Sunday, July 14, 2013

Lyon, day three

Eventually!  It's been a very busy last few weekends, and photo-heavy posts are always a bit awkward to put together...  but seeing the Tour de France pass through Lyon yesterday gave me an additional push to post this...

So; day three and the Croix-Rousse.  Unlike yesterday's cyclists, who made getting up the hill look pretty effortless, I got up there by an extremely sloping Metro train which was halfway to a funicular.  Had a wander slightly down the hill to the viewing platform for a look across the city

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and then a wander slightly back up to the Place Jacquard.  Another textile-linked location with a statue looming (sorry) above it:

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I was intending to get there early enough to walk up to the Maison des canuts and find out more about the silk weaving trade in Lyon, but a combination of indolence and a short rainstorm as I was due to set out from the studio meant that's one for next time.  (There's definitely going to be a next time...)

Croix-Rousse was recommended by a friend, and it's a lovely bit of town; a little like the quieter bits of Montmartre out of tourist season.

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After a wander about, and a purchase of Provençal green beans and olive-wood kitchen implements (box ticked; was really hoping to find some) at the market later, I evaded a creepy man who was intent on taking me for a drink, repaired to a restaurant I'd scoped out on the internet, and had a really excellent lunch with kir à la framboise and pot lyonnais.

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(La Coquette, if you're interested; highly recommended.  Really nowhere near as formica-heavy as it looks on the photos...)

Another short but very sharp rain shower put me off heading over to further heights/viewpoints, so change of plan to take in the presqu-île.  This is, according to my guidebook, the top of the Lyon equivalent of Oxford Street.  (I don't think the writers of the guidebook have visited Oxford Street recently.  Or, possibly, ever.  But Rue de la République does have branches of most of the major chains further into town.)

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The Palais de Commerce - most large French towns have one of these, but this one is particularly spectacular.

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There was a demonstration, or manifestation as the French have it; this seems to fit pretty well, because with all the whistles and the flags and the police escort, it also feels like a bit of performance art.  This was a particularly fine-sounding one, so I stopped to watch.  Which noble cause was being fought for?  World peace? Education? Liberté, égalité et fraternité?

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Ah, they're against the ban on plain cigarette packs and closed displays.  Ho hum.  But I do like the way they finish with "No to EU Directives", which is at least pretty comprehensive and covers all bases!

One of the (many) things I love about the French is their entirely unimaginative way of naming bars and cafés; when you're casting around for somewhere to sell you stamps for your postcards, having incomprehensibly lost one of the US stamps, seeing this

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around the corner is great.  Where the Café des Postes, télégraphes et téléphones is, there shall be the post office also.  And indeed there was.

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Likewise, I wasn't sure whether this was the Place des Terraux or the Place des Jacobins, but helpfully, there's the Café des Jacobins on the right...  Likewise, you always know what you're going to get at the Bar des Sports in a small town (lots of blokes, big screen, Baby-foot, possibly pool table, cheap drinks and a high tolerance of horseplay).

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Made a quick trip to Fnac; I do love a Fnac shop.  This one is particularly fine.

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So many of the French singer-songwriters I like haven't produced anything new in the last few years; thankfully Jacques Higelin is still going strong...

One last picture, of the huge and (on that day) rather desolate Place Bellecour; Louis XIV lords (kings?) it over the square...

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At that point the heavens opened.  I ducked into a bar for a pre-dinner drink, and then home via the butchers - veal chop, bearnaise sauce and Provençal green beans. Heaven.  Particularly because I found Un dîner presque parfait which was just lovely - I gather there are similar formats on UK TV but I never have time to catch up with that sort of thing!

Before dinner, I met my lovely landlord, finally - had to pay him for the rent, and while I'd already pretty much settled in, it being the third day of five, he had another couple of hints and tips.  One of the first things he spotted was my knitting:

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Apparently his wife's a knitter, and he was asking about good UK yarn sites for British wools.  I scribbled down some names and URLs including the Ravelry one, just in case!

2 comments:

Mairead Hardy said...

Gosh, you packed a lot in, didn't you?

Laura said...

Oh wow, your photos are great! I love France so much! That's so cool that you got to see the Tour de France and a demonstration (even if it was about tobacco packaging, haha). It seems like you've been really living it up! xoxo