Thursday, December 8, 2016

Lyon, France - Hear it Roar - 5/22 - 5/25/16

My reason to visit Lyon, a city I'd never heard of before, was to see my Colombian foreign exchange student daughter, Lina.  She was in France working on her master's degree, and this worked out as a good meeting place.  We had a short visit since she had finals, but it was wonderful to see her. 

My first impression of Lyon was the beautiful airport.  I had to stop and take some photos.  The architecture was stunning.  One of my most difficult tasks in all my travels was right here trying to get a ticket for the train into Lyon.  All the directions were worn off the ticket machines and then the machine would not take my credit card, or cash.  I tried and tried and finally had to find help.  A very nice young man came to my rescue and helped me get my ticket and to find my train since he was going into Lyon too.  I was so grateful, as I might still be at the airport without his help.  I do like like the airport, but didn't want to live there forever.

Santiago Calatrava, a world famous Spanish architect

Happy reunion

It was a rainy day and we got caught in a shower.

I spent hours walking around this city.  Just indescribable and so
much more than I ever expected.  I loved this city.

King Louis the XIV

Very dark clouds. This is a great square called La Place Bellecour. It is one of the larges squares in all of Europe. The square is kilometer 0 and all distances are counted from this point.

This reminded me of Sacre Coeur in Paris, probably because it was up at the highest point overlooking the city. It is Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière. The tower on the right was completed in 1894, and bears a resemblance to the Eiffel Tower.

I never got tired of looking at this scene.

The city has two river running through it. The Saône and the Rhône. I stayed on the Saône side. A walkable city, but not as easy as some. I put in some miles here walking. Walked over bridges, rode the bus, rode a funicular and took a taxi too.

Shop sign

Cathedral St. Jean Baptiste

Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière
Looking over Lyon providing an amazing view.

A minor basilica in Lyon built by private funds, opened in 1872.

So elaborate 

Views of Lyon.

I love this city, what a vista.

Happy, Happy, Happy

New friends Franchesca and Chris.  We met on 
the funicular when they heard me speaking English.
I was so happy to meet them and visit with Americans.

Lyon's Roman theater is the oldest in France, built by order 
of Augustus from 17 to 15 BC and expanded during the reign 
of Hadrian.  Still used today for events and concerts.

Lunch with Chris and Franchesca, I hated having
to part ways that day, but so happy I met them.
This is a French crepe

French type grilled cheese (has a specific name?)

I ordered quiche and it was great.

Shops close to my hotel.  I liked the umbrellas as rain protection.

Everything in this store was so cute and unique.

Gelato flower

Couchsurfers I met up with one night.  Had a 
great time and made some new friends.  

Walking back from CS meet up.  The city is beautiful at night.
Statute:  The Weight of One Self

Palais de justice historique de Lyon, 1845
The building was beautiful at night along the river.

Bicycle rentals

City was decorated for the Euro Soccer Games hosted by France.

Flower Tree Sculpture, 20 feet tall

Every place you turn in Europe you see public sculptures.
Le Chant des Canuts, 1984, by Georges Salendre

Always fun things to see when just walking around.


Historic silk weavers' district - Croix-Rousse

Mur des Canuts
Huge fresco of a neighborhood of silk workers who rebelled against working conditions in the 1800s

Modern mural.  All the murals were so real.

Gros Caillou is a "big rock". Its mineralogical composition suggests it is a glacial erratic, i.e., a rock that was transported from the nearby Alps by slowly moving glaciers.

The Croix-Rousse is the place to explore Lyon's traboules.  
For centuries, these unusual passageways have connected 
streets and buildings through a network of inner courtyards 
and stairs. During the Nazi occupation, members of the 
Resistance used the shortcuts for quick getaways.


Opera House - a very unusual building
Original 1831, redesigned 1983

Fontaine "Le Soleil" (the Sun Fountain), 1982, Jean Robert Ipoustéguy

L’Homme de la Liberté, 1989, César Baldaccini  

Chandelier in a very famous bakery, the line was out the door.

I never had any American fast food.  My only American food was one small bag of Lay's potato chips and they were delicious.

Saint-Nizier Church
This church has an interesting history

Looking up to top of the hill,
always beautiful and a great landmark.

Part Dieu train station.  Off to Lausanne, Switzerland.

Lyon was a delightful city.  I stayed pretty much in one area but there was such a special feeling.  Famous for cuisine, filled with art and culture.  I loved it there.  It is a city that I could live in.  France is a wonderful country and I'd love to see many of the smaller cities, lavender fields, vineyards.

I needed more time here, but had to get on the train (hoping I was in the right place) to Lausanne, Switzerland for my next adventure and to meet up with Swiss friends I'd know for many years.  (very interesting write up about Lyon).