By Don George
On a recent sailing aboard Crystal Serenity, Don George reveled in the spirit of the destinations; he shares a glimpse of his experience here…
One of the many great gifts of our Crystal cruise was the fortuitous conjunction of weather and tide that allowed Crystal Serenity to dock in the heart of Bordeaux, just a 15-minute walk from the historic Old Town. The quai, or dock, is lively at any time of day; but that night —our second and final night there — as I walked back to the ship, it was especially transporting. On the wide, green lawn bordering the quai, hundreds of people had spread blankets under the boughs and stars, where they had laid out elaborate feasts: rounds of cheese; crusty baguettes; strawberries, cherries, and melons; and bottles of red and rosé wine. Everyone was in a festive mood, talking, eating, drinking, laughing, occasionally bursting into song. Then, beyond the picnickers I came upon a brightly lit stage, where a DJ was playing swing music, and two dozen couples were exuberantly dancing under the stars, with another hundred people appreciatively watching. “Ah, Bordeaux has perfected the fine art of enjoying life,” I thought to myself as I boarded the ship.
When I reached my stateroom, an unexpected wave of loneliness suddenly swashed over me, and I knew what I needed to do: I went to the Bistro and composed a platter of five different cheeses and hunks of French bread, then went to the bar and ordered a glass of robust red wine and took them all to my verandah. There, watching the revelers and dancers below and swinging in my soul with the couples on stage, I savored my own pique-nique, in bonding celebration with the blessed denizens of Bordeaux.
Enjoy your Crystal moments in Bordeaux in 2016 aboard two Crystal Symphony cruises:
Voyage 6213, “Vistas & Vintages,” Lisbon to London (14 days), departing May 22
Voyage 6220, “European Tapestry,” London to Lisbon (12 days), departing August 6