Friday, July 8, 2011
On to Lyon
It was evening when we arrived in Lyon after taking a train from Charles de Gaulle. A few false starts but we managed to find our modest Ibis hotel. Not too far from the train station.
Out first day we spent wandering aboutthe city of bridges. The old town between the Rhone and the La Saone river is charming. Lots of small covered alleys link various streets and avenues.
Lyon is know as the city of bridges, I've no idea how many but it seemed like we wandered over all of them. There appears to be a genetic marker in my wifes family that prevents them from taking any modern form of conveyance. No trams, no bus, and certainly no taxi.
The temperature was soaring all the time we were in Lyon so I was constantly walking around in sweat soaked shirts. Hot, hot hot.
In the old village, Villeaux Lyon there are four main fetures; the funnucular, the St. Jean Cathedral, at the bottom of the hill and Notre Dame de Lyon at the top, and the old Roman theatres. All are worth the visit.
Henry the V was married in the Saint Jean cathedral. It's a beautiful building. Cool and dark after the bright sun and hot and humid temperature outside. The most impressive feature of the church is a midevil clock that chimes, strikes the hour and by the use of clever gearing sends various figures into motion every hour.
As we'd arrived at the bottom of the hour we retired to a pub across the square for a glass of wine and a pint of beer to wait for the clock to strike at 2 PM. True to form we arrived back inside the church five minutes late and missed the show.
The funnucular ride to the top of the hill was crammed with elementary kids on a school outing.
Just as we entered the darkest part of the tunnel the engineer cut the lights and stopped the car, all the kids screamed, some in delight and a few is dispair. But magically the lights and piower came back on and we were off to the top.
The Roman theaters no longer have the canvas tops that provided relief from the mid day sun, so now all the performances happen at night. Ancient engineering with modern technology makes for an impressive show.
Late in the afternoon we did not have enough time to tour the museum but we hung out in the court yard soaking up the cool shade. These small spaces are clearly popular with the locals as well.