It’s practically a suburb of Bordeaux, nestled among vineyards in a village that is being absorbed into the greater Bordeaux area, the major regional city of South West France.
It may not have the majestic beauty of the Tramore Bay, but is a major wine producing region, a point noted by former Waterford Metropolitan mayor, Eamon Quinlan, whom we spike to after his visit to the area.
The Bordeaux wine region is a great tourist draw and you can visit a nearby chateau or castle nearby by appointment.
We were hosted in the Bed & Breakfast of Joel Guerin, a bilingual French man, who has been many times to Waterford; he’s a great friend of Oliver Rohan of Ferrybank, who formerly featured on the Waterford Port staffing manifest.
If stay with Joel, whose home is near the railway station, he’ll give you a great deal and a good breakfast and even offers some wine and beer at reasonable prices, with Guinness at just €1 a can.
We took on a driving review of the area and noted its many sports clubs which include rugby, soccer, tennis to name but three.
We also noted the impressive Town Hall, along with a fine library and community facility, while the police station is also situated nearby in the well appointed town square.
Not far away is a large town park; some tents had been erected there for a Medieval festival. The old castle though is derelict and it would be nice to see it restored; and it was pleasing to meet people who were fully aware of the Tramore link.
The town has a few small outlets like bar, café, big supermarket, bakers and other small shops, but is generally quiet and one must go elsewhere for dining.
To get to Bordeaux, there’s a train and bus service, but we drove to the Lycee Vaclav Havel tram stop to go into city (we were there for the Ireland/Belgium Euro 2016 match): this transport option is available for €3 daily. But we feel car renal is preferable, given that it also means you can explore the countryside and famous Bordeaux vineyard region. Meanwhile, the sea is about an hour’s drive away at Arcachon.
The city of Bordeaux is fabulous with magnificent squares and buildings dating from their great era as a wine trading centre.
The riverside has been re-invented with lovely walk ways and cycle paths; we learned how you can hire bikes and do a nice tour along the River Gironde and work off some of the nice food available in a city renowned for wine and food.
A massive new wine museum shaped in a massive wine glass swirl, where world wines are displayed. Given the euro soccer match times and heavy traffic, (we were stuck on the ring road for one and a half hours) our visiting time was limited.
But better again is the wonderful Place de Parliament, where you can dine out and watch the world go by.
You can get there via the Bourse tramway stop from the last stop of Lycee Havel on the tramway nearest to Cadaujac. The restaurant Edouard was full when we visited but the nearby Italian place proved good value with a three course meal available for €20,
Cadaujac provides a welcome break from the more busier climes of Bordeaux and provides a welcome base from the nearby city.
There is a great energy and good attitude in the Bordeaux region. Alain Juppe proved a most capable Mayor of Bordeaux, a city which has undergone a great makeover with many old buildings cleaned up, featuring a revamped Quayside. Perhaps there are lessons for Waterford as we contemplate the redesign of the North Quay.