Thanks to Airbnb, I’ve found a lovely room near the city centre of Lyon, with a local Lyonnaise couple. My host is making a beer brewing get-up, in the tiny (but spacious for a French apartment in a city) kitchen, whilst wearing a tiger onesie, listening to rap, smoking a vape e- cigarette which smells quite nice. 

He’s lent me a bike he ended up with from his brother-in-law, which has a mudguard that occasionally flicks out to the left with no warning, and a slightly flat front tyre, but other than that, it is ideal for coasting along the Quai Claude Bernard to get to places faster !! 

The lift in our building is tiny, so I have to stand the bike up to transport it to the street. Negotiating doors and bikes at the same time is a skill I’ve yet to master.

Hail and thunderstorms greeted me last week, but the last few days have been stunningly sunny, so I have explored and have found blossom!!

Unfortunately the Confluence museum was closed on the day I visited (rookie error by me), and I had bike balancing problems and wardrobe issues with too heavy a jacket on a hot day, so I gave up and had a nap, before taking a river cruise on one of Lyon’s great rivers, the Saône. It was very windy but informative.

Here’s some posing with French flag awkwardly:
Yesterday, I took a walking tour through Vieux Lyon (old Lyon) which involved traipsing the Traboules – secret passage ways, or tiny streets underneath houses which were used during the time of the silk and spice trade. 

Also, there is a fantastic cinema museum – here is the actual mirror used in The Matrix set, used to return from the Matrix. 

Here is Lyon’s communication tower. It is an exact replica of the third storey of the one in Paris, except here, it is used for transmission for telephones. Apparently it was built here so that there would be a republican monument visible higher than the The Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, beside it.

Many of the houses in Vieux Lyon belonged to wealthy traders and merchants, so we learnt about the techniques employed for embellishing their houses in such ways as to display their wealth, outdo their neighbors and basically show off. Spiral staircases going higher than the house were one of the popular methods. 

This is the vantage point from beside the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière. It reminds me a little of Torino’s Monte dei Cappuccini with the view of the large square, and views over the river. Lyon reminds me of Turin in many ways!

Here you can see Bellecour, the largest pedestrian square in Europe. In Turin from this point you would see Piazza Vittorio Veneto, which I was told is Europe’s largest public square without a monument. Turin was once part of France and was annexed in 1802 with the rest of the Piemonte region, and remained so until the fall of Napoleon in 1814. 

Much more to explore in this 2000 year old Medieval city. Tomorrow I will go to the Parc de la Tête d’Or, to chase some more spring blossom ! 🌸 

This was from the orchard and Hortense garden above Vieux Lyon yesterday. 

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