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  • Day17

    A change in the weather

    September 9, 2017 in France ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    As mentioned already, we were really impressed with our hotel, and even though it's on a busy road, the double-glazed windows meant that we couldn't hear a thing. We set off as usual for our petit dejeuner of jus d'orang, croissants and café. The moment we stepped outside, we saw that there had been a change in the weather, with the calm warm night giving way to a chilly and very wet morning. Not that we were complaining, as the weather up to this point had been anything but wet, and certainly on the hot side. we dashed inside for our warm clothes and borrowed one of the hotel's courtesy umbrellas. The weather wasn't going to stop us, but it could cause us to modify our plans.

    Breakfast over, we headed once more over the Bonaparte Bridge to the old city. Much to our surprise, a whole big area from the end of the bridge and throughout the St Jean square had been transformed overnight into a market for pottery. Hundreds, and it must have been at least a couple of hundred, potters had set up their stalls and were selling a great variety of handmade pieces in all sorts of styles. Most of it was in absolutely beautiful taste, and if we'd been in the market for tasteful ornaments, and had the money, we could have picked up the odd shipping container or two of beautifully-designed original items. We felt quite sorry for the stall-holders though, as their sunshade umbrellas were of little help in keeping them warm and dry.

    After a bit of a browse around we then caught the cable car, a different one from the previous day's, up to the old Roman ruins. Our rides weren't totally incident-free. At one of the stations, the automatic card reader refused to recognise Brian's day pass ticket, and at another, Mary's ticket wouldn't function. No big deal under normal circumstances, but what do you do when everything is automated and the station is totally unmanned? (Confession: Brian's problem was his own silly fault for being smart, because he was demonstrating to Mary how to use the automatic turnstile, so went back out of the station and tried to get back in. The system realised that he had already passed through and wasn't going to let him go through a second time). With the help of a couple of helpful but amused locals we found out eventually how to beat the system and were able to continue on our way.

    Having sorted things out and then explored the Roman ruins located high above the city. The rain had lightened off by then, which was good. We decided though that we should go to Plan B and make this largely a museum day, so we took ourselves off to the Gadagne Museum, which is nearby in the old town. The extensive main display is a history of Lyon from the 1st century BC, when it was known as Lugdunum, through to the present day. It was interesting, though hard to take everything in in one go. The museum is located in what was once a historic home, spread over four levels and with a maze of rooms. We found ourselves up and down numerous stairs and in and out of many doorways, but it was all very interesting.

    The museum was showing a temporary exhibition, also quite extensive, on the history of puppets and puppetry. It too contained a lot of interesting exhibits, mainly antique marionettes from various periods of history.

    After a largish lunch, neither of us was especially hungry, but we thought we'd head out anyway towards the old town where we could enjoy another beautiful dinner. It takes a while to get the hang of the geography, but we finally realised that it was an even shorter walk to the restaurant area than we'd realised. The only problem was that the rain had returned, which meant that nobody was wanting to sit outside and therefore there were far fewer tables available. Even before we reached the old town, we stumbled across a maze of old streets filled with restaurants on our side of the river. Very impressive, but at that time, round 8.30pm, there were no spare (dry) tables to be had. In the end, we decided to head back to our hotel and to fill up with a big breakfast the next morning instead.
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