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Lyon, Day One: Sept. 2.

Before I tell you about Monday, let me just add a note about Sunday night – mostly for myself, so I will remember what I did and when. I spent most of Sunday writing blog posts and packing up my suitcase. But at 5 Ken, Margaret and I went to have tea with Daniele, who I’ve mentioned in previous posts. None of us had ever been to her home before and we were so impressed with the renovation that she has done. I purposely decided before going to Daniele’s that I wasn’t going to take any photos or write a post about it – I think I sent three posts on Sunday and I was worn out. But I now regret it. I truly wish I could show you her house – and have photos for myself – oh, well. C’est la vie. I also wish I had a photo of the excellent apricot tart that she made completely from scratch to go with our Earl Grey tea out in her garden. We all had such a fabulous time that we stayed till around 9, by which time we had moved on from tea and tart to fine red wine and excellent cheese. What an amazing final evening in Verquilleux!

On Monday morning (this morning), I finished packing and helped out with a few things, then Margaret and I headed for the train station 45 minutes away in Le Creusot. Oh, wait, let me not forget to mention that Manne stopped over especially to say goodbye to me. She is such a lovely woman and I enjoy her company every time I visit. Plus, she gave me lots of tips on what to see and do in Lyon. At the Le Creusot station, with Margaret’s help, I managed to get in the wrong car and had to drag my heavy suitcase through 6 cars after the train was moving. I say that tongue-in-cheek because I had been very nervous about making it to the station on time and finding the right car and the right seat – my ticket had misprinted and the number of the car couldn’t be read. With her marvelous French capabilities, Margaret was able to talk with the guy in the ticket booth and get it straightened out and get directions. I was so relieved. But when I discovered we were standing in totally the wrong place when it was time to board, she and I both had to laugh. It turned out fine. The train wasn’t full, so when I asked someone to help me find my seat, she gestured for me to just sit anywhere – so I did. The train trip was only about 45 minutes anyway.

When I arrived at the Part Dieu station in Lyon, I had no trouble finding the Metro, buying my ticket, getting on the correct train, changing trains, and getting off at the correct stop – Bellecour. When I lugged my suitcase up out of the Metro, I was near the Tourist Information Center, but it was closed and the sign said it would reopen in half an hour, so I headed off walking to see if I could find my hotel without a map. Well, I couldn’t – why would I ever think that I could? – but the day was sunny and warm and Lyon is a beautiful city, so my search was interesting and fun, even though in the end I had to walk back to the Info Center. When I got there I noticed a note on the door that I hadn’t seen before. It said that the correct TI was actually in the building across the square. I hauled my suitcase over there and discovered that it had been open the entire time. They gave me an excellent map and told me that my hotel was an easy 2 blocks away! Ah, well. C’est la vie.

The photos will tell you and show you all about my hotel – basic and funky, but clean and comfortable. After settling in I went exploring my immediate neighborhood. My guess is that some of you will be disappointed with my next admission – I am thrilled that I found a Starbucks not far from here that I can go to to get my morning coffee! I know, I know, I’m in France and should be getting coffee at some quaint French cafe. But my morning coffee is the one thing I don’t take chances on!!! The photos below will also show you some shots I took while exploring.

Hopefully I will get back in your good graces by telling you what I DID take a chance on – I went out to dinner alone to a fairly fancy restauant. Lyon is known for its food and its restauants and I decided that I don’t want to miss out on that just because I have no one here with me. I’m so glad I went. I was very comfortable dining alone and had a very good meal – a lovely salad, then grilled Hake on a bed of tomatoes, red peppers, onions, and capers, washed down with a lovely Macon vin blanc. That is probably not the correct way to say it, but it is after 11 p.m. and I am fading fast. I’m going to add the photos to this post and publish it as is.

BTW, I got to use a French phrase that I learned while in Vequilleux. When the waiter asked me if I would like anything else, I said, “J’ai bien manger.” That got a big smile out of him – probably because up until then I had been speaking all English, except bon soir and merci.

Thank you to everyone who is sending me comments. I don’t have time to reply to all of you, but please know that I love hearing from you!!!

No art making today. And no feet. But you haven’t seen the end of either.

Can you see the door to my hotel?

Can you see the door to my hotel?

Here is a close up of the entry.

Here is a close up of the entry.

Here is a shot of the entire street. See the fancy financial office on the near corner? It's quite a mixed neighborhood. Looks a little scary at first, but I've walked around the neighborhood and it feels safe - busy with people, shops and restaurants nearby. In another photo you'll see the street on the other side of the building, the side my room looks out on, a very nice little park.

Here is a shot of the entire street. See the fancy financial office on the near corner? It’s quite a mixed neighborhood. Looks a little scary at first, but I’ve walked around the neighborhood and it feels safe – busy with people, shops and restaurants nearby. In another photo you’ll see the street on the other side of the building, the side my room looks out on, a very nice little park.

Looking right out my hotel window: Theatre des Celestins.

Looking right out my hotel window: Theatre des Celestins.

Looking more left out my hotel window: the park and playground in front of the Theatre des Celestins.

Looking more left out my hotel window: the park and playground in front of the Theatre des Celestins.

Now you'll see why this hotel is so economically priced: no elevator. This is the first flight of stairs to carry your suitcase up, as soon as you get in the door.

Now you’ll see why this hotel is so economically priced: no elevator. This is the first flight of stairs to carry your suitcase up, as soon as you get in the door.

Second flight of stairs to carry your suitcase up.

Second flight of stairs to carry your suitcase up.

Third flight of stairs to carry your suitcase up.

Third flight of stairs to carry your suitcase up.

Fourth flight of stairs to carry your suitcase up.

Fourth flight of stairs to carry your suitcase up.

Fifth flight of stairs to carry your suitcase up. Hey, Denise & Bill, remind you of our 5th floor apartment in Rome? Only this time no one offered to carry my suitcase!

Fifth flight of stairs to carry your suitcase up. Hey, Denise & Bill, remind you of our 5th floor apartment in Rome? Only this time no one offered to carry my suitcase!

The reception desk. Then there were 2 more flights of stairs to carry my suitcase up to get to my room after I checked in! I was too tired for any more photos.

The reception desk. Then there were 2 more flights of stairs to carry my suitcase up to get to my room after I checked in! I was too tired for any more photos.

The breakfast area next to the reception desk.

The breakfast area next to the reception desk.

My Room: Photo One.

My Room: Photo One.

My Room: Photo Two. And another reason the price is so economical - see the fan? - no air conditioning. But that's OK with me.

My Room: Photo Two. And another reason the price is so economical – see the fan? – no air conditioning. But that’s OK with me.

My Room: Photo Three.

My Room: Photo Three.

My Room: Photo Four.

My Room: Photo Four.

Walking around my immediate neighborhood.

Walking around my immediate neighborhood.

Immediate Neighborhood: place des Jacobins.

Immediate Neighborhood: place des Jacobins.

Closer shot of the fountain at place des Jacobins.

Closer shot of the fountain at place des Jacobins.

A narrow old side street near the hotel.

A narrow old side street near the hotel.

Theatre des Celestins at place des Celestins. My hotel is to the right of this building, across the street and facing the Theatre's side.

Theatre des Celestins at place des Celestins. My hotel is to the right of this building, across the street and facing the Theatre’s side.

place Antonin Poncet: on my way to dinner.

place Antonin Poncet: on my way to dinner.

This is where I ate dinner: one of Paul Bocuse's restaurants, Brasserie le Sud, at 11 place Antonin Poncet.

This is where I ate dinner: one of Paul Bocuse’s restaurants, Brasserie le Sud, at 11 place Antonin Poncet.

Since my entire day had been full of hustle and bustle, I opted for eating inside, where it was calm and quiet. I arrived at 7:30, when they begin serving, because I was starving, so the place only had a couple of people in it - obviously not sitting where I took this photo. But by the time I left, after 8:30, the place was hopping - outside patio, inside patio, and inside rooms where I was.

Since my entire day had been full of hustle and bustle, I opted for eating inside, where it was calm and quiet. I arrived at 7:30, when they begin serving, because I was starving, so the place only had a couple of people in it – obviously not sitting where I took this photo. But by the time I left, after 8:30, the place was hopping – outside patio, inside patio, and inside rooms where I was.

Martha
September 3rd, 2013 at 12:16 am

Hi Debi – just catching up with your blog today! Loving it and having a vicarious trip; thanks for all the detail, pix, and ‘footage”. Love, M.

Margaret Thompson
September 2nd, 2013 at 9:49 pm

Sounds as if you managed all this very well, especially the lonely restaurant experience. I went and cleared up my studio today in preparation for leaving on Wed. It all felt quite sad without you. But I did manage to remove some more clutter from the sitting room! (in an artistic way of course).

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Debi Pendell Artist by debipendell.com