our Journey

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Saturday, April 21, 2012


After another early start we set out for the last stop on the Saone, Lyon. Our ecluse skills are quite professional now (it only took us a year to realise that one rope in the middle of the boat is the right way) and we arrived at the 'Confluence de Lyon' in about 4 hours.

We occasionally used the inside helm when the icy winds were challenging, but for most of the time, sat outside marvelling at the riverside scenery.

It was very easy to imagine living in one of the ancient farmhouses that dotted the river, spending your days fishing, visiting the local boulangerie and patisserie and just generally taking it easy.

We passed so many local anglers trying their luck all along the river. If only we could have taken a photo of the huge brown trout that jumped out in front of us. Maybe that explains why they're out in the freezing weather!

So far we've passed about 4 small boats a day. Things are very quiet, although the huge cruise ships regularly go whizzing past looking very empty.

As we entered the outer suburbs of Lyon the view from the river is spectacular.

Occasionally you pass BIG mansions with acres of manicured gardens and then there are the old run-down structures covered in vines and trees.

Either side of the river are streets and streets of old mansions, residences and govt buildings.

It feels like you are stepping back into the 18th century with the exception of the odd rowers going up and down beside you

Seeing a city from the river is so different than being in a car. It's so quiet and strangely majestic.

At last the blue sky

After passing under a dozen bridges we entered the marina at 'la Confluence fluviale' and settled in with ease. We were surprised to see the whole area was complete - restaurants, patisseries and more importantly, the gigantic confluence shopping mall - 3 stories high with everything from Zara to Maccas. Apparently it only opened recently.

The architecture surrounding the marina is avant-garde, stunning and incorporates some fairly egalitarian social policies with over 30% allocated to single parents, first home owners and the poor. Needless to say, the remaining 70% are fairly upmarket in price!

The marina is terrific, everything very modern and secure, with only a few ripples and wobbles when the 'Vaporetto', a 'popeye' shuttle boat, goes past.

Life is very easy here, restaurants 2 minutes away, the main metro/tram 5 minutes and lawns, ducks and children everywhere.

very early Sunday morning
The marina is slowly filling up with boats from Britain and France. We've made friends easily and each night enjoy visiting other boats for drinks or inviting friends to ours for dinner.

We revisited the old quarter for an afternoon. Dashing from one cafe to another to avoid the drizzling rain was annoying although it did have a positive side - more stops for crepes!

This time we shared a hazelnut one.

The French love their desserts.

Every street has a brilliant patisserie and boulangerie although the huge lumps of  meringue had us speechless!

We were lucky to be in Lyon on Sunday - market day!
As usual their were all sorts of clothing, fake jewellery and colourful, cheap scarves. Prices were similar to the Spanish markets from last year, though some food seemed fairly expensive. Meat, in particular, was similar to Australian prices, because it was from highly prized farm-gate sellers. Local boutique cheeses and salami are very tempting and so once again we filled the cupboards.

From this wonderful city it's on to Les Roches de Condrieu, a small town downstream.

Life is good!

1 comment:

David and Anne lymn said...

this is to see whether the comment gadget is working