Wednesday, May 11, 2011

May 11, 2001: Lyon - Marché, Fourvière, Gourmet, Bernachon, La Poste, Horloge, Vieux Lyon, Bâteau

Today was our first full day of sight-seeing, and since I've been to Lyon before I was able to whirl us around on a tour of most of the highlights.

We went down to the (fantasticlally conveniently close) St. Antoine market first thing and picked out some asparagus, strawberries, baguette and cheese (a very interesting Brebis - more like the Crayeuse I've had in Grenoble, but not quite as strong). We dropped our food off at the hotel, then took the funicular up to the Fourvière hill, walked around and saw the Roman ruins and the Basilica.

Then we took the funicular back down and subwayed over to lunch at Gourmet de Seze. It was just as nice as before - like a mini-version of my birthday dinner, with similar amuse bouches, but only two wines instead of four, no entrée (just the main plat - Mom had fish, I had duck), and a choice of either the deserts (a selection of four) or the cheese (Mom had the deserts, I had the cheese, and we tried a bit of each others'). After almost two hours of lunch, plus an aperitif and the two glasses of wine, Mom was fading out a bit, but we managed to stop at nearby Bernachon for chocolates, and the Post Office to send some mail to Canada (I used the automatic postal machine for stamps for the first time - super easy, since it will translate all instructions into English).

Then we took the subway back to St. John's Cathedral for the 4:00pm chiming of the famous centuries-old horloge (clock). Unlike on the Saturday when Mark and I had to watch from afar behind a mass of people, this time we could sit up close on a bench with a perfect view - weekdays are definitely less crowded.

Then we walked over the Saône River to the boat cruise departure point. The sky looked like it was threatening a thunderstorm but it never happened, and we had good weather for our ride. And by that point Mom was done for the day - and no wonder. We went back to our apart'hotel where I made a nice dinner of pasta with chicken stock, mushrooms sauteed in rosé wine and herbes de provence, and asparagus, with strawberries and cheese for desert.

Flower for sale at the market

A covered shopping passageway - an early precursor to the mall?

Grafitti on statuary at Place Bellecour

Coca Cola advertisement on a scrim surrounding a building under restoration

The view from one funicular bridge to the other

Antique car parked up on the Fourvière hill

More grafitti on a park bench

The Roman amphitheatre wasn't as peaceful today - construction of a large stage was underway

But the basilica was more peaceful - noisy cleaning of the walls that had been so distracting the last time I visited was all done

And it was great to have my good camera for this visit - finally able to take decent photos of the amazing mosaics inside the basilica

Beautiful blue door of Melissa's apartment building in Vieux Lyon

The ultra-modern lime green chairs were a starting contrast to the medieval surroundings

The clock points out that today is May 11

Enjoying the boat cruise along the Saône

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