This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
hour city tour, during which we passed the Cathedral of Saint André, where Eleanor of Aquitaine married Louis VII, Palais Rohan (now the City Hall) and Place Gambetta. We also saw the 14th


century Cailhau


Gate, the ‘Grosse Cloche’ from the English period and L’Esplanade des Quinconces, one of Europe’s largest squares with its columns commemorating the French Revolution. Some of us slipped away from the walking tour for a refreshing citron pressé on the terrace of the Regent Hotel opposite the Grand Théâtre, built in 1773 on Place de la Comédie.


eturning to our coach, we headed north along the left bank of the Gironde estuary towards the Haut- Médoc region. Some passengers headed for Château Giscours, others to Château Margaux, while our destination was the fairytale 13th


R century Château d’Agassac. An accordionist was playing in the


shadow of this, one of the Médoc’s few remaining feudal castles. Our oenologist guide showed us the almost-ripe purple fruit in a corner of the 38-hectare vineyard, whose terroir boasts a deep, well-drained, warm gravel soil and is perfect for the cultivation of the Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.


In a panelled hall within the Château, we sampled a selection of the dark garnet-coloured wines with notes of plum, raspberry, liquorice, cinnamon,


pepper and clove. Larry and his charming wife Sandi popped in to wish us bon appétit before a banquet was served in an adjoining building, where we savoured Paupiettes of Duck with Eggplant, Lentils and Balsamic Salad; slow-cooked lamb marinated in its jus, accompanied by a fricassee of vegetables; Ossau-Iraty Cheese; followed by Chocolate Mouse with a Blackcurrant Sorbet. Throughout the meal, we sampled the


Château Pomiès D’Agassac 2007 Tête de Cuvée, Château d’Agassac 2004 Cru Bourgeois and Château d’Agassac 2000 Cru Bourgeois. Such fine vintages were not lost on the connoisseurs amongst us and exemplified the importance Azamara places on the hospitality element of their President’s Cruises. The following morning, I enjoyed a late rise and a la carte breakfast served in my stateroom, which made a refresh- ing change not to be limited to a conti- nental offering on the pre-order menu. In lieu of lunch, I wandered through the historic Place de la Bourse and Place du Parlement, before reaching the elegant Brasserie Noailles in Allée de Tourny, with its dark timber-panelled interior and red velour booths. It was an archetypal 1930s brasserie and I tickled my palate with the specialité de la maison – king prawn salad. The next morning, I indulged in an


Elemis ‘Time For Men’ treatment in the Astral Spa before we docked up-


river in the Basque capital of Bilbao at lunchtime. The grooming started with a deep cleansing facial using a lavender steam compress, this was followed by deep exfoliation, then the barber gave me a double-close shave and finished the pampering with a scalp, neck, shoulder, hand and foot massage – bliss. The futuristic Guggenheim Museum stands on the banks of the Nervian River. Designed by architect Frank Gehry, the building’s curvaceous titanium-clad form rivals the world-renowned art within. I had hoped to see part of the collection of works by Picasso, Miró, Matisse and Chagall but our guide spent most of the all-too-short visit discussing the seven sculptures in weathered steel by Richard Serra entitled ‘The Matter of Time,’ now permanently installed in the largest gallery on the ground floor.


Winter 2011-12 WORLD OF CRUISING


 85


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104