Monday, June 27, 2016

Mon voyage. Jour numéro trois. Lyon.

Today I slept in, but it worked out perfect because the cleaning lady was there so I had someone to make a reservation for me at a bouchon.  (Pouve vous faire une reservation pour moi?  There was some back and forth and we made it work so I was pretty happy with my very limited French.) A bouchon is a small bistro and the one I was after,  le Café Comptoir Abel, has been there since 1726.  Reservations are recommended since the French dine slow, which means that if a table is taken it may be taken all evening.  I don't usually like to dine in restaurants where I don't speak the language but Lyon is famous for food (and it isn't like I don't know any French) so I decided I had to go out of my comfort zone.

Presqu'ile is a neighborhood in the middle of Lyon, located between two rivers, the Saône and the Rhône.  When the Nazis left the city in 1944 they destroyed all of Lyon's bridges.  There they go, ruining their great reputation.  

Although France has reasonably priced meals I preferred to stay in the 5 euro range, which is pretty cheap, since I knew I would be going out for dinner.  
The quiche was delicious, and packed full of veggies.  

There are frescoes all over the city called trompe l'oeil, optical illusions.  This was the first one I noticed, but who knows how many I missed...

Nardone René Glacier (ice cream) was recommended by my Rick Steve's guidebook.  It was described as Lyon's best ice cream.  I cannot even describe how good this ice cream is.  I took one bite and knew I would be back tomorrow.  I seriously considered not eating my cone and asking to have it refilled.

Lyon is a great city to visit.  There are wonderful sights, and few non French tourists.  

L’Hôtel de ville was built in the mid 1600's, and is located in the same square as 
le musée des beaux arts de Lyon (the museum of fine arts, and my destination).  

In the 1700's there were sixty Benedictine nuns living in this abbey (one of the wealthiest in France), but 1792 the Municipal Council designated the building as a place to conserve medals, bronzes and other artistic monuments.  By 1803 the Louvre was sending over works of arts, and has since contributed over a hundred pieces.  

The courtyard is open to the public. 

Either he was a really good dentist to receive this medal, they gave medals to all dentists, or the other dentists were really bad...

When I see Greek and Roman art now it is a reminder that we are constantly building on top of the locations of previous civilizations.  And I cannot help but wonder what has been lost in the process.

The man on the right is literally blowing smoke into the child's face.  How French.

Some "art" just shouldn't exist.

Just around the corner from the abbey/museum is le atelier de la soierie (the silk workshop).  Lyon was the capital of Europe's silk industry from the 16th to the 19th century.  The techniques used at the workshop (all hand painted) are a lost art, though conserved here.
The silks are incredible, but out of my price range (squares like the one below cost 100 euro).  

Today I got to explore some traboules (passageways).  They are shortcuts in buildings that are open to the public, which used to be used to move unfinished silk goods from one stage of production to the next, protected from the elements.  They were closed yesterday, because of the revelers... 

I arrived at le Café Comptoir Abel at sept heures trente. I probably walked 15 miles today. Which is great because my dinner was probably 2,000 calories.  

I got the recommended quenelle de brochet (pike dumpling in a creamy sauce).  It was like nothing I have ever had before.  I finished my plate.

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