Well, about two months ago I mentioned that I was going to put up photos from my trip to Lyon with Andy. If you're on Facebook, you've probably already seen the full set of 91, but if you're not, I've finally stopped procrastinating (on this task anyway - I never entirely stop procrastinating) and below you will see the 18 best and most representative pictures. Please note, these are not fantastic in an art-photography sense. They're not necessarily "good photographs". They're just snapshots of Lyon. We went on the 3rd of March, and as you will see, it was a beautiful (and hot) day.
A statue outside Lyon Part-Dieu Station, where we arrived.
We used this tower as a landmark all day. It was right outside the station, and when we got entirely lost in a rather dodgy-feeling part of Lyon (what is it about the area around railway stations? Geneva was the same!) and were too tired to get up from the bench we found in order to work out what road we were on, it was helpful to have a large, noticeable landmark. I've spared you the photograph of the municipal library though. Such things are only really interesting to book-a-holics.
Lyon has two rivers, and a lot of bridges. This is a close-up picture of one of them.
Ok, perhaps she doesn't epitomise Lyon, and perhaps I'm being catty here given my own sense of fashion, but this young lady struck us as an excellent example of what NOT to wear. Ever. A purple coat, red handbag, pink tights and black shoes. And black gloves, but you can't really see them. Perhaps I should point out that she didn't pose for this photo.
We saw this building from a distance and decided it looked pretty. Then we decided we wanted to see it closer up, so we walked towards it.
On the way, we saw an old-fashioned lamp-post, which I with my fascination for all things (no qualifier there, pretty much everything fascinates me) was briefly thrilled by.
The lamp post was outside a very pretty church (our third of the day) which unfortunately was too large to be properly photographed from close quarters. Also unfortunately, it had been damaged. I don't know how, I speculate children with stones.
Lyon has (at least) two railway stations. This is a photograph of the floor in the second one we found (not the one we arrived and departed from, but one that was considerably more decrepit and charming). There is a reason for this photo - part of a long-held fascination with tiled mosaic floors - but not one you'd understand unless you knew my mother well.
To the left of the second railway station (which I think was Lyon St Paul, though I could have mis-remembered that) was a flight of stairs. Since the pretty building mentioned above was on a bit of a hill, we thought we'd walk up these stairs. We were starting to get tired after 300. We didn't feel much better after 600. When we finally reached the top in the region of 800 (I counted all the way up, but I think I dropped a hundred somewhere) we were in a lot of pain. Neither of us is really accustomed to exercise. Andy smokes, so it must have been considerably worse for him than it was for me. I am just lazy. My legs were protesting for days.
Part way up, however, we saw this gorgeous little creature. For me, it made the climb up to that point worthwhile. I'm not sure if Andy felt the same.
We'd also seen this from a distance - a mini Eiffel Tower on a hill. As it turned out, it was just around the corner from the pretty building. This was the point at which my camera batteries gave up the ghost. Fortunately there was a souvenir shop nearby which sold more batteries, and postcards, and left me with about 20 centimes.
Look! We made it! This is the Basilique de Notre Dame de Fourviere, the pretty building on the hill. I didn't take photos inside because it seemed disrespectful inside a place of worship, but it was absolutely worth the climb. I want to go back. I love old churches (another fascintion, to go hand in hand with the fascination for medieval castles). They have beauty, history and peace.
It was another one of those buildings that was too big to fit in a camera frame, but that didn't stop my trying.
If you think it's beautiful on the outside, go to Lyon and see the inside.
As you can imagine, after 800 steps the view was quite something. See, there's our tower! There was a wall on which I leaned to take this photo, and below it a path - so it was probably only a drop of one storey, not as bad as it looks from this picture. However, Andy and I were both terrified by the sight of the bride perching quite happily on this wall for photographs. We never figured out if she was really a bride, or just a wedding dress model - we didn't spot a groom. Either way, we suspected that the dress got rather dirty from the wall.
We found a way to get down that didn't involve 800 steps (otherwise I think we both would have stayed up there forever) - a funicular railway. It was really quite nice to sit down. When we got down though, we were in a different place from where we went up, so we were lost. We found la Place Bellecour, a big square. What we really wanted to find was lunch, but instead we found Greenpeace wrapped around a statue. Direct action in action.
There is some kind of rule about the number of hooves on the ground and the way the person died, but I can't remember it; it's something like if there's one hoof up, the person died in battle, if there's two hooves up they died as a result of wounds received in battle, and if all the hooves are on the ground the person died peacefully in retirement. I also can't remember who the statue is of. Wikipedia informs me it's Louis XIV. The Sun King, if I remember right (Wiki tells me I do - obviously I learned something useful(?) at some point either when I went to Versailles on a school trip aged 13, or in Dani's French history lectures last year).
After a little while, a police car pulled up. At this point, Greenpeace decided it was lunchtime. At first they were untying their tape, then someone produced a pair of scissors. They were packed up within about 30 seconds. The police didn't even walk over, I don't think. Perhaps it really was lunchtime.