Earth > Europe > Western Europe > France > Aquitaine > Bordeaux
Bordeaux is encircled by a ring road (rocade in french), a fast dual-carriageway bypass, with no places to stop and pick up hitchhikers, and peages are far and not easy to reach by walking or public transport. This makes leaving Bordeaux very tricky, although not impossible. It is best to hitchhike on the approach roads to the ring road in the direction you wish to travel. It is advised to avoid going into the town centre.
To reach the gas station on the ring road/rocade:
Take the Tramway A, to “Gravières”. Follow the street Rue des Gravières/Rue François Villon which is on the right hand side just before the tram arrives at the stop from the city centre. At a big crossroad, go left down the big crossing road named Avenue de Paris. There is a small road parallel of this street in the industrial estate, take it (rue Jean Raymond Guyon). It ends to a roundabout but here is a small old pedestrian road. Take it. Cross the bridge that crosses the motorway. From it, you can see two Gas station on different sides of the road. The fences are broken so you can walk easily to the furthest one away for the North (Paris, etc.)
Ask for going to the next gas station, just before “Saint André de Cubzac” if nobody takes the A10. At the next petrol station, there is a restaurant, so a lot more people.
For the south one can use the first service station seen from the pedestrian bridge.
East towards Clermont-Ferrand, Lyon
A big outward road leads from the city center over bridges over the Dordogne, over the ring motorway and later becomes the motorway A 89 (E 70) to the east. Shortly after it crosses the ring there is a good spot: There is a junction, where all the eastbound traffic from the ring joins. One may ask waiting drivers at the traffic lights or stand beside the road after that, because it is no motorway yet. Drivers can see you there, go slow because normally everyone has to stop at the traffic lights, and there is a broad hard shoulder, where one can safely stop and continue. Few hundred meters further there is also a small dedicated fuel station on that road. The tramway A goes out of the city center to near that place. From the stop Buttinière it is about two kilometres along the big alley (Avenue Carnot).
The official advice is: Quai de la grave & Rue des Allamandiers (bus #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #28, #91, #92) but Carl has had more success at the roundabout where Quai Paludate, Quai Brienne and Rue Carle Vernet meet. Carry a clear sign indicating your direction (Biarritz or Toulouse work best, depending on your direction), and stand in the lay-by on the roundabout at the entrance to Rue Carle Vernet, so you catch the traffic from the preceding two junctions heading for the Rocade. The roundabout is easy to reach from tram C stop Carle Vernet.
Amylin advises that this roundabout is also a region where prostitutes tend to linger, so even if you don't look like one and do carry a clearly-written sign, stupid horny drivers might try and pick you up persistently. Sometimes, they appear like “normal” drivers at first, but when you get to talking with them, you realize they only want one thing from you, and whether you want it or not. If you hitch here as a single girl, it's not too recommended.
In the tramway, there are very few controls, but there is no way to avoid the control when it happens. Therefore, it's wise to travel with a valid ticket to punch in case of need.