Generally, I’ve been trying to enjoy all the awesome things we have right at home that I often forget about in my love and desire to see new places. So that means plenty of time in the parks enjoying the end of summer and time with friends.
Now that curling season is in full swing, I’m spending plenty of time on the ice and traveling. I love that Mitten insists on many snuggles every time I get back from a long weekend.
So it turned out that we really only ended up with one day in Lyon to see all it’s wonders. That made for a busy day!
We started off the day by checking out the Basillic, which was on top of the hill by my hostel. You can see it from a large portion of the city, and it has great views over the city.
A pretty impressive place over all.
Next we headed over to the Roman Ruins. I hadn’t know that Lyon was a Roman city until we got here… turns out Lugdnum was one of the largest Roman cities that has ever existed. The ruins are two theaters and some public buildings on the hill side. They actually updated the theaters and use them every summer for outdoor concerts (seems strange to me to use 1000 year old ruins for concerts, but hey).
It was fun to hike around the ruins. Pretty much nothing was off limits, which seems so strange to me. I’m sure at home everything would be blocked off, because there were areas where you could fall quite a distance, etc.
There is also a Roman History Museum near by. It was giant, but certainly didn’t seem that way at the beginning. I think there were five floors of displays. Everything in the Museum was found in the Lyon area at some point in history. The whole city is so on top of the old Roman city, that anytime someone wants to build something, or dig anywhere, they now perform an archaeological dig first. I was floored by some of the stuff here. There were a lot of burial epitaphs, which isn’t surprising they survived as they were designed to, and this was a city of importance. (Of course I find those none too interesting, so pictures are of other things, and never very many.)
But even crazier, was when we got to the bottom of the museum (you start at the top and take a circular route down). There I saw this room, which is just blocked off by fences. Shelved upon shelves of additional things they could display.
After this we ran some errands. I needed to get my reservation for my train to Nice, and Amy needed to print her boarding pass for her flight from Paris. Luckily, mine was easy. Line was short and it was decently simple. Not the train I’d hoped for, but still getting there the right day. Amy’s luck wasn’t so good. Apparently printing things in public locations isn’t a thing. We stopped at the library, which would have worked great, except you need a library card to login to the computer. Oh well, we’d figure it out later.
We then headed off to catch a boat cruise around the rivers. It was scheduled at 2… and we got there at 2:03 to see the boat pulling away from the dock. It was a bit farther away than we’d planned for, and even with super speed walking, we were too late. This made for a decently calm lunch sitting by the river. Not a horrible trade off. While we were eating/drinking/chatting, this giant group of swans swam by.
Next on the adventure plan was a trip up to the silk workshops. So glad we took the metro for this one, it’s on top of the other hill in Lyon. The internet hadn’t made it clear that the demonstrations (two) were in different buildings. So we got to the first one at the appointed hour…. only the demonstration was in a different place, a 5-10 minute walk away. We boogied.
There was a couple there who had just started the demonstration. The explanation was in French, and the man was translating to Dutch for the woman. They shortly figured out we spoke English, and he offered to translate to English instead. Well, turns out they could provide the tour in English, if that’s the language we all understood. Yay!
After that tour and demonstration (silk ribbon weaving, using punch cards), we headed back to the place we first stopped for a demonstration of cloth weaving. Overall very cool. And they totally won out because what’s better for souvenirs than locally made products? Exactly.
Next on the list was dinner. However, I’d seen somewhere on the GIANT map they gave us, that Ampere’s house or something was here. Well I’d torn that bit off, and it was too late for anything like that to be open anyways. However, there is a metro stop Ampere, and Ampere Plaza. So being the good electrical engineers (we did meet in an electrical class at school…) we headed off to check it out. Turns out Ampere spent most of his adult life in Lyon.
We then headed off to find a spot to eat. Along the way, we found a couple hotels. We decided we should really duck into one and see if they offered printing (boarding pass, remember). The first place we stopped did! Yay! And they had a book with places to eat. Even better. The receptionist told us that really, there no place to do public printing in France, it’s just not a thing. Good to know now. After that food, then home.
Whew, that was a lot in one day.
Day 45 – Back to being alone
Amy had an early train to Paris, so I was back to being alone. I hadn’t been able to get the morning train to Nice, or the afternoon train, so I was stuck with the evening option, leaving at 6 something. Not the end of the world, but I did need to fill my time during the day.
So what did I do? I hit up the stores. Knowing I was already planning on mailing something home, I figured this was the time to shop.
At the demonstrations the day before, I’d found that they also did silk screen printing demonstrations in town. Since I had the time, I decided to head there to check that out. It was pretty interesting. The only trouble was a wandered in at the beginning of a demonstration for a large group. Oh well, I could hear fine.
I caught my train, picnic in tow. The woman across the aisle was giving me weird looks, and eventually said something to me, in French, which I have no idea what it was, but she didn’t seem too happy. Oh well. It was the 1st of August, and mostly families heading off for Holiday. I should have known, and known I needed to make this train reservation ASAP. Oh well. Pleasant trip for the most part.
I caught my train to Lyon, with time to spare. Got there, and was oh so happy I had found the directions that were given in my reservation. The hostel was half way up the giant hill, Fourvier, in Lyon. Way easier to take the metro and funicular like they suggested than simply getting off at the metro stop which looks very close to the hostel. It would have been 500 meters, but all of them very steeply uphill. I took transit quickly to drop my things off at my hostel, and then headed right back to meet Amy at the train station.
I was a little late to meet her train, so meeting was a tiny bit more difficult. Made most difficult by the fact that the lockers at this station were in a weird ass place. We had both looped through a couple times before finally finding the right spot. Oh well. Eventually we connected and man was it nice to see a familiar face!
We headed off in search of lunch. The train station is located right by a mall, which we ended up wandering by. Trolling the streets we ended up finding a little cafe where people were eating food that looked good. Stopped there for lunch and ordered salads. Man, probably the best salad I’ve ever had. Really more like some leaves to go with awesome meats and cheeses. Not sure why I didn’t take a picture. Was probably too hungry.
Then we wandered around for a bit, which lead to me doing a bit of shopping and dragging Amy along. I was in need of a few things, and just fell in love with others. I guess a package will be getting sent home soon.
Stopped by the tourist info, always a good stop, which was in this giant plaza. These spaces are always green on maps, which makes me think they’re a park, or at least grass. Nope.
We headed over to check out the old part of town, including the cathedral. Nothing too special there, but we did find these ruins outside the cathedral. If only I could remember what the sign said they were.
One of the things suggested to us to do at the tourist office was to check out these passage ways between the buildings. They were all listed on the map, so we gave it a go. Turns out most of them are locked. And the two we did manage to get into, weren’t anything special. They are really just the entrances to apartments, that just happen to all connect through the buildings with some small courtyards along the way. Don’t waste your time.
We headed back to grab Amy’s things from the train station and meet up with her Airbnb peeps. Lots of stairs. But I guess no different than my giant hill! Followed by dinner, which was so nice to have someone to chat with! Then headed home in preparation for the following day.
This was the first Hostel which I have really not enjoyed. Funny, because I wasn’t spending much time there. Amazing how much a bathroom and shower can make or break my opinion.