Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Tuesday is the beginning of going home and I started it by packing, doing a blog entry and taking a last shower in the bath without a shower curtain (we sacrifice a set of towels every day, trying to keep the water controlled).

Noises outside bring me to our bedroom window which overlooks a courtyard. I can imagine this in earlier days, the fountain in the middle hosting pigeons, small dogs and where the neighbors congregated before their afternoon naps. Now it's a "carpark," and the fountain is broken and the pool cemented in. The sounds were a woman in a brown thick coat walking her tiny dog on a long black leash, talking to her neighbor. She limped away after she said goodbye.

I hit the large shopping mall early, trying to get a last few souvenirs purchased. My friend Liz is a sport nut. If she were here at this Go Sport store, she'd have all the balls off the wall, moving them around through the store (although she prefers basketball).

Ba(r)bies Car
Galeries Lafayette Mall
Lyon, France
June 2007

Keys in Boxes, Front Desk
Lyon, France
June 2007

Dave arrives home, we gather the luggage and we're off to the train station, catching a fast train to Geneva (although it didn't feel fast and the air conditioner definitely didn't work).

Windows to/of the World
Geneva Train Station, Switzerland
June, 2007

The taxi driver took us for the Really Quick tour of Lac Geneve--with its man-made geyser. He also drove us through downtown pointing out all the designer shops. My favorite institution of commerce was the bank that was a converted church.

Our hotel, next to the sculpture of two boys with a kite.
(They weren't wearing a stitch of clothing.)

And on the other side--a chapel. They had just finished Mutual (their youth meetings), so Dave and I went in. He spoke with a woman who knew about the towns in his mission he had served in and she brought him up to speed on his old stomping grounds. I happened to find the Young Women President: Sissy Alegria and visited with her in Spanish (her parents are from Argentina) about her ward.

She gave me a tour of this tiny small chapel and I was happy to see our church iconographic art, including the picture that I refer to as The Irish Christ. Although usually it drives me crazy at home because I like original art, it was comforting this night, like seeing familiar faces at the end of a journey.

I like being anchored here, in this Gospel.

Another familiar face greeted me on the flight home: my quilting friend Rhonda. She was the VP of our quilt guild this past year, as well as Ace Reporter for me, the newsletter editor.

Did I fall off the schedule, like Pico Iyer asserts that we should do while traveling? Did I get lost, in order to find myself again? My year had been crunching me down and it was nice to unfold myself, to walk the streets of Lyon and write in my long-neglected journal.

I think the moment I heard Bach's music dancing off the old buildings was when I found that sense of joy again, long buried under being so terribly responsible. I leaned up again the warm stone walls, closed my eyes, and without worrying who saw, "conducted" the deep strokes of the cellist's bow, flicked my fingers to the dancing eighth notes of the violinist.

I was going home.
Final Days in Lyon

Monday finds me at the top of Croix-Russe Hill, one of two hills on which Lyon was originally built, long before they headed down to the flatland. Croix-Russe is north of our hotel and I wisely took the Metro UP the hill this time. No heroics for me, although the days of climbing stairs has helped. (I can now make it all the way to 2 1/2 flights before I pause.)

View from La Croix-Rousse to Fourviere Hill

Traboules are the narrow passageways through buildings that the silk workers used to keep their silks from getting rained on, and I'm on the hunt for some of them. It is threatening rain today as well, so I feel I'm getting in the mood.

Lyon, France
June 2007

Voraces Courtyard
Lyon, France
June 2007

Thiaphat Passage
Lyon, France
Jun 2007

Passage Arch
Lyon, France
June 2007

Passage Arch, Ground Floor
Thiaphat Passage
Lyon, France
June 2007

Nombril Monde
Lyon, France
June 2007

(cool looking building)

Not a traloule, but an abandoned sofa filled with bottle caps. Another type of passage, I suppose.

Double Stairs
Lyon, France
June 2007

It was about now that the skies opened up and Lyon was deluged by rainfall. I took cover under a market awing, then walked down the hill to the Metro by the Town hall. I picked up lunch at the sandwich shop in Place Bellecour and waited for the rain to let up, as did the many people at the entrances to the underground transit. Gave up and ate lunch in my hotel room.
The sky cleared, leaving the best weather ever: cool, almost crisp and no humidity.

I walk around, looking at shop windows, up the pedestrian street where the golden rooster atop the cinema is glowing.

After the Rain
Lyon, France
June 2007

Favorite Jewelry Shop

Back to my pedestrian street, Rue Victor Hugo, a cellist and a violinist have set up shop a block from my hotel, playing for coins.

It's good to hear music again--such a part of my life at home. I linger, listen, give a few coins (wish I had more) and stroll around, always within listening distance. Vivaldi and Bach echo off the shops and plazas, resonating deeply.
Mayor's House, 2eme Arrond.
Lyon, Franc
June 2007

Lyon, France
June 2007

Dave and I walk up Presq'uille to dinner at another of Bocuse's brasseriers; Le Nord. We enjoy the walk home as well, the late-evening sunsets give the buildings a rosy glow against the deepening blue sky.

St. Nizier
Lyon, France
June 2007

Garden Shop Window
Lyon, France
June 2007

Although the statue is blurry, the color of the sky is so lush and gorgeous, I couldn't resist.
Go for the color. Color and light.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Market Day
Lyon sets up its Marche on the banks of the Saone River--food on one side, arts and crafts on the other side, book stalls at the top of the food market and stamps in Place Bellecour.

Garlic Braids


The ever-present cloufutis (cherry cake)

Tomatoes and Potatoes and Red Shirts

I wanted to bring home this gnocchi!



We bought some for lunch. There were several stalls with these enormous pans. The fragrance pulled you in to buy.


Oranges and Tomatoes


Zucchini blossoms, shallots, tomatoes

Honey (in background) and peppers

Herbes de Provence.

I bought a bag to bring home. My suitcase smells wonderful.

Artichokes and tomatoes

"Pineapple" tomatoes.

We bought a pumpkin-looking tomato from another vendor, but were surprised at its flavor: just like you pulled it from a can. Really.



These were everywhere.


Weird cheeses, from the looks of it.


Spring Rolls

Dave pointed out that the sign is spelled wrong: "Primptemps"

Menu near the chicken.
Two legs went home with us.

We tried for church that afternoon, but figured we'd gotten the Mission Office instead.

Dave worked all afternoon on science, but we broke for a quick dinner at a local pedestrian, restaurant-laden street. Grade on this meal: B-

We loved walking through the market, and realized that the Latter-day Saints in Lyon made huge sacrifices on things such as this: giving up Sunday morning market. We indulged because we were touristing, but recognized their sacrifice in keeping their Sabbath. (I found out later that the market is also on Saturday.)

We indulged ourselves in picking up items for lunch, but also indulged ourselves in the colors, smells, shapes, patterns and in looking at new and different things. This really is a great idea--and where are these in America?