La rive droite of Bordeaux resembles nothing of its centuries-old counterpart across the Garonne River. It’s wild and wooded dotted with markings of industry such as a silo and building supply yards. From Pont Jacques Chaban-Delmas to Pont de Pierre, a wide embarcadero is enjoyed by joggers and cyclists. Nestled in the middle is the Darwin Ecosystème.
The Darwin Ecosystème is a grand utopian experiment, renovated to be an eco-focused urban community.
eco-focused urban community Once a military barracks, the area was left empty in 2005. In 2014, Darwin opened to the public.
Today, it boasts an urban farm, an XXL skate park, free expression spaces for graffiti artists, an organic grocery store, a restaurant-cocktail bar-coffee shop called Le Magasin General, coworking spaces, and even a bike-polo field.
At Le Magasin, we sipped coffees and bio (organic) wine and tasted some of the best falafel I’ve had. Across the wide covered terrace, we perused a shop boasting surf-inspired coffee table books and retired artifacts from the army. At Darwin, patrons can take classes in pilates or yoga, or dance the night away to the tunes of a DJ.
Just up the Quai des Queyries is Les Chantiers de la Garonne, an inviting waterfront establishment with its own sandy patio and next to a brewery, Brasserie de la Lune. Sip beer, have a bite or hop on a SUP board.
South of Darwin towards the Pont de Pierre is Bordeaux’s Botanical Garden.
This uber cool side of the Garonne River is quickly developing with several rows of new housing being built — a smart real estate investment, as I could imagine great opportunity in street-level retail and modern abodes for the post-grad crowd, a sort of Williamsburg de Bordeaux.