Friday, the last day of our Viking River cruise was very good and unique. MA had signed us up for a shopping tour with head chef, Cesar Mata, as he goes to select vegetables, meats, fruits and cheeses for the Viking Foresti. The ship was still docked in Pauillac but everyone who had a tour boarded a bus after breakfast. Our tour took us to Bordeaux’s Marche des Capucins, the central market. While we were shopping the crew moved the ship down river to Bordeaux and it would be waiting for us after the tour. It was a short 50 minute ride by bus to the center of Bordeaux. Our Irish guide, Sarah, provided plenty of commentary about French food as we traveled to Bordeaux.
At the outdoor fish booth: lobster or shrimp or how to tell a fresh fish from a stinker.
As we got off the bus the chef took over as guide and took us to one of the outside vendors, a fish seller. He not only had all kinds of fish, but lobster, crabs, even squid. Chef Cesar showed us how to recognize fresh fish from not so fresh fish; look at the gills, they should be bright red and it should still have a clear sheen.
We went inside the large market filled with vegetables, fruits, meats, cheeses, wines, and pate. We stopped at a large cheese booth, fromage in French. The owner provided samples for everyone of four different kinds of cheeses; even goat cheese was included. I did not care for the goat cheese.
You have probably heard of goose liver pate or foie gras. I’m not sure how they make it, but I passed on the sample.
One of the recurring sights I’ve seen in markets across France is the little old lady pulling her two wheeled cart through the aisles. I was not disappointed this day.
We topped off the tour with a sit down snack at the small cafe in the market. They had everything from cheese, sausage, ham, bread, and white wine. We were given some free time before heading to the ship so I wandered around taking photographs.
We boarded our bus which took us through central Bordeaux and the river where the Viking Foresti was now docked. We began the job of packing for our departure on Saturday morning. We enjoyed a very nice dinner “departure dinner” with our new friends Bill & Jordy and Robin and Peter. We hope to see them again on another Viking River cruise.
We are spending the next three nights in Bordeaux.