16 Days in France (Day 9)

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[Pedal to the metal, we speed past Andance, a “commune” of about 1,100 (think Osakis).]

Vienne to Lyon

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[We obviously had to make time from the two days idle . . .]

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[And that caused us to skip a scheduled stop in Tournon and Tain L’Hermitage, missing a winery tour and tasting (drat!).  Now we’re going as fast as we can to do Vienne and Lyon in one day.]

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[And we pass through some locks along the way.]

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[This is the fun part about river cruising, just the sights along the banks.]

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[Pulling into Vienne . . . get your walking shoes on.]

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[And away we go with the stop at the cathedral.]

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[3C again!  And again can’t remember our guide.  It seems I used to remember such things.  Note to future travelers (one specifically who may be on this trip even as we speak), it seems common practice to generally tip your guide a couple Euros and one Euro for your bus driver.]

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[No, here’s the cathedral . . . that first place must have been an adjunct?  😉  ]

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[So, now you know.  When all else fails, read the instructions.]

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[Sufficiently cathedrally.]

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[Stained glass, due to the dearth of dishwashers in those days.]

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[And by now we all know the difference between a fresco and a frieze.]

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[The Biddies take a load off.  Reetz is a noted bell-ringer at the Methodist church in Nashville, Indiana, where someday she hopes to be reunited with her luggage.]

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[Just an architectural shot.]

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[The 1st-century Roman Temple of Emperor Augustus & Livia.]

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[I’m still amazed at what could be built 2,000 years ago.]

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[Ah, home away from home for Bill . . .]

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[He was a Temple grad . . . and this apparently is where all the local Owl alum hang out!]

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[Just walkin’ around . . . ]

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[Shooting up the side streets . . . ]

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[A major commercial street, lotsa window shopping.]

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[Hmmm, even a “search” of statues in Vienne did not produce this one?]

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[Seems like a biggie in the middle of a major traffic circle?]

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[Always a fun stroll on a “restaurant row.”  Unfortunately this was an abbreviated tour, and we had to move on to Lyon.]

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[And here we come to Lyon, France’s 3rd largest city (behind whom?).  We were originally scheduled to boat from Vienne to Lyon, but to make up time we took buses.]

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[My guess would be a bridge.]

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[The Sydney Opera House?]

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[It’s the Musee des Confluences, a science and anthropology museum, located at the confluence of the Saone and Rhone Rivers.  “Confluence” is one of those wonderfully descriptive words, almost onomatopoeiac?]

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[It says “Euronews” on the side.]

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[Lyon]

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[Driving through town . . . ]

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[A park, and the Fourviere in the distance.  The Fourviere is the district, and hill, in the distance where we are heading.]

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[Our goal . . . and will be identified when we get there.  😉  ]

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[It’s still in sight.]

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[Soon to be luxury apartment living on 2nd Avenue in downtown Alexandria?]

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[But we’d have underground parking, of course.]

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[Crossing the Saone.]

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[Our somewhat fuzzy destination.]

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[And we’re there . . .]

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[The Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourviere.]

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[What appeared fuzzy three photos ago.]

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[Pope John Paul II]

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[Oh boy, steps!]

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[Quiet (well, it is a church), and go this way!]

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[They’re all so spectacular you run out of words to describe them.]

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[Oy!]

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[I can’t remember if it was “lit” this way, or if we just got lucky with the sun.]

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[So, what are they all looking at from the Basilica?]

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[This!  And the three following sweeping views of Lyon.]

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[Tour metallique de Fourviere (Metallic tour of Fourviere, the highest point in Lyon), a/k/a, the Eiffel Tower of Lyon.]

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[OK, another sweeping view.]

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[Ain’t we cute?  Don’t know where the rest of our party is – sometimes it’s like herding cats.]

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[If one is cute, two must be cuter?]

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[OK, you are now free to wander about the area.]

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[This a famous building.  I know because it was discussed on the tour.  But I don’t know why and an internet search proved fruitless (not that I was looking for fruit?)?]

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[If you include the hill upon which it stands (is that fair?), it’s taller than the Eiffel Tower.]

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[It’s even taller than the Eiffel Tower from this angle.]

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[It seems to be a continuing point of reference.]

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[Back on the bus . . . ]

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[Along the Saone (I believe?) . . . ]

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[A bridge (the thing that spans the river).]

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[Wall paintings (frescoes) and murals not uncommon throughout the city.  These are the La Fresque des Lyonnais.]

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[And back to Notre Dame (they’re everywhere!).]

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[I wish I knew what this was . . . I like it.]

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[We’re walking through Lyon.]

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[We don’t have anything like this at home . . . well, maybe some parts of Boston?]

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[The Pink Tower, from the internet: The tower rose is one of the most famous and lovely towers of Lyon. In the medievalquarter of old Lyon, these towers are secret passages that lead you through the courtyardsof the buildings without being exposed. They were used to avoid the police, army, orsimply to avoid having to go around the block. This traboule was constructed on warm pink stone, and has the distinction of being endowed with a tower. The tower serves as a ladder to move from one floor to another. It can be found at number 22 Rue du Boeuf, where there also is the restaurant La Tour Rose, who had stars in the Michelin guide but now it has had a change of manager and not as good as before. Once in the traboule, it’s all much quieter. The people who live there use of space when there is some sun to get a drink in the courtyard, together with neighbors, or allow to dry clothes. The traboules are a part of UNESCO world heritage with the rest of the old Lyon.quarter of old Lyon.]

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[Kathy, Bert, and the super going down a “street.”]

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[A courtyard on the “street.”]

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[QUIET!!!!]

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[La Fountaine Bartholdi in Place des Terreaux, created by Bartholdi who later went on to create something called The Statue of Liberty.   The square is the transport hub of the city, though we had little time to spend here.]

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[Believed to be a department store, designed to reflect its surroundings.  Apparently controversial.  I like it.  🙂 ]

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[I have no idea why I took this picture . . . ]

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[Possibly to pay homage to the ubiquitous French little black dress?  Based on my extensive expertise in the world of women’s fashion, it is my understanding all wardrobes should be built around the little black dress.]

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[Or maybe I was just trying to capture a pensive Reetz?  (But then that is something outside the bus window? . . .)]

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[And it looks like it was it.  Weren’t we here before?]

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[This is where we again met up with our boat, about a block behind me as I took this shot.  The building was a major shopping mall.  The Biddies took full advantage by pouncing on it with great vigor, figuring it may be Reetz’ last shot on attire at the expense of Air Canada – as we were soon to Paris, where allegedly her luggage has been hiding.]

What’s the trick to remembering that a sandwich is masculine? What qualities does it share with anyone in possession of a penis? I’ll tell myself that a sandwich is masculine because if left alone for a week or two, it will eventually grow a beard.  ~  David Sedaris, Me Talk Pretty One Day

Up next:  On to Chalon sur Saone, our last stop on the cruise.  Recounting this adventure has been time consuming due to company, surgery, and the just generally too many things to do in Alexandria in the summer!

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