Wednesday, November 04, 2015


Confluence (n)

: a place where two rivers or streams join to become one
: a situation in which two things come together or happen at the same time

Soundtrack for this post*

These photos are from Lyon, taken on 17 September this year.  Since I was last in Lyon in May 2013, they've completed a mad and beautiful thing right at the tip of the peninsula which divides the Saône from the Rhone just before they flow together and sweep down towards the Mediterranean.  It's part social housing, part world-class museum, part industrial park; it's a grand projet in the modern French tradition, and in a way we somehow fail to manage.  Here's the view to the South through the confluence, taken from the top of the amazing new museum I hope to blog about later in the month.  I am short, so you'll have to believe me that the line of posts marks the final coalescence of two of France's great rivers.


And here's the view to the North; more modern development to the right, 19th century development to left; the mediaeval centre is out of sight on the other side of the presqu'île.


When you go to Lyon and you're out of the tourist areas (stopping off for a glass of something after the triumphant conquest of a yarn shop, say...), people ask you what brings you to their city.  And when you say "I'm here on holiday" they do a double-take.  Lyon spends a fortune advertising itself as a destination; it's France's second city; it has wonderful history... But then, you could say the same thing in the UK context about Birmingham, and maybe people would react the same way.

Go to Lyon. It's gorgeous. And there's a direct Eurostar on the way there (don't get me started about UK customs and immigration on the way back!)

*Renaud is actually singing about teaching his daughter about penny chews and sherbert lemons here, but it felt like the right accompaniment.

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