Thursday, October 28, 2010

LYON : Les munsonerables

So we did venture out of England after all, and even with my precaution of topping up the car at Dover, had no problem refuelling as we barrelled 800km down highway after highway to reach Lyon, early last night. The manager of the hotel gave us a room adjacent to a big grassy space so that Munson could have a run around – very thoughtful!


I know almost nothing about Lyon, and didn’t plan any sights or events for our stay. I simply punched in historic destination on the GPS and drove towards. That destination turned out to be that prominent white building at the top of the hill – the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière. On the site of a Roman forum, this basilica is not very old (late 19th century) but there are pretty awesome views over most of Lyon from its surrounds.

PA280424-427_stitch Lyon panorama 2

PA280433-439_stitch panorama 3

Also, as it turned out, it’s a handy place to park your car for free where you won’t forget, as long as you don’t mind the knee-destroying walk up and down the hill. Apparently there’s a funicular, but I just had taut dog-leash in both directions… and people wonder why I have forearms like pistons on a locomotive.

It’s a city I took a liking to very quickly, and the older parts of town strike me as an interesting blend of Paris and Toulouse. It’s big and impressive, without the slightly harried, overcrowded feeling you can get in Paris. That changes a bit as you move out – I stopped in a the Planet Carrefour shopping centre later in the day, and got a headache just contemplating the activity in one big supermarket. We only have Micrometeorite Carrefours near us in the Gers, so this felt really over the top.

PA280472-476_stitch greve

One of the last manifestations for the ongoing greve over the French government raising the retirement age was running as Munson and I reached one end of the Place Bellecour. Smoke and red-lights added some theatricality to the otherwise peaceful procession.2010-10-28 LYON with greve

Standing by all the colour and motion were several units of the national police (CRS: Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité) who couldn’t resist flirting with Munson and ignored the blood-soaked limb of a protestor he had in his mouth. The lad started to sing a bit, and he was encouraged to repeat the marchers’ Tous ensemble! chant, but the best he could manage was closer to Feed Me Seymour!

PA280502  PA280503

The rest of the day was a bit more static but every bit as colourful.

Celestine, Theatre de Lyon

The façade of the Celestine theatre  has been decorated by four graffiti artists *under commission) for the coming year’s season.



  1. Did The Bear get to follow Munson back to the hotel?

    Great pics and commentary of the day!

    The forearms comment really made me smile!

  2. .."blood soaked limb of a protestor..."??? Love the grafitti on the Celestine!

  3. Anonymous1:58 am

    You need to see Armee des Ombres before your next visit. I did like the riot police episode.

  4. Do you ever get them asking if he is a wolf? We get that a lot here just prior to them asking if they can pet me. Stupid Americans. Wolves don't have a silly grin like us Mals do!

    More gorgeous pics, as usual!


  5. A wolf / un loup is a very common question - but in England they tend to ask if he's a werewolf, as if that's a real thing...

    Some more on the wolf thing as it happens for the next Lyon post, which is going to be very long and I won't get to do it until I get home.

  6. No one calls me a wolf..even though thats in my name...mostly they say I'm a fuzzy horse.

    You have great pictures, looks like you are having the time of your life! I think the police found you more interesting than the riot.