Bordeaux ‘Astronomy’ continued….

27-28th July

Heading back to Bordeaux. The weather has not been great to be honest. The last two days are supposed to be getting sunnier – we’ll see…

This morning (28th), before breakfast, we witnessed the tidal bore – a phenomenon in which the leading edge of the incoming tide forms a wave (or waves) of water that travel up a river or narrow bay against the direction of the river or bay’s current. As the tide is linked to the moon, I thought that was a good place to start this new blog entry.

Whilst cruising towards the next point of interest, I’ve explored the ship and had a visit to the bridge to see the goings on there – watching the surface radar was rather hypnotic. There were a number of binoculars on display as well.

On the top (sun – or lack of!) deck, are the liferafts – our first tenuous ‘Astronomy Link of the Day’ (spot the name on it!)

Yesterday we visited Saint-Emilion, in the rain… perhaps this is a good thing as J and I are slowly turning into fishes (Pisces), with all the wine we’re drinking at lunch, dinner and the many wine tastings at the different Chateaux along the way….! We don’t really drink at home and sharing a bottle of ‘Abbey’ dark beer on a Saturday over a curry zonks us out – so how we’re coping here is anyone’s guess!

…or perhaps we’re not coping! At Chateau Fombrauge….

Waiting for the wine to mature…

….just outside Saint-Emilion, there were a number of much older ways to tell the time, these sundials piqued our interest:

….including this stone multi-faceted version, dating from 1679

Sundials are one of the oldest tools for measuring time using the shadow of the Sun. The Egyptians used a shadow stick or shadow clock as early as 1500 BC. The vertical stick or “gnomon” marked the time of day by the length and position of the stick’s shadow. Gnomon in Greek means “the one that knows.” Sundials are often mounted on a base while some are designed to be hung vertically on a building, wall or tree.

Multifaceted sundials were complicated time keepers, some having up to fifty gnomons (or arms) on them and although not precise, were more a statement of an owner’s interest in science, mathematics, and art. They were also an example of a stone mason’s clever and impressive carving skills.

There were some interesting modern works of art on the estates well, including this oversized wine bottle that had a bit of a space theme:

If Jules continues to drink at her current rate, she might end up like what was on the back…!

Poor Julie!

St Emilion is a pretty place. It would have been stunning in the sun, with the light glinting off the limestone.

This last picture overlooking the town was taken from the grounds of the rather swanky ‘Hostellerie de Plaisance’ hotel and restaurant… in fact it was a Michelin…

Two (or double) Star (that’s one for Nick), establishment!

At the end of the day, I think I deserved my cold Meteor beer!

Damian & Julie

1 Response

  1. Sounds like you are having a great time. I have rotated all your photos so they are vertical as, for some reason, they all were showing with 90 degrees rotation – perhaps following the sky around the Earth!

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