Then Came the Sound of a Roaring Lyon

After a short visit to Paris to see some old friends we took a crowded ride on Metro 6, switching to the 14 after just a short walk. In the Gare de Lyon we found throngs in front of the trains, especially ours, once a track was assigned.  It was smooth sailing after that though, from the Gare de Lyon to Lyon itself on a high speed train.  We are in the third largest city in France and the gastronomic capital of the world thanks to Paul Bocuse.

Paul Bocuse
Bocuse on the “La Fresque des Lyonnais.” All of the most famous citizens are depicted on this fabulous huge mural.

Our roomy flat is just around the corner from the Metro.  The owner’s friendly friend was waiting for us.   The former is somewhere in the Caribbean for a couple of months.  It was after 9 pm by the time we went to the local Carrefour City, the small version of the huge grocery train.  There are two very close by and somehow we walked right by the closest one, but provisions we found.

The next morning we went looking for a street market along the Rhone.  Maybe they changed the day of the week for the market as it was not on.  We walked to another in about 15 minutes.  We found olives, ripe figs, green beans and, lo and behold, some brocoletti aka brocoli rab aka rapini. These may differ but they are in the same family, judging by their flavor.  We must be getting closer to the Italy. You don’t find these easily in Paris, say, but the Italians consume them by the ton. Sauteed with garlic (add sausage if you will), they are one of my favorite veg.

As we walked around I gained the impression that Lyon is well managed and well served by public transport.  At rush hour there are attendants at all the train’s doors, inviting people on or holding them back.  I have never encountered this before. The cars are roomy, with the seats set parallel so there’s plenty of standing room. They use tires to reduce the noise, versus metal wheels, just as they do in Paris.  Another good idea- the tickets work on all the forms of public transport, metro, bus, electric wire buses (wire overhead) and trams.  

It turned rainy that afternoon so we skipped the walking tour at 16h and went to the Musee des Confluences.  It is not only a neat modernity of a structure but a very good science museum.  Some of it is presented for a younger audience, going though the basics of things like evolution, with some realistic full size presentations of three species of humans dating back 50,000 years.  There’s an excellent video that even adults enjoy, showing how the earth developed out of the chaos of debris, then the collision that produced the moon, actually going farther back to how stars are born, one of which turned out to be our very own. I’ve got the sequence out of order here, but you get the idea and you’ll love the graphics. See Musee des Confluence

The confluence of the Rhone and the Saone from the Musee des Confluences

There is a room full of life sized stuffed animals. You can’t fit that polar bear onto your bed for a warm snuggle and you would not want a chance encounter in the wild. There’s a whale skeleton with an enormous jaw open to allow filtering of plankton, and a dangerous looking dinosaur. The African art collection has a bunch of neat wood carvings. I wonder why they do such pointy and too high on the chest representations of breasts. A lively video records village dancers in costume to the rhythm of the drums.

The tram stops right in front of the museum so we didn’t have to walk long in the rain to obtain the stop’s shelter. A few minutes we transferred to the metro and then walked the 50 meters to our door. The broccoletti awaits.

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