Tuesday, May 10, 2011

May 10, 2011: Lyon - Our Tour de France, Light Sightseeing

We are in Lyon! Our Tour de France begins...

I found Mom just fine (gotta love the compact Lyon airport), got to our hotel (it turns out Lyon airport is almost as far from Grenoble when you account for the long walk to the downtown express train, the 30 minute train ride, and then the 2 subways to get to the hotel - I'm sure we were en route an hour, which was the length of my shuttle bus ride from Grenoble).

Since our room wouldn't be ready until 2pm we had a nice leisurely lunch of typical French all-in-one-meal salads while we waited. I'm glad I chose a hotel in the historic Presqu'ile district, since it was easy to find someplace close and charming - in fact, it was just across the plaza from our hotel. Once we got in mom I told mom to have a rest for a couple of hours while I went out for groceries. I also scouted out the route for sightseeing later in the day and bought a cute red sundress at H&M. If you've seen my red winter coat, imagine it transformed into a dress - similar brass buttons, little chest pockets and red colour. I also discovered that the movie Water for Elephants was playing just down the street, which Mom was worried about missing while she was away in France (we had both read and enjoyed the novel).

I came back to discover that Mom was (remarkably) awake, so we went to the silk workshop and got mom a scarf (Mona Lisa, repeated in bright yellows, pinks and reds, in an Andy Warhol kind of style). Along the way I related what I remembered from our silk tour. And we also passed some lovely landmarks: the Opera, the Museum of Fine Arts, Bertholdi's fountain. It was a warm, sunny, summery kind of day - probably about 27 degrees Celsius.

Although our apart'hotel was considerably nicer than the last one I stayed at in Lyon, when I turned the stove burner on it blew out all the power in the apartment. So we had to move to a new room, but it's a better room, so we didn't mind much. We did not, however, have time to make dinner as planned, so we left for a quick take-out meal before the movie. We each got a quiche from a bakery, and sat and ate them along the pedestrian shopping street across from the theatre. The quiches were very good.

The movie was excellent, and we may have even absorbed a little extra French, sit it was in English with French subtitles. I'd been a bit baffled when it said that it was in English and Polish with French subtitles, but realized after it was because there was some Polish dialogue in it. We stayed to watch the credits because Mark's uncle, Jim Erickson, worked on the movie. The set decoration must have been fun - a circus set from the 1930s.

After the movie we  stopped off at a sidewalk bar/cafe for limonata and an apple tarte tatin, enjoying the summery weather. Not bad for a day of 'light sightseeing'.


Our apart'hotel

I love the contrast of the new Monoprix/H&M building with the old church next door

Outside the church of St Nizier they have mounted what looks like old gargoyles - nice to be able to see them up close

The interior of the church of St Nizier - I'd photographed the outside on my previous trip, but hadn't come inside - quite beautiful

There appeared to be steam coming out of the Bertholdi fountain horses' nostrils - how did they do that?!

Mom at the fountain

The Opera, which I hadn't seen before - a great contrast of old architecture for the base, topped by a modern glass roof

The source of our take-out quiches

 The movie theatre - note the gold rooster crowning the top

The theatre had lovely old red velvet seats, and no commercials when we sat down!

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