Monday, June 23, 2014

Bordeaux by Bus: The Visiotour

There are so many reasons I love traveling with my kids. I could probably list one each day and never run out. But by far the best reason is the quality time you spend together. Away from all the distractions of "real life."

I had just such a moment on our recent trip to Bordeaux aboard the Visiotour. This is a 70-minute tour around the city, aboard an open top, double decker bus. We did something we rarely do as a family on vacation... we split up, and Big Arrow and I went on the bus tour, while my husband and Little Arrow took naps back at the hotel.

Since he started school, my one-on-one time with Big Arrow is rare and precious. He seemed just as excited to spend some alone time with mom. And he definitely recognized that he was getting to do something that was intended more for adults, not toddlers. He embraced his role as a "big boy" and happily climbed on board and up to the top. I enjoyed not having to entertain both kids simultaneously, and that I could focus entirely on my oldest.

I loved that he immediately asked if I had brought his camera, and started snapping pictures. Like mother, like son.

Here's one of his photos:

Then he investigated the ear pods, which provide the audio. Once the bus got moving and the commentary started, he listened to it via several different languages. (He later pretended the cord was a fire house and he "sprayed water" on all the people walking by the bus. He doesn't suffer from a lack of imagination, that one.)

Mostly, I'll just remember the two of us quietly chatting about what we were seeing. The gorgeous buildings we passed. What he recognized from our walks around the city that morning and the previous day. The way he held my hand through most of the tour.

Halfway through the tour, he looked around the bus and said, "Mom, you're so lucky. You're the only adult on this bus with a little kid." I couldn't help but laugh.

But you know what? He's right.

Planning a trip to Bordeaux? Here are a few things to know about the Visio bus tour:
  • This is not a tour geared toward children. The audio you'll listen to is adult-oriented. Big Arrow (age 5) only listened to a small portion of it. He quickly lost interest, and instead played around with the buttons and the cord. I would only recommend taking the Visio tour with school-age children who can sit still easily and self-entertain.
  • Fortunately, because the audio is self-directed through ear pods, it was possible for Big Arrow and I to talk quietly without bothering the others on board. I was able to explain some of the audio to him on his own level.
  • Dress appropriately. If you sit up top (which I recommend for the best views), you'll catch a lot of breezes because there are no windows. However, it is protected overhead by a canopy, making this tour possible rain or shine. In fact, it would be a great rainy day option because it would still allow you to see the sights in Bordeaux without getting terribly wet. Just grab an extra layer.
  • All the other details, including cost, location and times, are available at the Visiotour website.

Want to read more?

A more complete list of things to do as a family is found in my post about Bordeaux and Biarritz at Ciao Bambino.

Need a family-friendly hotel recommendation in Bordeaux? My review of the Adagio Gambetta aparthotel is up at Ciao Bambino.

Disclosure: My family was hosted by the Aquitaine tourism bureau during our stay in Bordeaux. This included two tickets on the Visiotour. All opinions are my own.

This post is a part of Travel Tips Tuesday at Suitcases and Sippy Cups and Walking on Travels.

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