Sunday, February 13, 2011


We went to see the citadel in Blaye yesterday. Blaye is on the bank of the Gironde estuary, after the Garonne and Dordogne rivers meet. It's about an hour from Bordeaux. The citadel was built in the 17th century as part of the defense of Bordeaux.

We visited the Grotte de Pair-Non-Pair along the way, perfectly timed just as Fiacra's motion sickness was setting in. We were the only visitors to the cave so the tour guide gave a very kid friendly tour. The  engravings of animals are amazing.

One of the engravings

This is a picture pulled from the internet. Fiacra had paid great attention to the 'interdit' sign. No smoke and no cameras, apparently. The 6 year old police were out in full force. For some reason, I was deemed high risk. I managed to restrain myself and lit no fires and took no photos while in the cave. 

We continued on a small road along the Dordogne river into Blaye. The road is lined with beautiful old houses.

 A carrelet along the Dordogne. The fishing net is drawn up regularly, no bait is used.

We spent about two hours walking around in the citadel. Fiacra and Ailbhe loved it. We were almost the only people there. 

 The entrance to the citadel

The outer walls of the citadel

 Fiacra and Ailbhe at the entrance

 A view of the estuary from the citadel

Fiacra excavating in the Blaye citadel, a UNESCO world heritage site.

We had a wonderful day. No need to mention the part after we got home and Ailbhe was hyper-giddy, Finian and I were tired, Connell was first gone to pick up our washer-dryer and then installing it with only French instructions. Fiacra, to be fair, just wanted to sit and read Astertix but Ailbhe was having none of that and insisted he join in the giddy fun. 

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