets better.
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Old Jan 8th 2012, 1:39 pm
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Default Re: Hi, any info on life in Bordeaux??

Hi Mitsi, thanks for the last post good to hear different opinions. You said you lived about 45 mins from Bordeaux can I ask in which direction and also is the public transport into the city any good? I have found the train timetables but local trains seem a bit patchy?
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Old Jan 8th 2012, 2:11 pm
  #22  
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Default Re: Hi, any info on life in Bordeaux??

Originally Posted by mitsi View Post
... I get a full UK Tesco's shop delivered once a month ...
Really? Do you mean food shopping? I'm getting quite excited

Do they really deliver overseas??
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Old Jan 8th 2012, 2:13 pm
  #23  
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Default Re: Hi, any info on life in Bordeaux??

Originally Posted by mitsi View Post
art has purely been drawing for the last 4 years - no use of paints,sculptures anything. Music - they haven't touched an instrument, - technology - they made a remote control car, great but nothing else in 4 years.
Hi, I could have mentioned that, if you live in too rural an area, you must be prepared to be available every Wednesday afternoon and at weekends to drive your children to out-of-school activities and also for their social life, birthday parties, etc... Like my daughters', their Primary school friends might live in distant hamlets. It doesn't improve as they get older when they want Saturday evening entertainment with their friends, who, at Collège, might live an hour's drive away...
I agree with the above comments, the "art", "music" and "technology" classes consisted of drawing, learning to play the recorder by ear (no solfège), and making 3-tone buzzers or the like. We got over this by taking them to art classes and piano lessons in the nearest town. (We are still using the buzzer if one of us is bedridden and needs attention!).
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Old Jan 8th 2012, 2:43 pm
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Default Re: Hi, any info on life in Bordeaux??

Hi
We live to the North, near to Jonzac, dept 17. We tend to drive into Bordeaux whenever we've been, there's a good park and ride near to Ikea. Trains seem far and few between from this area. A friend does commute though and catches something like a 7am and 6.30pm train with not a lot in between.

I also meant to say we've lived here 8 years, so have a reasonable idea of the area!

As for the shopping we use a company called http://www.sterlingshopping.co.uk/ who have a depot in UK. You order from Tesco/Sainsburys/screw fix - whoever and have it sent to their depot. They will deliver to various areas in France on set days, so you get your order in 2 days before. Not sure how close to Bordeaux though!) They charge 25% for the first couple of times but if you are regular it is reduced to 20%. It can still save money with multi buys etc plus if your income is in sterling - like ours - it saves on the exchange rate too.

If you haven't already come across it there's more expat info on www.angloinfo.com - look for France then the area. Forum can be useful too. But I like this one!
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Old Jan 8th 2012, 3:48 pm
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Default Re: Hi, any info on life in Bordeaux??

The 20 percent is pretty reasonable makes it cheaper than the average English shop in France which these days seem to really over price goods.

For bacon lovers the BCS now deliver English cold goods within France. They overnight via TNT with styrofoam boxes filled with freezer cube thingies.


Originally Posted by mitsi View Post
Hi
We live to the North, near to Jonzac, dept 17. We tend to drive into Bordeaux whenever we've been, there's a good park and ride near to Ikea. Trains seem far and few between from this area. A friend does commute though and catches something like a 7am and 6.30pm train with not a lot in between.

I also meant to say we've lived here 8 years, so have a reasonable idea of the area!

As for the shopping we use a company called http://www.sterlingshopping.co.uk/ who have a depot in UK. You order from Tesco/Sainsburys/screw fix - whoever and have it sent to their depot. They will deliver to various areas in France on set days, so you get your order in 2 days before. Not sure how close to Bordeaux though!) They charge 25% for the first couple of times but if you are regular it is reduced to 20%. It can still save money with multi buys etc plus if your income is in sterling - like ours - it saves on the exchange rate too.

If you haven't already come across it there's more expat info on www.angloinfo.com - look for France then the area. Forum can be useful too. But I like this one!
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Old Jan 11th 2012, 2:35 pm
  #26  
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Default Re: Hi, any info on life in Bordeaux??

Hi Angela,

I moved to Bordeaux with my (French) husband and 2 young children (then 4 months & 2 years old) 8 months ago. We chose to rent just outside the Rocade (city centre ring road) as we wanted a garden and to live in a small community (limited choice in finding a place, but with a French bank a/c active and a willing Father-in-law to sign the lease with us, it was relatively simple). In November we completed a house purchase and are now permanently living just south of Bordeaux in Leognan - a good sized town community, only 20min from the City Centre and are surrounded by the vineyards of Pessac-Leognan.

The plus sides ... a new experience, new learnings, wonderful people, wonderful surroundings. The healthcare system, the education system (ok, we're only at the creche level at the moment - but it's proving very good and we'll be putting our children through the French system - much to my mum's dismay).

The downsides ... lots of red-tape with administration. But as your hubbie is French too, alot of this will probably fall into his lap. This is unavoidable wherever you live in France. Sundays in the winter are hardwork (December was very wet, but at the end of November we were still enjoying 18+ degrees somedays), as not much is open and with very young children we can't just go and try something new - this is something that will get better as they get older. It's hard to find things to do with babies/toddlers - no playgroup culture here at all, so it can feel quite isolated sometimes. Finding work with intermediate-level French is proving very tricky!

However, Sundays (the weekend in general) in Spring, Summer & Autumn are wonderful - real quality family time, out and about. We're only 40-60min from the sea or lakes.

The wine is wonderful. The cheese and food is too. Bordeaux City Centre is very buzy and fairly cosmopolitan. The tram is excellent.

I thoroughly recommend Southern Bordeaux - Leognan, Gradignan, Pessac. And I love being just outside the City Centre.

Any questions, please ask away. I've just given a brief idea of what life is like here.

All the best with making your decision!
Vicki
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Old Jan 12th 2012, 9:07 am
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Question Re: Hi, any info on life in Bordeaux??

Hi Vicki, thanks for that, I am trying to work out how to send you a direct message.....any ideas anyone?
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Old Jan 12th 2012, 9:28 am
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Default Re: Hi, any info on life in Bordeaux??

just click on her user name, then gives you the options.
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Old Jan 12th 2012, 2:43 pm
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Default Re: Hi, any info on life in Bordeaux??

Hi Alice, it seems as though we need to have posted 3 times to be able to send a private message ....... V x
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Old Jan 12th 2012, 2:47 pm
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Default Re: Hi, any info on life in Bordeaux??

Mitsi! Thanks for the sterlingshopper website ... it looks interesting
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