Jul 19, 2008

Bordeaux 3

My days in France are coming to a close very soon. This time next week I'd be in Paris enjoying the last days of being in Europe, and after that I will fly back home for the rest of the summer until August 31.
I wouldn't say this is one life-changing journey I embarked on, but I never regretted a single minute spent in France. Apart from laboratory skills and knowledge Mr. Bergey had imparted upon me, and the 'slow and steady wins the race' values all the lab staff exudes, I learned not to fear the unknown. A few years ago a trip to Butterworth alone might just freak me out; now, I'm drawing plans to comb through Paris in the least possible time (given that I have only 4 days) and maximum efficiency (skipping ticket queues and maximizing my travel pass).
It is also with shock and sadness today that I received news about Prof. Tsai, our Malaysian guardian in Tzu Chi University, is diagnosed with stage 4 (out of 4) lung adenoma some time ago. He just fathered a son and his career is just about to take flight. Prof. Tsai is also the key person who got me admitted into TCU - it is touching at times when people you don't even know will go out all the way to help you. I wrote him a postcard while on the tram heading to the post office. The lesson learned here is nothing waits for us once the time comes.
I am glad I naively agreed to sign up for the exchange (you'd be surprised me being here is actually sort of an accident, stories soon) two semesters ago. In one way it had opened my horizons, and in another it had taught me how some material things doesn't matter anymore at the end of the day. When you stand at the finishing line an A+ for Anatomy or being elected as the Prime Minister won't buy you a single gram of happiness, it's the knowledge that you did everything from the bottom of your heart, that you put your best foot forward that brings peace, and that kind of peace will be eternal.
Without further ado, let's enjoy more of Bordeaux.

Pey-Berland tower stands highest in Bordeaux, originally erected as a defensive watch-tower beside Cathedral St-Andréa

Another gold-clad Mary and Jesus on top Pey-Berland

View of Bordeaux from the top - I am starting to love view-from-the-tops

St. Andrew's Cathedral (St-Andréa) is one of the many churches on the Spain-Jerusalem pilgrim's road

A typical Gothic cathedral will shape like the cross with the main entrance facing the west. This is so that when you enter the cathedral on Sunday morning, the sun, which rises in the east, will shine in through the tainted windows and the church is transformed into an instant heaven

Interior of the 900-year old church - much of them are renovated in the 14th and 17th century

Hôtel de Ville is the administration center of Bordeaux - all dressed up for nomination of Europe's culture capital

Hôpital St-Andréa - the old and grand medical provider of Bordeaux. The university where I live in is correlated with Hôpital Pellegrin, a newer hospital  

A smaller church which name failed to stick in my mind at the moment

A synagogue is the spiritual place for the Jews. This Bordelaise synagogue has memorials dedicated to deceased Jews during WWII 

Bordeaux's prime commercial space is Esplanade Charles de Galle

Nearby, the Baroque St. Bruno's Cathedral stands guard to a large cemetary

Place de la Résistance paying respect to French patriots during WWII

On another side of town, Cathedral St-Michel is equally grand, if not grander

Located on a poorer district of Bordeaux, it is less of an eye candy. However, hawkers and shoppers fill the square around it almost daily

Cathedral St-Seruin has beautiful tainted glass windows. It's a pity my camera chose that instant to run out of battery, so I did not manage to snap any (or you're so tired of churches now?)

Bordeaux oh Bordeaux, when shalt I see you again? Signboard writes: Bordeaux 2013 -European capital of culture: candidate city