Exploring Lyon

We alighted the metro at Hôtel de Ville and came out to Place des Terreau. As we approached the square, we saw some white tents and an event was underway.

What is this all about?

It turned out that the event was promoting Paris 2024 Olympics game, letting kids ride stationary bikes and doing some ball games on a makeshift turf.

How could anyone in the square ever imagine Tokyo 2020 would have to be postponed? I sincerely hope we all can cheer the Olympians and Paralympians in 2021 without the fear of COVID-19.

Musée des Beaux-Arts
Fontaine Bartholdi
Hôtel de Ville

‘Shall we walk around the south side of the square as they recommended it?’

One of the shop assistants, who helped mum to choose a pair of sandals after our unsuccessful visit to Monoprix, suggested that the area would have more private shops than Rue de la République area.

Looks promising!

True to her recommendation, we saw more than a few interesting shops along Rue Romaine and Rue Saint-Polycarpe. I bought a canvas tote bag and mum bought some beautiful cards.

Vintage and handmade gems!

After satisfying our pleasure shopping urge, we strolled down Rue Désirée and came out to Place Louis Pradel…

Warm Saturday afternoon
Lovely weather!

As we headed towards a metro station, we encountered a crowd coming out of Opéra National de Lyon and much to our delight, they started singing and dancing!

Carefree joy of pre-coronavirus…

I will most definitely dance in the street when the world is free from this nasty virus, COVID-19!!

Lyon, oh Lyon…

The lockdown has entered its second week and we are coping OK so far. We have established a kind of routine and started to feel less stressed about the new normal. Having said that, having too much time on our hands isn’t that great, is it?

Bella is sad about having to stay indoor…

During the time like this, I should be diving into updating my blog. However, I end up fiddling with my iPhone, checking Facebook, Instagram, BBC app, etc… instead. I must be more disciplined and productive.

So here we go. I’m gonna recount our time in Lyon!

Mmm…, I have only myself to blame but the memories of our stay in Lyon are rather hazy and patchy. For nearly two years, they have been left alone in my head and now I find them fading fast like vintage photographs!

A hotel I booked at Lyon was a rather strange one. I can’t recall how I got hold a key to our room – maybe it was through an instruction via Booking.com – we had to let ourselves in and find the room.

Staircase was rather sweep…
The decor was eclectic and fun!

Our room was simple but pleasantly decorated and had a high ceiling and a tall window.

Airy and inviting

Our window was filled by the view of a local church. Would a church bell wake us up the next morning, we wondered.

Beautiful, huh?

After sorting out our luggage, we decided to visit another Monoprix on Rue de la République for mum’s favourite top.

I wished if we were light travellers!

‘Shall we have some lunch here?’ We saw a vegetarian cafeteria around the corner and decided to grab late lunch.

Yummy!

We ordered two lasagnes, one with mixed beans and another one with courgette.

After lunch, we strolled towards the Monoprix…

Early summer in Lyon…

It was Saturday afternoon so the streets were busy with locals and tourists.

The style of the buildings reminded me the one in Paris…

Ornate and elegant…
A tram!

The video reminds me how precious our “ordinary everyday” is. Under this COVID-19 lockdown, we can’t do anything normal, such as sauntering in town, meeting up with friends or going out for drink. Streets are deserted and filled with the fear of virus. How sad is that!

The street then was filled with pedestrians…

The sun was shining…
Balloons!

We looked for mum’s top at the Monoprix but it was sold out. She was disappointed but I consoled her that we would try another store if we come across it.

‘Let’s catch a metro from here!’

On y va!

The ride would be only one stop to Hôtel de Ville but I wanted to reduce the burden on mum’s knee…

Where is a car park?!@Lyon

I am feeling very good after finishing practicing stick-handling drills, shooting pucks and riding an exercise bike. Now, I’ve completed stretching and I am ready to update my blog!

After passing Laragne-Montéglin, we traveled along A51 northwestward. At Grenoble, we took A43 and continued another 112km towards Lyon.

Lyon was the largest city we planned to visit during the road trip (we omitted Paris because we visited numerous times already), so we were duly excited.

Lyon, on y va!

We reached the outskirts of Lyon around 13:00.

Traffic was getting busier…

We continued towards the city centre and crossed the Rhône.

The Rhône! Beautiful!!

Once crossing the river, our sight was filled with tall buildings and trees.

So where is our street?

For the road trip, I booked all of our hotels through Booking.com and one of my criteria when I came to choose lodging was how easy it was to park our car. Mum had a bad knee and we weren’t exactly light travellers – our baggage snowballed as we continued the journey! – so I wanted a public parking to be near the hotels if they couldn’t provide a private one.

Lyon!

Navigating through a large European city on foot would be confusing if you were new to the place. And the task would be even harder if you were behind the wheel and negotiating one-way streets in an unfamiliar city. I tried my hardest not to smash anyone’s side mirror as well as any pedestrian while desperately looking for a sign “P”!

All parking bays are taken!
Our street but no parking!

On Google map, there were a couple of parkings but one was only open for limited period and another one was closed except contract parkings. Eventually, we managed to find a spot in the car park which was more than a few large blocks away…

Sorry mum!

I promised mum that I would bring a car near the hotel when we were leaving the city so she would have to walk a minimum distance next day…

Stay at home, EVERY ONE!

Regarding this COVID-19 pandemic, the situation is getting scarier by the day, isn’t it? Over the night, my sister in Southern California messaged me that there were two colleagues in her office who tested positive for the virus. I will most likely to Skype with her later today so I can find out more about her predicament (I’m 100% sure that she and her husband will have to self-quarantine for two weeks) and offer her my sympathy and support.

The outside of our windows, the sun is shining brightly and the atmosphere is like a long-awaited spring. It isn’t easy for anyone to turn down a temptation, such as having a picnic in a park. However, we all have to realise this government ordered time-off is not a bonus spring break but our fight against a virus which we have no effective way to eliminate so far.

Scenes which have been streamed from a TV screen since Boris declared the national crisis resemble a nightmarish vision of the post-nuclear holocaust or the world-wide zombies domination. The image makes me wonder if the life was like this when the Chernobyl disaster happened. Everything appeared so normal yet life-threatening dangers were larking all over the place.

It is only our third day of the lockdown and I am still not entirely with it. It is not that I want to escape back to my pre-coronavirus life or I am depressed about the situation. It is more like I am still stunned and haven’t processed it properly. Like many people, I feel this whole COVID-19 business is like a really bad nightmare which I am still hoping foolishly to wake up from. I am sure one day I will have this definite resignation in me and I will be in a different place in peace.

In the mean time, let’s stay at home and be safe. Let’s take precautions and ride this crisis out together!

So far, I’m in the clear!

Pom’Alpes

As I promised yesterday, I have restarted a chronicle of my French escapade with my mom.

After leaving behind the dynamic backdrop of Sisteron, we headed to our next destination, Lyon, which was about 260km away.

As you can see from the satellite map, the area we drove through was very close to French Alps and the landscape was mainly occupied by forests and boulders.

Amazing, huh?
I wished if I knew more about geology…

At Laragne-Montéglin, we came across this…

Winking apple!

The area was famous for their delicious apples – Vita-Pom, Saint Pétrus and Altess. Mum and I were especially cheered by the apple because our hometown, Nagano, was also famous for being one of the largest producers of the fruit too. ‘I would have love to taste their apples if the season was right!’, mum uttered.

We also agreed their apple tree blossoming must have been a beautiful sight to behold.

Beautiful Parc National des Écrins. Hope to see you again!

At Monestier-de-Clermont, we took A51 and sped towards Lyon…

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