From Lyon to Vienne

I had spent some time on Thursday whilst waiting for the TGV to Paris wandering around Lyon. Much more time than I had expected to because there were train strikes in France last Thursday. How amusing that there were strikes in Britain too! How we laughed.

Vienne's roman amphitheatreWandering around Lyon didn’t amount to much more than getting off the Metro at the stop called ‘Vieux Lyon’ and poking around the streets there. Some more entries to the ‘sounds better in French’ compo: ‘Place de la baleine’ sounds so much better than ‘Whale Square.’ Vieux-Lyon has some gorgeous old streets, a fab icecream stall (I had licqorice, ginger and pink grapefruit flavours). From Vieux-Lyon metro station, you can also take two funicular railways up a hill overlooking the town, so I went up one and saw some views, and also Lyon’s Roman amphitheatre, which was gearing up for Les Nuits Fourvieres. Scaffolding staging and wings were all set up on the stage part of the arena, and people were wandering around in various fabulous costumes.

Unfortch, no Lyon pics (and no stag night pics from me, alas, either): camera, along with medications, were the things I accidentally left in the car.

Having ‘done’ Lyon on Thursday, when I got my car back on Tuesday, the aim was to get out of town and back on the road. I headed down the A7 motorway to Vienne, where, the Rough Guide told me, I could see some more good Roman Remains.

Me, in Vienne's roman amphitheatreAnd I certainly could. Firstly there was a huge museum, with a display about winemaking throughout time (Romans used to drink wine diluted with water, either hot or cold, and flavoured with herbs like lavendar and sweetened with honey). Then a permament exhibition about Romans in Vienne, then finally a chance to walk around acres of preserved archaeological sites with explanations about Roman life.

But floorplans are a bit dusty — I was hoping for a some real remains I walk in not on, and so went around the town a bit more. Happily Vienne has an amphitheatre too, bigger than the ones in Lyon and recently lovingly restored. Now the centre of Vienne’s jazz festival.

And yet another self pic!

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