Arts and Photography Exhibition with visit to the Submarine Base - Thursday, 15th December

The Exhibition

base2aThe Base Sous-Marin now serves as a regular exhibition centre and is currently hosting a new exhibition ‘La Probabilité du Miracle’ by Gérard Rancinan and Caroline Gaudriault who take you on a unique journey combining art and culture, where reality merges with the unreal, where the words are mixed with the memory of the photograph and where the thought of Man is infinite.

The exhibition that mixes photographs, words, sounds, art-videos, an art movie, and art installations ‘that will not leave you unscathed‘.

Gérard Rancinan and Caroline Gaudriault offer a journey into an artistic universe where real and unreal confront each other.

1044271_1_1Their proposition asserts itself as the mirror of the memory of our society and its time. The dialogue established between Gérard Rancinan’s photography and the texts of Caroline Gaudriault is punctuated throughout the journey by some forty works transposing an epoch marked by fantasies, illusion, contradictions to the denial of reality and books.

They pose questions about our world and even more about the perception that we have.

Phil visited several years ago to see an impressive photographic exhibition, and was amazed how clever use of coloured lighting transformed the ‘satanic’ interior, reflecting off the surface of the flooded submarine pens. It is still eerie and a bizarre venue for an exhibition, but it works!

The Base Sous-Marin

From the outside the base is a massive, ugly, dirty concrete structure built by the Germans during the war. This gigantic bunker is organized in eleven pens or docks for submarines and protected by a massive bomb proof concrete roof. The complex covers an area of 43,000 m2 with 12,000 m2 open to the public and converted into an a cultural space managed by the city of Bordeaux.

Throughout the year, the Submarine Base hosts a multidisciplinary program: temporary exhibitions, concerts, opera, jazz, theatre performances and dance.

If you would like to know more about the construction and war-time history of the base, please click here


peniche-bordeauxBistro Regent la Peniche, at Quai Armand Lalande, Bassins a Flot No1 offers a five choice menu at 12.90€. It is unusual that it is on a ship, which affords great views of the Bassin and Submarine Pens.

Free parking on the adjacent Quai amidst many white vans, the area is undergoing major redevelopment !

The ship/restaurant is about a 5 minute walk north west along Rue Lucien Faure from the Bassins á Flot Tram stop (line B). (second traffic lights). I propose meeting at 1pm.

Please note there are 2 ship restaurants, plus other adjacent vessels. After lunch it will be best to drive the 1.3km circuit of the Bassin to reach the Submarine Base, I think we will have enough cars to carry any coming by foot.

Meeting Place and Car Parking for the Exhibition

We shall assemble at ‘La Base Sous-Marine’ at 2.45. The entrance to the base is off Boulevard Alfred Daney, 33300 BORDEAUX

There is ample free parking, public transport is not so easy !


If you would like to attend, then please contact Phil or complete the online booking form below as soon as possible.

When using the on-line booking form, please note the following:

  • Do not forget to press ‘Submit’
  • If you do not receive a confirmation from the organiser within 48 hours then your booking has not been recorded and we ask you to contact the organiser direct for your booking confirmation

Photo Workshop : Gradignan : Tuesday 25th October

history-of-photography-antique-photographerAfter several months’ promotion as a potential event, and positive feedback, we are pleased to offer this means of improving your creative and technical skill in this fascinating, and rapidly changing field.

Hugh Dent is an experienced and enthusiastic photographer, who has offered to ‘show us the ropes ! Myriam has kindly offered her house (with tea and biscuits!) in Gradignan to host the workshop.

The detailed plan is currently being structured. Hugh’s introduction, ‘How to create great photos, composition, lighting, cameras and tools to help you, will form the major part of the morning session.

After lunch,- please bring a packed lunch ! We shall progress to hands on, organising, optimising and sharing your photos. Hence it would be most useful to bring your laptop PC or tablet, as well as camera with you. (Times, address and directions tba)


Space will be limited, hence if you would like to attend please book early direct with Hugh or online.

When using the online booking form, please note the following:

  • Do not forget to press ‘Submit’
  • If you do not receive a confirmation from the organiser within 48 hours then your booking has not been recorded and we ask you to contact the organiser direct for your booking confirmation


Guided Walk 'Parc de l’Ermitage' & 'Iris Parc': Lormont - Tuesday 22nd September at 11:00




Location and History

Lormont is a scenic suburb of Bordeaux on the right bank of the Garonne river. The name means Laurel Hill and comes from old days when this wood was sacred to the Gauls.

To-day Lormont is known for its attractive view of the Garonne and Bordeaux and it charming little old centre with the Church of St, Martin, founded 778 by Charlemagne, and Chateau de Lormont where Eleanor of Aquataine stayed and the Black Prince’s ill-fated son Richard II was born.

We set out under the aegis of our knowledgeable guide, Alain to visit the beautiful and hilly parks of Iris and Hermitage which include a lake (ex-quarry), 23 chateaux and the old town of Lormont, the name deriving from Laurel Hill.

Although we experienced rain and sun in equal parts during the day, Alain’s tour with historic information and stops at interesting points kept us enthusiastic. We saw the splendid Chateau les Iris, presently used by a local lycée for sports and cultural activities, as well as sweeping overviews of the Garonne and Bordeaux. We arrived in the old Lormont town centre in time to fall gratefully into the Restaurant de la Belle Rose on the riverbank for lunch. The railroad which arrived in the mid 1880’s still runs overhead and the Pont d’Aquitaine spans the river in close proximity.

After lunch we visited St. Martin’s Church with a local guide and translation by Alain. The church was founded in 778 by Charlemagne and had several renovations over the centuries, including one by Pey Berland. The church has a warm, welcoming atmosphere and the painting on the walls is exquisite.

Some of our party returned to the left bank by the river shuttle. A good time was had by all.

A big thank you is due to Alain for this fascinating and informative tour, and also to Bjarne Christiansen for arranging our excursion.

Report by Gail, Photos by Phil are here

River Cruise back to Bordeaux




River Cruise and/or walk from Lamarque to Fort Médoc


Hugh, a BBC member, has invited us to enjoy a river cruise and picnic on the Garonne on Saturday 18th April together with members from the Photo Club de Creon.  The boat has been specially chartered for the trip and non-photographers are most welcome to come along and enjoy the cruise and ambiance.

The boat will sail from Bordeaux to Lamarque and then we walk to Fort Médoc for a ‘bring your own’ picnic lunch followed by a c40 minute walk back to the boat and then the return trip to central Bordeaux.


If the timing or departure point of the river cruise is not convenient then consider meeting our boat at Lamarque, arriving at 11:45, and then enjoy the walk in company to Fort Médoc followed by your picnic.


Departure is at 9:45 from the Ponton d’Honneur in central Bordeaux returning at 17.30

  • 9:45 – Board our boat ‘LA SARDANE’ at the Ponton d’Honneur next to the Pont Pierre
  • 11:45 – Arrive at Lamarque
  • c40 minutes walk to Fort Médoc
  • 12:30 – Arrive at Fort Médoc
  • Enjoy your ‘Bring your own picnic’
  • 13:30 – Tour of Fort Médoc
  • 15.00 – Start our walk back to Lamarque (c40 mins)
  • 15:45 – Passenger boarding at the port of Lamarque
  • 17:30 – Arrive back at Ponton d’Honneur  and disembark

The cost is 27€ (revised price) includind 3€ entrance to Fort Médoc  A deposit of 10,80€ is required.



The Ponton d’Honneur is:

Adjacent to the Pont de Pierre on the Bordeaux city side of the bridge

  • In front of the Maison écocitoyenne, Quai Richelieu, 33000 BordeauxTram stop Porte de Bourgogne (Lignes A and C) is directly opposite
  • The water bus, part of the integrated Bordeaux transport system will take you direct to the Ponton d’Honneur (ie ponton = pontoon)

Information on Lamarque is Here
Information on Fort Médoc is Here


An excerpt from the excellent Invisible Bordeaux blog  on the history of Fort Médoc follows:

 fort-medocThe Médoc village of Cussac-Fort-Médoc boasts one of the most grandiose sights in the area: the 17th-century Fort Médoc, one of three fortified structures that make up “le verrou de l’Estuaire” (the bolt of the Gironde estuary), dreamt up by the military architect and engineer Vauban .The story goes that in 1685, Sébastien Le Prestre, better-known as Marquis de Vauban, was surveying the Atlantic coast. Vauban had been appointed Marshal of France (the country’s highest military distinction) under Louis XIV and was on the lookout for any location that might undermine the Sun King’s authority. Assessing the citadel of Blaye, which had often proved vulnerable to British invaders, he established that it would have to be strengthened and that the Estuary as a whole needed to be “locked” in order to protect the city of Bordeaux, further upstream.

 Given the width of the Estuary (more than 3 kilometres at that point), simply reinforcing the citadel of Blaye would not suffice. Vauban therefore drew up more extensive plans to build a fort on an island mid-Estuary (this became Fort Pâté and Île Pâté) and to construct Fort Médoc on left-bank property to be acquired from private land-owners in Cussac. Louis XIV green-lighted the plans and the fortified structure sprang out of the Cussac ground between 1689 and 1690, although work wasn’t complete until 1721.