Transcript for Episode 113: Top Attractions in Lyon

Category: Lyon Area

Discussed in this Episode

  • Musings on how to select a hotel in a large city [2:43]
  • Answers to a listener question on health care in France [11:50]
  • The 6 most salient points in the history of Lyon [27:28]
  • The capital of the Roman Gaul [31:04]
  • Commercial hub during the Renaissance [35:36]
  • Lyon under the French Revolution and Napoleon [38:41]
  • Jacquard weave [40:19]
  • Frères Lumière [41:29]
  • Lyon and the Resistance [42:06]
  • Booking a tour at the Tourist Office on Place Bellecour [46:00]
  • Traboules [46:46]
  • Bouchons and Lyon Gastronomy (some we loved others not so much!) [51:30]
  • La Fourvière Basilica [55:13]
  • Night-life in Lyon [1:06:57]
  • The Alps and the Auvergne are nearby! [1:10:32]



Annie Sargent 0:00
On today’s Join Us in France Elyse and I take you to the lovely city of Lille and we also share some thoughts on how to choose a hotel room in France. And we also answer a listeners question about how French people like the healthcare system that we have here.

Annie Sargent 0:49
Thank you for sending in a tip Michael groves and Stephanie grace, Your support is appreciated. This is Join Us in France Episode 130. Hello, I’m Annie.

Elyse Rivin 1:03
And you can tell I’m being chipper. I’m Elyse,

Annie Sargent 1:06
And join us in France. Well, you know, it’s like edutainment about France.

Annie Sargent 1:12
What did you say that word again?

Annie Sargent 1:13

Elyse Rivin 1:15
Ettainment. Did you make that word up?

Annie Sargent 1:16
No, I did not make that word up. I don’t know who did but I didn’t make it up. I saw it online and I thought oh, that’s exactly what Join Us in France is Yeah, we tell people and you know, educational things, but I hope we’re entertaining. I

Elyse Rivin 1:32
do I do that gutturals

Elyse Rivin 1:35
should come and do these after eating lunch. I guess that’s true. Normally we do this.

Annie Sargent 1:41
Anyway, okay. How are you Elise? I’m actually fine. Yeah, yes, I

Elyse Rivin 1:47
maybe we can say a couple of words about I just did a tour yesterday with a couple named Terry and Stan who came to me through the Join Us in France podcast very nice. So that’s

Annie Sargent 2:00
Thanks you to us to the podcast. Hello, hello. Hello, hello.

Elyse Rivin 2:05
It’s a season that starts being busy. For me. That’s good. With people coming to visit season here is very short as you know. And also because I will be teaching a class in the history of French painting, which as you know, is probably one of my two most favorite things in the world to talk. Yeah, you’re really good at that. So excellent. Exciting. That’s very exciting. And looks like summer is about to come our way. Oh, yeah. I think Summer is here. Summer is definitely here. We had a wet, wet, wet wet spring, huh. But if we go by today and whatever feels like we’re about to hit the hot weather.

Annie Sargent 2:43
And I’ve been planning a four day trip to Paris. So that’s short, and we have some constraints because we’re meeting friends. And they’re staying in a very posh place where the eighth Ile Saint Louis Oh,

Annie Sargent 3:00
Thank you very much I know. And we, you know, we’re not going to pay for that sort of accommodation. So I thought, Well, okay, what am I get? How am I going to do this? We can easily meet them, but not be so right in the center of Paris. And so I am trying to discover Paris in a different way than I normally do, which is I decided we need to be on the metro line that goes right alongIle Saint Louis, and that’s like, the 7 Yeah. And it’s the pink line. And that one, so I went looking, I said, Okay, I need to find a hotel really close to a metro station on line seven. Oh, yeah. I’m thinking of one in the four but the seven. Where does it go to? I don’t know. I don’t remember the ends of the line. Okay. I think one end might be gare de l’est. And the other end there’s something called Maison Blanche. But that’s not quite the end of the line. Yeah, I’m not sure what that is actually. Anyway. So it’s one of the long

Annie Sargent 4:00
This lines in on the Paris Metro, it’s like almost 20 kilometers it’s super long anyway. And it’s with winds like North and South almost. Anyway so I found a hotel right next to that but it was an ordeal to figure out how to do that how to find a hotel next to next to a metro net next to your Metro metro station station. Yeah, yeah, yeah. But I ain’t figured it out if I might put that in a document somewhere from a document that and make it easy for other people to do the same. Because I think that’s really handy dandy you know, if you if you because in travel, the most important thing is location. Yes. You know if you’re going to I mean, you could stay anywhere in Paris, there’s millions of hotels, right exaggerate But okay, there’s a lot of hotels in Paris. But if you’re going to be spending you know, a long time in transportation anywhere you need to go and you anytime you need to go anywhere, it’s kind of a pain. It’s a bummer it Yeah.

Elyse Rivin 5:00
I mean, I, my, my attitude is, unless you’re in a place for a very long time, I would just assume if I have to pay a little bit more and be close to the city center, so that I don’t lose two to three hours a day traveling in and out, that’s because that but the you’re right Paris has hotels everywhere, right? Every arrondissement has hotels, right? And there are 20 metro lines. And so even if you are on the outer edge of the city, you’re not going to take more almost than maybe a half an hour to get anywhere. You know, right? You might not change or something like that. And that’s what I was trying to avoid is a change, right? Because the change sometimes the changes are really quick and sometimes very, sometimes takes four oh yeah, sometimes you can walk literally a kilometer underground. Yeah. So that’s what I was trying to avoid. And I and I think I figured it out. And I will probably put that together in document to share with the listeners because I think it’s an effective way if the other

Annie Sargent 5:59
The other constraint we have is we might take our dog and so we had to go with a hotel that we know. Yeah. And the ones in France that always do that is the Ibis chain. So I wanted an Ibis or Ibis Styles which is a little better. Anyway I figured it out but it was.

Elyse Rivin 6:20
You know there’s one the other way of doing it in a way is if you have a map of the metro stops. And then when you go online, you know first row which arrondissement each of the stops, yeah. And then you can basically when you go online for booking hotels, especially for Paris, but the big booking services, they will ask you for Paris which around the song, so you can actually choose in their own d small and then see how close it is to Metro and actually they do that is very they make it easy to map and all that. But if they don’t make it easy to overlay public transportation on top of the

Elyse Rivin 7:00
No, that’s why right, you know that that’s the kind of thing that and then of course, you have to find that people’s notion of how close things are. It’s very relative to how much they walk. Because somebody will say something is really close by another person will say, oh, it took us a long time to walk there. Exactly. And so that’s very subjective. You know, but you’re right. It’s very good to be near a metro station, right? Because then you really have immediate access to wherever because the system is very, very good. Right? Right.

Annie Sargent 7:29
So it’s like this one time, Saint Remy de Provence, we booked a hotel. There was like a kilometer and a half from the center of the town. And I saw that’s not a big deal. Yeah, well, it was really steep. Oh, you did it by foot. Well, I saw we would just park at the hotel and then walking down, you know, but it was pretty steep. Yeah. And it was like, she’s, yeah, yeah.

Elyse Rivin 7:54
Those are things you have to really pay attention to. I find that as a good note a heads up is The comments people, right, I’m so used to reading the comments on different sites like booking and all of that, you know, you know what your priorities are, you know, which are the things that are going to be the red light things for you that you don’t want. So you pay attention to see if those come up as comments. But it’s such a time seeing it media, it is common to take you read the most, I’d say we the 10 most recent. That’s Yeah. Judge. Yeah, that’s true. It’s a good one. And of course, they should be recent recent, like in the last four or five months, right. Otherwise, it’s really you know, you know, not that meaningful. Yeah, but

Annie Sargent 8:34
Okay, so another thing I wanted to do before we get started on our podcast about Lyon today, is I want you to know what the Lion says in French?

Elyse Rivin 8:49

Annie Sargent 8:49

Elyse Rivin 8:51
That’s why he’s the king!

Annie Sargent 8:52
ROHA, no ROAH, I had to look this up recently. And I was like, What? So the lion in English roars.

Elyse Rivin 9:01

Annie Sargent 9:01
It’s pretty much roar.

Elyse Rivin 9:03

Elyse Rivin 9:05
That’s what that makes him the roi

Annie Sargent 9:07
That’s true. Le roi des betes.

Elyse Rivin 9:09

Annie Sargent 9:10
Exactly. Oh, that’s good. That’s good. Alright, so I want to also answer a question from Janet Stafford Meyer. Meyer. Sorry, Janet. Hi. Okay. She says, How do French people feel about their healthcare system? Are employees divided between salaries and hourly and part time as we are in the US. Can you answer that question first? No, no, no, we’re not. After a few trips to Paris, which city should be next on my list? Okay, that’s

Elyse Rivin 9:45
totally separate. And then she says,

Annie Sargent 9:48
I need good public transportation and I want lots of street life.

Elyse Rivin 9:52
Yeah, I saw the councel you gave I wouldn’t get the same ones. But oh, so what would you say I would have said to lose in Bordeaux. Oh, really? Yeah. First First of all you have developed a bore more of an affection from Montpelier than I have which I it’s fine but Toulouse really has a lot of nightlife. Lyon, of course we’ll talk about Lyon Yeah. Which is bigger. But But I put the rest of your answer I think was correct which is any of the big cities in France has a city center that has nightlife. That’s the way it is, you know,

Annie Sargent 10:21
If there are students and it’s a big city is going to be

Elyse Rivin 10:25
a major university cities and not Bordeaux, Lyo, Toulouse Montpellier a Strasbourg all have city centers, I would avoid Marseille

Annie Sargent 10:37
for nightlife.

Elyse Rivin 10:38
Yeah, I would too

Annie Sargent 10:41
Know you didn’t know. Because I think Marseille might have nightlife that could easily go south.

Elyse Rivin 10:50
No, I don’t think it’s for that reason. I think the thing about Marseille which is the city I know if I say medium well, is that its enormous. Physically. Enormous and it’s very dispersed. So the most of the other cities are really cities that have a genuine city center. And Pat and Marseille doesn’t. I mean it has an old port it has some some interesting touristy things down by. But if you’re really talking about nightlife The truth is, I’m not even sure where you find it in a city like Marseille because this is a city that really a city turned towards the ocean and the beaches and things like that in there are a few theaters and stuff like that, but they’re much more scattered. There’s not really a nice center that you can walk around and yeah, there are parts of it that are not places you want to walk around. There are parts of it that are fine. Yeah, but I wouldn’t have thought of it particularly as a city that has a good local centralized nightlife where you can walk around Yeah,

Annie Sargent 11:50
yeah. Okay. So let’s let’s talk about her question about health health care. Yeah. Okay. It’s it’s a complicated issue, but you You’re asking a French people are happy with their healthcare in general. Yes, yes.

Elyse Rivin 12:04
And I think I would like to make a comment because I think that the question needs to be elucidated in terms of the question is in reference to what because I absolutely agree with you, you know, you You and I are both people who are transatlantic and have lived long enough on both sides of the Atlantic to have a good sense of what the systems are like. The French system is a universal healthcare system. It means that everybody has coverage, if you have employment, and even if you don’t have employment, they guarantee you a minimum amount of health care coverage anyway. When people who are French, and I’m very clearly saying when people are French, this is my point of view, here, complain about the system. It’s on a level that has nothing to do with what an American could possibly understand. Because for People complain about here is that there’s an augmentation maybe of one or two euros for basic general visits, or because doctors are cutting back on their hours, or because

Annie Sargent 13:15
special, maybe some medication that used to be reimbursed right

Elyse Rivin 13:19
now, what we’re talking about is like, nothing it’s like, it’s like, people, the piddly stuff appeared to the way the American system works here, the system is not complicated. There are doctors who are allowed to choose if they’re specialist particularly, to not be what they call here, conventione, which means that they’re out of the system, it means you pay out of pocket and you’re not going to get reimbursed, because here people have basic health care, but that doesn’t cover the majority of the data. That’s, that’s a, that’s a small it’s a very small number. So in fact, and here the other thing is, and this is from point of view, being an American who lives here France going to a public teaching hospital is the best care you can get. There are good private clinics, but it’s not like in the states where if you go to a public hospital, there’s a there’s a sense of that being a place you don’t want to go. Yeah. Whereas here you do, like the

Annie Sargent 14:16
basic idea of the French system is that the health care is private. Yeah. But the health insurance is a public thing. So the major when you’re a student in France, or when you’re self employed, or when you’re employed, or even when you’re unemployed, officially unemployed, officially, you participate in this big thing called Social Security, social social security, right? That covers about 70% of all your medical expenditures. The other thing that this massive health insurance does is that it has it has the ability to tell doctors, no, you may not charge more than x for this or that, right?

Annie Sargent 15:11
So when you go see a doctor, a doctor in France, even if you’re an American who’s on a visit, most likely if you do an office visit, the doctor will ask you for 23 euros. That’s the basic rate. And they that’s what they charge anybody who comes into their office right now, if you have the the insurance card, the green insurance insurance card that we have called Carte Vitale, then most than 70% of this 23 euros is going to be reimbursed. And then if you have a top insurance, which most people who work do, then most of the rest of the 23 euros is also going to be reimbursed so in the end going to the doctors will cost you maybe a euro or two right. Okay. But that’s That it’s not like England, where in England you’re supposed to go to the doctor that is practicing in your neighborhood.

Elyse Rivin 16:08
Oh, I didn’t even know that.

Annie Sargent 16:09
Yeah, in France, you can go to any doctor go to any one, right? You just have to declare a general practitioner. But if you want to drive 100 miles to goes, you know, practice practitioner, that’s fine. You can do that. They cover a lot of other things, more or less well, so if you need we don’t have chiropractors in France, but we do have ostheopathes but which are kind of

Elyse Rivin 16:34
if they’re, if they’re medical doctors, it’s reimburse or if you are complimentary insurance covers. Exactly. So it’s it’s a bit of a complicated system. Physical Therapy is reimburse

Annie Sargent 16:43
physical therapy entirely. Yes, yes. So you know, we have very good basic care if you’re going to be hit with something like breast cancer, or diabetes. They do an amazing job. At treating people yeah and as following up on with people I’m not we’ve had doctors call us at home. Yeah. To say, Okay Is everything going you know it going well you how you doing on your therapy or whatever, it’s, it’s unbelievable.

Elyse Rivin 17:16
The fact is the French system is really rated to be one of the best in the world and it has a lot more of an emphasis, at least for certain things like you mentioned, preventive medicine, which is very good because in the end that lowers costs, etc. So catch something early. You know, they have this here we are, we are in we’re in the Haute Garonne, which is the number 31. And you get these things now because me and my husband are well we’re at a certain age, okay. Every two years, you get three exams for all kinds of things. You get a free mammogram, I mean you get a free you get all the street, they want to do preventive medicine. This is fabulous. Yeah. It really is fabulous.

Annie Sargent 17:59
If you do ever Everything that they send you and you know they send you letters I go do preventatively depistage. Exactly. That means, you know they want to they want you to see if you have this issue or that issue right? I’ve had my depistage for colon cancer for like six months haven’t done it. You will you I just need to do it. I have to envelope young. Yeah.

Elyse Rivin 18:22
But it’s very interesting. And and the other thing is, is that they are at the forefront of certain kinds of research like here where we live. The Cancer Research is the best in the country, you see. So personally, I think the French system is really a great system. Now French people who have never lived anywhere else, they grumble, complain and they think it’s terrible, because it’s going to cost them a teeny little bit more. Right. But when when, as you and I both know, the ridiculousness of the cost of medical care in the United States, which of course can be very good. But, but if you’re you don’t have a lot of money, nevermind, you’re not going to get that kind of care. No. I, because of that makes me very impatient when I hear people grumbling about a little bit more, because the only other problem is, of course, that it is a huge cost for the government. As you say it’s private care but publicly funded to a certain extent, when you put into the complimentary insurance, it’s money out of your own pocket, right? Unless you have an employer, that is a big employer who has a package deal for everybody in place, which is fine when you do belong to a situation like that. Otherwise, you pay out of your own pocket. Yeah. And then you have to decide whether it’s worth it or not. If you’re young, most people don’t feel it’s worth it.

Annie Sargent 19:45
But we have to mention numbers. I mean, supplemental insurance for the year in France, even if you’re an older person, and it will cost you know, you’re probably going to get more visits. It’s going to cost you what 1000 a year just

Elyse Rivin 19:59
yeah, it costs me right now, 90 a month.

Annie Sargent 20:01
There you go. So okay, that’s the top up insurance, right? Well, in America, there are people who pay 600 and 1000 a month, a month, a month. I know for just basic health insurance. So we you know, that’s why it’s true. I don’t have very much patience with French people complain, because most of the time, it’s because like, there’s this this this medicine that my doctor likes to prescribe whenever we have a cold or something, you know, chest something, he prescribes this thing. It’s an nasal spray, and it contains a little bit of steroids and it kind of washes up and he’s always anyway, they stopped reimbursing it. And so people complain that this thing cost them three euro 50. Right. Which the doctor he still likes to use it but the national health insurance system, they’ve done a study and they’ve decided no, this doesn’t shorten the number days that are sick or it doesn’t help them in any way let’s not reimburse and that’s usually what it’s based on. It’s it’s based on whether or not you know it’s effective.

Elyse Rivin 21:10
I mean, let’s face it the basically serious medicines the ones you use for cholesterol heart and all the things they reimburse Yes, that’s all Yeah, you know, doesn’t cost you money doesn’t cost you anything.

Annie Sargent 21:23
I pay more for health care for my animals than I do.

Elyse Rivin 21:26
Yes. For the people. Well, yes, there is there. You know, there is such a thing as I actually from the days of my dear departed, Kitty. There is insurance there is insurance. It’s private insurance. Yeah. But it costs a fortune. So in the end,

Annie Sargent 21:43
yeah, most people say yeah, I’ll just pay for this pay. Even but even veterinary medicine is cheaper in France, is it? Oh, yeah. By a lot by a lot. I was I was flabbergasted when the cause when we brought our Luna from the US to France. She was young at the time, but just doing a office visit for shots and you know, a couple times a year just to check her out. Hi be like 50 euros or something. And over there, it’d be two or 300. Really? Oh, yeah, it was was a lot more money. And that was for that was her dog was still young and Well, right now that she’s older and she needs more help with various things. You know,

Elyse Rivin 22:21
the other thing I’d like just to make another comment about all of this. It is extremely difficult, I think for Americans, and not Canadians, not Australians, but Americans to understand that in France, medical coverage is not a political issue. No, it is absolutely not a political issue does not matter whether you are Republican, democratic or further left or further, right. No one questions the idea that people should have medical coverage, it is just not considered to be a political issue. I think that is the biggest, biggest difference and something that maybe if people listening from the United States could could understand. It doesn’t become a question of why are we doing this? It is just a given. But this is the right that everyone should have medical coverage, whether it’s total 100%, or at least at least 70%. Right? It’s just out of the political game

Annie Sargent 23:21
and also the the whole idea of controlling costs, right. And I know that in America, medical school costs a lot of money. American insurance costs a lot of money, right? Americans. American doctors pay a lot of money for beautiful looking offices.

Elyse Rivin 23:41
They had malpractice, insurance,

Annie Sargent 23:42
malpractice insurance, they have a lot of costs that French doctors don’t have. Because my French doctor in the village doctor here, he has an extra couple of rooms built next to his house and one is Waiting Room and is he other is his? A while he has an office and an examination room? It’s not very big. Probably your whole thing is, I don’t know, maybe 500 square feet. Yeah, altogether. He’s the only person there. If you call him most, if you call his number most of the time he answers the phone. Once in a while he’s with a patient and he clicks it over to an answering service. You book with him, you can either call him or you can do it online. I mean, you know, they they use modern things.

Annie Sargent 24:34
But the reason why it’s so cheap is because he only has to deal with one type of insurance as the national health insurance. He he submitted, you give him your green card, and it has a chip on it that will talk to his computer and his computer will bill directly and you get reimbursed it’s all automatic. Yep. You know, without one magic card with a chip on it. It’s it’s and you don’t really need all these people doing staff, you know, all this staff to do billing and I do research and do I qualify for this so that know, in France, you know, there are a few things, you know, don’t get reimbursed one of them is, ostheopathe but there are a few things like dental stuff is not it’s not very well, you know, but I mean,

Elyse Rivin 25:25
but that’s typical for some reason everywhere in the world. Yeah, yeah, no Why? Yeah, I think they don’t care whether people go blind and lose their teeth, you know, you can be perfectly healthy soffel which is really pretty awful. Yeah,

Annie Sargent 25:36
yeah. But anyway, so, yes, overall, French people are happy with their healthcare system. The thing is, excuse me. The thing is, if you ask French people, they will bitterly complain about every little part of the healthcare system because they have no freaking idea how good they have it, because they’ve never been outside of France. They just know that last month, this nasal Spray they like was free and now they have to be 3,50 for it. And by 350 I don’t mean 350 I mean three euros 50. Okay. The first time I was asked for $90 for a nasal spray in the US because I had a, I had a

Elyse Rivin 26:17

Annie Sargent 26:19
sinus infection. And I’m so used to using nasal spray on account this French Doctor Who is prescribed this, I was, oh, I want a nasal spray with steroids in it. And my doctor said, okay, he prescribed it. You know, so I paid for an office visit. So this was 120 just for the office visit. I knew exactly what was wrong with me, but I couldn’t get antibiotics and stuff without seeing a doctor. So I went, Okay. And he writes down nasal spray, whatever. When I went to the pharmacy, he wanted like 40 bucks for the antibiotics and 90 for the nasal spray. I was like, Oh, nevermind. I’m not gonna take the nasal spray. I don’t need it that badly. Here. It’s like, out of all It is 350

Elyse Rivin 27:00
Yeah, but it must have had some gold or something. Yeah,

Annie Sargent 27:03
probably there was something magical in the nasal

Elyse Rivin 27:10
paper. $90 Okay, you know,

Annie Sargent 27:13
anyway, at least we’ve been talking for half an hour. Oh, yes.

Elyse Rivin 27:16
You are. You are a gabber. Any I thought me that gets the gabber. Okay.

Annie Sargent 27:22
Let’s talk about Lyon, but let’s let’s not do too much history. Do you do a history quick?

Elyse Rivin 27:28
No, I don’t want to do the history quick. You’re the one that wants to do the history quick. Because actually, no, I’ll tell you what I did. Because we wanted to talk about Lyon and because you were just there recently, and so you have some other things to talk about. And because to do Lyon, in terms of the history, it either has to be very, very long and detailed. Or this is what I did. I wrote the six most salient points in the history of Lyon.

Annie Sargent 27:54

Elyse Rivin 27:55
How’s that? You can? You can give me a big fat kiss for this one. Oh, yes. I love that. But Before that, how about just some statistics? Okay. All right. All right. Lyon is actually considered to be. It’s very strange. It’s considered to be the third largest metropolitan area in France. Marseille being the second. But the city of Lyon is only about a half a million, but the whole metropolitan area of Lyon is, to my great surprise, 2.3 million. Yes. Very, very big. Yeah.

Elyse Rivin 28:27
Which is for France very, very big. It is it okay. You have to keeping in mind everybody out there, that the metropolitan area around Paris has 20% of the French population. And the rest of the country includes many, many, many small, medium and little bit bigger than medium sized cities. So the biggies are really Paris Lyon and Marseille. Yes, and afterwards, you get to the the category where basically Toulouse is, which is the cities that are in the half a million category, more or less, which is really considered in France to be a big city. Yeah, so it’s big and it’s big.

Elyse Rivin 29:02
And it’s also very centrally located because it is basically it’s a city that’s on the, where the two rivers the Saone and Rhone which sound the same but are spelled differently. No one is sudden on the road in the French and in English it would be the Rhone in the Saone. Yes, yes. But anyway,

Annie Sargent 29:22

Elyse Rivin 29:25
and le Rhone. So, yes, we know which this is where they join up. And then of course, so it has very important waterways. It’s bounded on the east, not very far from it by the Alps. Yep. And on the west, once you cross over the rivers, you come to the very beautiful massive somehow, which is the central mountains, which are the oldest mountains and the old parts of a volcanic but they’re like the Appalachians in the States. Yeah. oldest, oldest sounds

Annie Sargent 29:59
big, big round. hills big. Well,

Elyse Rivin 30:01
some go up to about 4000 feet you know, I mean for 4500 feet, they’re really mountains just they happen to be the coldest mountains in France. That’s true, but they are not the highest, of course, actually snows

Annie Sargent 30:14
every winter over there.

Elyse Rivin 30:16
Yes, it’s the coldest part of the country. It really is because it catches all the water anyway. So So Lyon has, has a central and strategic place geographically in France. If you follow the Rhone River and the Rhone Valley, you come down to Marseille and then the Mediterranean, if you go all the way up north, due north, you come to Alsace Strasbourg, and if you go crisscrossing, you’re into the mountain. So it has a lot of those things all the way around it, which made it from the very beginning, a very crucial place, and that’s the way the history of Lyon started. So if we have our six basic facts, the most important as far as I’m concerned, because you know, I prefer the oldest, the older, the better. Is that it was the capital of Roman Gaul.

Elyse Rivin 31:04
This Yeah, this is the big capital, okay. of the of the of the goals but then of the Roman Empire which became Roman Gaul. Okay. So there were, this wasn’t the cap Oh, Paris was nothing I know we’re talking about Romans we’re talking about, oh, at the time of the Romans, Paris was a piddly little fishing port that had no importance whatsoever. I mean, it was just like, Huh, Paris has no importance now. That No, no, because the Romans arrived in what is now France from the Mediterranean. Right. And what did they do? Of course, they went up the Rhone Valley.

Annie Sargent 31:40

Elyse Rivin 31:42
And that’s the easy way. And they had actually, I think it was actually thanks to Hannibal. I’m not sure what how I bought Hannibal in the cartesians. Were around but anyway, it was way back then before BC and so there was actually a route that had been carved out going east west across the Alps. And the Romans, they Basically what they did the first thing whenever they came to a new territory that they wanted to basically control, they built roads. You know, they were the builders, right? Yeah. So they built the Roman way.

Elyse Rivin 32:09
And the Roman way literally starts with the Mediterranean goes all the way up the Rhone Valley. And why? I’m not really sure. But they decided that the spot where Lyon the city now is was the perfect spot to make their big intersection settlement. And so the Roman legions set up there. And in 43 BC, game, it became the official capital of Caesar, you know, came to France and conquered most of what he called the Gaul. I mean, the goal is the name that the Romans gave to this area. I mean, it was the Celtic tribes that lived everywhere. Anyway. One of his generals, was given the charge of developing this area. Mm hmm. Very good administration. They had you know, it was like you take this, you take that Yeah, and

Elyse Rivin 33:01
So they named it lugdunum

Annie Sargent 33:04
Say that again. Lugdunum

Elyse Rivin 33:07
Yeah, I’m not sure where the accent is supposed to be it’s three syllables. Why I just found this out doing the research for this is really what I look look Liu Ji was name of one of the main Celtic Gods

Annie Sargent 33:19
Oh, obviously okay

Elyse Rivin 33:21
so they use because they were very clever they took the name of something from the Celts and they made this it had a longer Latin name Don’t ask me because I didn’t write the whole thing down and had four big Latin words and the last one was lugdunum which basically man you know the Empire center capital of the Gauls here we are we’re in low demand okay and just to give you an idea because I copied this down again this morning this is what happened with the name looked at them which was Latin eventually got turned into lugdum. Yeah, lugdum got turned into lidum. Yes. And in the 1200s lidum became Lyon. Oh,

Elyse Rivin 34:06
well, so there you are.

Annie Sargent 34:08
And Lyon, I mean the sound, it sounds like the lion

Elyse Rivin 34:11
yeah you know it sounds like the lions but it has no really would lie episode it has to do with the looked at him right there you go It was really super it wasn’t it was the richest, biggest most important city in all of Gaul under the Roman Empire. Interesting. So this is number one in terms of the super most important long time ago Golden Age. That was really big deal. And then we’ll skip through a lot of the other stuff except that it’s important to know that for the first thousand years of BC of BC, of of after Christ, it was a major Christian Center.

Elyse Rivin 34:48
That is it was not just that the area around it was christianized. It was a place where there were lots of Bishops and lots of what they call scriptorium where they wrote the books you know by hand on the These beautiful pieces of skin. Yeah. And it was a, it was a religious center more than an economic center. So went from the Roman times when it was both a military and economic and big power to being basically a religious center with no particular I mean, I’m not sure if there’s obviously Catholic, right. I’m always Catholic, whenever we’re talking about anything up to the 16th century, up to the 1500s. Christian is strictly 100%. Only Roman Catholic. Well, not in the southwest. Yes. Well, the Southwest you had the

Annie Sargent 35:35
the Cathars

Elyse Rivin 35:36
Cathars was such a an apprentice. He’s a really it was a really a parenthesis in us. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. You know, but, and they wiped out. No, yeah. Right. So and then in the 1500s, we get the Protestants and then it changes everything. Yeah. But then what happens is the second most important time period in the history of Lyon is in fact, the Renaissance. And that’s for sure. A couple of really cool reasons. And that is because Lyon was given the chance to have four of these famous medieval fairs.

Elyse Rivin 36:07
And you know, in the in the Middle Ages, it was the king or the ruling counter Duke or wherever it was, that gave a city permission to have a fair and a fair meant money money coming in, because a fair was a big deal. And it was like imagine an international fair that we have now what’s up now it tends to be more food and stuff like that than anything else, you know, but in those days, you’d get people coming from even the Middle East with spices people from as far away as as Asia Minor, with with silk, people coming from all over and and people waited for those fairs because this was the huge place of trade and Lyon super rich and it became the center for silk making. And it still is the center in France for silk making like that was introduced there through one of these fairs. Obviously coming through northern Italy from from China, and became famous for three things, silk making banking. And the banking is from the northern Italian so lombards who were the most important bankers and they came in set up in the Middle Ages, they were 37 different banks in Lyon.

Annie Sargent 37:20
Wow. And but there’s probably more than that now.

Elyse Rivin 37:23
Yeah, but but they were 37 different, not not just branches, but like 37 different ones. And the other thing, which I thought was really neat, because I didn’t know, it became the center of printing, when when the Gutenberg press was invented. The first press was set up in Lyon, interesting. And they had paper mills because of the river because of the water on the reverse. It became one of the first places to make paper and do printing. And so for over 100 years, in the time of the Renaissance, it was really the golden age of Lyon. And it was, apparently for those reasons extremely sophisticated.

Elyse Rivin 37:59
Because you had people coming from all over Europe, including Far Eastern Europe really, to do all the trading. And it was really kind of neat because what happened was talking about the Protestants and the Catholics. We know that in the 1500s, there was a war religion in France and the Protestants were basically a lot of them were kicked out of France. Yeah. And in the case of Lyon, which had been a majority Catholic city, but which had a lot of people involved in banking and printing who were Protestant. Guess where they went? They went across the Alps to Switzerland.

Elyse Rivin 38:34

Annie Sargent 38:38
That explains a lot!

Elyse Rivin 38:41
Yeah, that’s why the best art books in the world are still made in Switzerland. Really. And that’s where all the banks are. And it’s awesome. Because otherwise they would not have been there would just would have been your low yo up there with their Anyway, after the Renaissance, there’s a long period where we can say, pretty much not much happens. Okay? And then we come Believe it or not to the revolution, which is taking us already up to the end of the 18th, the beginning of 19th century Yes. And it was a very loyalist city. So it was demolished by the revolutionary forces. Totally, apparently, pretty much. They didn’t destroy all the buildings, but they really punish the people a lot in Leone for being conservative. And they weren’t necessarily monarchist, apparently, but they just were not for the revolution. And a lot comes Napoleon Bonaparte. Mm hmm.

Elyse Rivin 39:39
Now Bonaparte was very much involved in moving things up and down the road, his armies, he would go across the Alps. And so he apparently visited Lyon several times, and decided that it would be good to re introduce all of these industries that had basically disappeared. So at the beginning of the 1800s He reintroduced the silk industry which it’s literally disappeared he reintroduced the printing which had really gone across to the to Switzerland yeah and so strangely enough it’s thanks to him that all that picked up and the 19th century was the century for Lyon and a Mr. Jacquard.

Elyse Rivin 40:19
Okay Jacquard and I mean I used to weave so I know about all this stuff, you know, Jacquard kind of weave. Yes, he was a Mr. Jacquard, he invented a special loom. And it made Lyon the center so that all the rich families all over Europe, all the royalty and everybody wanted to have the textiles that were made in Leone, and to this day, it is the Center for high end. I was just watching on TV two nights ago. It is still the Center for the most expensive silks made anywhere outside of China. And the most high end fabrics that are made on these incredible incredible looms.

Elyse Rivin 40:57
So that was really the 19th century and then the course, the main thing now is that it’s a, it’s probably the most high tech industrialized city of all of France, because along the river just on the outskirts, we have all the major pharmaceutical companies. Yeah. All the biogenetic companies. So all the high, high tech stuff that goes on there, which means that since World War Two, it has expanded enormously, because I have no idea to be honest, what the population was.

Elyse Rivin 41:29
And the other thing that I find very interesting is that it was the home of the freres Lumiere Yes, and the freres Lumiere who were two brothers, whose names were Mr. And Mr. Light, I love it. Yeah, they invented movies, movies, they invented they actually were photographers they were photographers. And what they did was they were the first ones to make sequences that they projected in a way that it created animation, and in 1895, their first film We’re projected not in Lyon, but in Paris. But they were from Lyon.

Elyse Rivin 42:06
And so of course, Lyon pays great homage to the fact that cinema really was invented in the city of Leo, very nice. And the only other thing I’d like to mention because it is important today is that during World War Two, Lyon was for a while until 1943, part of what we call the free zone, it wasn’t occupied it first by the Germans, and that of course, it has to do with the way the Germans occupied in a strange oblique way across country diagonally, and because it was not occupied by the Germans that because it was close to the mountains.

Elyse Rivin 42:39
And it was also possible to get down to the Mediterranean by the by virtue of the river, it became the absolute nephrotic Center for all resistance work. Oh, and it was very, very, very important for creating all these different resistance groups that then went on to work in different places. And when De Gaulle who was in London, had to have a leader to what he wanted to do was unite all the various and not always harmonious different resistance groups. He picked on the man who was the symbol for him of the idea of uniting resistance and that was Jean Moulin. Moulin was a prefect you can explain better than I can exactly what of it’s an administrator who’s also a cop, basically. Yeah.

Annie Sargent 43:27
So prefet de police. It’s something that comes from Napoleon, Napoleon Poland’s appointed prefet de police, which kind of answered to him directly. And they’re not elected. They’re their chosen, they’re appointed still to this day,

Elyse Rivin 43:43
but they’re but they’re, they’re both administrators and the head of the police.

Annie Sargent 43:47
They were but not so much. Not so much. Not so much now, but it’s it’s I haven’t studied this in a long time. So I’m going from my memory. I might be saying things that are incorrect but perfect today. has to do with they organize all these things that have to do with car registrations.

Elyse Rivin 44:09
That’s a prefecture

Annie Sargent 44:10
write la prefecture c’est le bureau du prefet

Elyse Rivin 44:12
but but the Prefet I my understanding because I watching news and French and everything when there’s a major bad event and the police are all out, they the person that adresses the public is the prefet

Annie Sargent 44:27
yes. look prefet is going to speak on behalf is the coordinator of both. If there’s a natural disaster, right, they are in charge of coordinating rescue and so forth. But they also are the ones that issue permission, right? All sorts

Elyse Rivin 44:45
of all your legal papers,

Annie Sargent 44:47
all legal papers. They also organize all these all associations are all under the jurisdiction of the prefet. Each department has one it’s kind of an honor, honorific thing, if you go to the ENA Ecole Nationale d’Administration in France, where a lot of the people who don’t become famous politicians then go on to be prefet somewhere.

Elyse Rivin 45:13
And it’s it’s, it seems to be a fairly important job though.

Annie Sargent 45:18
It is an important job. It’s they do have, they have a big role in everyday French life. So

Elyse Rivin 45:26
that’s why when De Gaulle was to choose somebody, he chose Jean Moulin who in fact was, at the time the youngest prefer ever because he was only 40. And also because he was someone who stood up to the Germans and didn’t obey the government. And he has now but you know, he’s in France very famous as being one of the great martyrs of the resistance for World War Two. But there is a real association of Lyon and the resistance from World War Two which still which city is still very, very proud of

Annie Sargent 46:00
Yeah, yeah. So when I was in Lyon recently, we visited a few places. We did a visit guided tour of the city center of young Lyon has this massive tourist office on one of the big plazas. It’s

Elyse Rivin 46:21
Yeah, it’s called the Bellecour

Annie Sargent 46:22
Bellecour. Exactly. And the in the in the massive tourist office, you actually have to take a ticket before you can. Yeah, it is humongo and they, they organize hundreds of tours. And I was it with a big group and I was distracted and I was taking pictures and so I didn’t really listen to what the tour guide was saying. But we went through a lot of these traboules

Elyse Rivin 46:46
traboule. So what

Annie Sargent 46:48
those are, it’s kind of a big deal in the home but it’s silly really because what it is is, you have Lyon is the way the city is organized, you have a lot of streets that are parallel when They don’t have an intersection and three intersecting Street. They build these long rectangular blocks that can be, you know, a long, long way. And so they had to find a way to go across to the next street parallel. So the traboules are in between buildings, the it’s like a hallway, it’s a passageways. It’s

Elyse Rivin 47:09
a passageway. Yes. Almost like what you have in Paris, really? Because you have less passageways, and yes, yes.

Annie Sargent 47:32
It’s a passageway that lets you instead of going all the way around the block, which might be a kilometer or more you can go through the thing is, some of them are private. Uh huh. And some of them are public. The reason why they’re public is because when the building is owned by HLM, which is in France, it’s the public house is public housing. Yes. When then because it’s public housing. They have to let people, but of course, it’s a huge hassle for the people who live there because it’s loud. I mean, you have like a herd of tourists every five minutes going through and talking loud and taking pictures and I don’t know how they put up with this, but it’s maintained very nicely once you’re inside of the hall. So some of the some parts of this hall, these halls traboules are really narrow and dark. And then all of a sudden it opens into a courtyard. And then you might have another piece of dark Hall. It’s lovely, but it’s just a whole I mean, I didn’t

Elyse Rivin 48:38
actually they’re not that interesting.

Annie Sargent 48:39
Some of them are they they have they have these really nice towers, you know, like tall towers. They had a lot of vanity type of towers like Toulouse actually, like Toulouse does. Yes.

Elyse Rivin 48:53
But made out of stone, I suppose. Not at

Annie Sargent 48:54
it. Yes, it’s stone and sometimes it’s there’s colored, stucco some prettiest one or this, this pink colored stucco. It’s really nice. And I’ll put some pictures on the on the website on I think I thought it was lovely. But unfortunately, I was very distracted. So I, I’m sure I would have gotten more of the visit if I hadn’t been.

Elyse Rivin 49:18
Let me ask you something because one of the things I was reading about I was in Lyon about five years ago and spent the day there. So, again, I’m super expert on it in that sense, but I walked around some of the older areas, the four of Yeah, and the area, co host and all of that. Yes. One of the things that I’ve written several different of the things I was looking at says that this the Old City Center, which is the part that’s lower down, that’s basically that section that’s in between the two rivers. Yes, is one of the largest collection of Medieval and Renaissance houses anywhere and I don’t remember that much of it.

Annie Sargent 49:59
Well, it isn’t. Really, you don’t have a lot of half timbered houses for instance. Uh huh. I think they’ve covered up the timbering. And so you can’t really see they’re probably old like that. Yes. But you don’t really see a lot and also Renaissance stuff. We took a tour that so the second day, we were there for four days, but we were occupied with other stuff some of the time. So we did touristy stuff two days.

Annie Sargent 50:26
And the second tour we did was of hotel particuliers and actually the first thing the lady told us is that the what’s interesting about Lyon is that the hotel particularly are not that impressive, which means the mansion by the way out there. Yeah. Well, they really don’t look like much Really? Yeah, they look like a house. I mean, they were large, and they had, you know, wealthy furnishings and all that goes with it. But from the outside, they don’t look that different from the other houses, you know, So I thought that’s kind of interesting. But

Elyse Rivin 51:03

Annie Sargent 51:04
Yeah, it’s the city has a lot of charm, especially at night. Because you have these two rivers and you can walk along the paths you know along the river. They have a lot of restaurants and food establishments. I think a lot of the mean when you go to Lyon you have to eat at un bouchon de Lyon

Elyse Rivin 51:25
which so now I need to explain what

Annie Sargent 51:28
Yeah, yeah, go ahead.

Elyse Rivin 51:30
Okay. Well Bouchons to me is the equivalent of what we call a brasserie, except that it’s specializes in the two things that they’re fancier and it’s what it’s quenelles, which is one of the specialties. Yeah. And sausage. Yes. And as you said the other day, lots of pork, lots of work. Lots of lots of work. That’s important. And the quenelles seem to be one of the dishes that’s associated with eating and Lyon. Lyon is a place that is associated with food.

Annie Sargent 51:57
Yes. So Les quenelles de brochet is the one of the typical ones and brochet is pike they don’t taste fishy at all. There’s hardly any fish in it really it’s quenelles is like a sausage but it’s it’s a lot of it’s like a dumpling. Yeah, it’s like a it’s like a bready sausage. The texture is very interesting. It’s very fine it’s it has a mild flavor and it’s usually served in a nice sauce. creamy sauce of wine sauce right?

Elyse Rivin 52:33
Isn’t it doesn’t have a little wine in it.

Annie Sargent 52:35
Maybe some of them did but they were cream creamy sauce. Yeah. So we did we ate at two of these Bouchons restaurants. The first one was recommended by the hotel and I put the address on join us in France. I don’t have it with me. I have their card and everything you pay about you pay between 35 and 50 that much Yeah, for a nice dinner. You pay 58 includes some different glass of different wines. The people next to us had paid for the expensive dinner we got the 35 and they got the 50. So what you get for that much money? Oh you get a lot of little things this so when we arrived they brought these crackers with it had like sour cream spread that you could put on. And frittons. Frittons I have to tell you is one of the most vile things I have ever put in my mouth. It is fried fat.

Elyse Rivin 53:41
It’s it’s what you’re saying something. There are people in the south that eat that it’s fried pork fat or pork rind, but it is it is some people delicacy.

Annie Sargent 53:52
It is vile. It’s crunchy. Yeah. I had to put one in my mouth because I had to try But all no no not for me then so that was we were off to a bad start, but the rest got much better. Then they served us I can’t remember everything don’t they do

Elyse Rivin 54:15
a lot of shit mushroom things.

Annie Sargent 54:18
We didn’t have any mushrooms didn’t have any mushrooms. No, but it was one of these restaurants where they serve you small portions Uh huh.

Elyse Rivin 54:25
And tasting portions.

Annie Sargent 54:29
Bit more than tasting but you’re not gonna walk out having busted a chop or anything. You know you’re like, Oh, this was pleasant. You know, but it wasn’t

Elyse Rivin 54:39

Annie Sargent 54:41
Lots and lots and lots. Although if we had taken the more expensive dinner that included more stuff and more wine it would have been like oh, you know that would have been too much I think. But these these serve a lot of sausages. They also do this andouillette thing which is another vile food. I’m sorry. There are probably People love it. But it’s

Elyse Rivin 55:02
like very strong smelling and tasting. Yeah,

Annie Sargent 55:06
it’s intestines. It’s rolled

Elyse Rivin 55:08
intestines. It’s disgusting. Its traditional. For those of you out there listening to us, believe it or not, there are actually millions of people who think this is wonderful food. So yeah, yeah, I’m sure there are people who love it. I mean, that’s why people go to Lyon for eating these things.

Annie Sargent 55:24
Yeah, no, not for me. And so, yeah, nobody around us was eating it,

Elyse Rivin 55:29
which is very strong.

Annie Sargent 55:30
Yeah, it would smell really strongly. I mean, like when I go to Catalonia they have a similar dish. That’s also a delicacy and I know everything they served us was accompanied by cream. Yeah, very nice tasting cream. Not for me. Not for me. Yeah, for me. So it’s butter and cream a lot. Yeah. The the salade Lyonnaise the second night. So the second night we went to a restaurant that was actually right by the old the big Basilica on top of the father

Elyse Rivin 56:10
said it earlier. I did say it wasn’t said it wasn’t sent a chance.

Annie Sargent 56:13
No, no, the Basilica it’ll come back to me. Right next to that there was one restaurant and that was a lovely experience because we had a beautiful view on to the city. We arrived about 7pm Oh the Croix Rousse. Non c’etait pas la Croix Rousse. Guys, is what’s it called? La Fourviere! Fourviere! That’s, that’s the name of the neighborhood. Well it’s a Basilica. Basilica for Yeah.

Elyse Rivin 56:43
Oh, but also the neighborhood. Okay.

Unknown Speaker 56:46
So it’s right up on top of this hill, and we have some really super up there.

Annie Sargent 56:49
Yeah. And you have, you have you know, the, you know, the metro but it’s a fenicular I can’t say My words today so you have this finically that’s part of the metro system. So you just get a ticket. I think it’s 2:50 to go up there way better than hoofing it up there. And you can visit this Basilica gorgeous I mean it’s the inside is very ornate and I got some pictures out of I didn’t have my big camera with I only had a basic camera with me so the photos inside are not as good as what I can get with a big camera but hey, I didn’t want to carry the whole shebang with me the whole time. So we right up next to that cathedral is a restaurant and that was lovely because we waited for nightfall and you get this beautiful view.

Elyse Rivin 57:46
Yeah cuz that’s the other thing we didn’t mention part of the city is down below part of his beautiful hills.

Annie Sargent 57:51
Yes, yes, it’s hilly and and the food was very nice. I had a salad Lyonnaise which I highly recommend it. I mean, it was still pork belly. It had bacon bits. Yeah, potatoes and bacon and but it was that was really nice. I enjoyed that. I had another Quenelle which was again very nice Quenelle to me is nice because it has a smiled flavor

Elyse Rivin 58:14
and it’s made with eggs, bread crumbs and then the ones that are made out of fish. It’s It’s It’s mixed together and it’s it’s a light because I think they use egg whites. Mm hmm. So it gives it a very light texture to it. Yeah,

Annie Sargent 58:30
yeah, I thought that was a really pleasant food. I think that’s not I mean, if you’re going to order something local, that would probably not shock any American I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend that, you know, and salade Lyonnaise was also very, very good and it had a poached egg on top as well. I thought it was it was very nice, their desserts so they have these typical cheeses. One was called was it called? You know, I should take notes on these things. I eat them and then I forget

Elyse Rivin 59:01
I don’t know what the local cheeses are but while you’re looking for that the the wines there would be the Cote du Rhone

Elyse Rivin 59:10
you know you they will obviously have wines that come from Burgundy and Dijon, which is a bit further up river up north but right around there you have lots of lovely reds that are medium body reds so they’re not too heavy and those are the Cote du Rhone and they’re very very nice

Annie Sargent 59:26
yeah, so they have Oh, it was called Cervelle de Canut is like what is the one it’s a cheese it’s a cheese it’s like it’s bread or something? It’s the brain of the silk worker yeah it’s it’s a base of fromage blanc with chopped herbs and shallots and salt and that sounds

Elyse Rivin 59:46

Annie Sargent 59:46
It was really good. Yeah, that was the spread I was telling you about the be served with disgusting frittons, right? We don’t Yeah. The other thing that’s very typical of there is the Rosette Lyonnaise which is a it’s a salami type, but it’s a very distinctive flavor. It’s very nice. That’s that’s something I could I could eat . Le Coq au vin is also apparently from Lyon. Yes.

Elyse Rivin 1:00:11
Oh, I would have thought just Burgundy in general with interest.

Annie Sargent 1:00:14
Yeah, they have a thing called Gras double. just awful. It’s tripe cooked with onions.

Elyse Rivin 1:00:21
Like, in Auvergne they have tripes called Tripou. Okay. All right. Yeah.

Annie Sargent 1:00:25
So any nice dessert So where were we Oh, marrons glaces is from Lyon. Yeah, I think it’s very nice. There. Candy chestnut. Andy chestnut. Lovely, lovely, la salade Lyonnaise, which I mentioned before. Coussin de Lyon, I don’t even know what that is. I think it’s like a beignet, isn’t it? I could be could be cardoons so that’s les blettes. Le blettes au gratin

Elyse Rivin 1:00:49
Oh, that’s that’s

Annie Sargent 1:00:50
really good. Blettes is swiss chard. Yes, Swiss chard and they do gratin around it. I love that and you can

Elyse Rivin 1:00:57
you know what I’m thinking though, as I’m listening to because Cuz it’s true that you you had more of a reasonable but with the food there, Lyon is considered to be a city of the south of France technically it’s South East even though it’s bad central friends but if you read the books they’ll say south and yet the cuisine is very much northern cuisine because it’s so much based on cream. And in France the cooking of the North is really based on butter and butter. Yeah, fiction of cooking in the south is really much more olive oil and garlic and tomatoes. Yes. So it’s kind of interesting that that has so much cream and all of those cream everything. Yeah. That cold winters maybe?

Annie Sargent 1:01:35
Yeah, probably. Then they have the Quenelles, obviously the lespommes de terre lyonnaise you know. So it’s like gratin potatoes, you know, something called sabodet which I have not tried. I don’t know anything about it. And and you know, various things like that. But overall, I thought the food was good. But I will get real tired of it because it’s really rich and Lot of pork. I mean, it’s like everywhere was was pork but I’m sure you know we only there for a few days and some of these days we weren’t going out to eat so it’s hard to know what really in today’s you don’t get enough the wine was excellent. You have excellent wines down there. Yeah, they’re light, you know light bodied, unlike the Corbiere which I usually like.

Elyse Rivin 1:02:26
Yeah, the Cotes du Rhone are. They’re definitely lighter. They’re very nice though.

Annie Sargent 1:02:30
Yeah. Nice. So I thought overall, Lyon was a lovely place. And so we had an adventure. I have mentioned the Igor the guide dog and the the person that he guides Nicolas. So they were with us and we go up to the Fourviere, using the tram whatever it’s called. And we had dinner we took pictures. Oh, they have this beautiful bronze. casting of the city of Lyon which we spent a good long time there because there was a blind man with us. And so he was touching everything and you know, getting the lay of the land. And it was it was really touching because so many people came up to us and wanted to talk to him, because there was writing in Braille on both sides, but it was just Braille. So the sighted people and right here with this, so we were asking them, you know, whether it’s a whatever, it was really good, it was really nice to see him understand this stuff better than the rest of us. Because typically when you can’t see it’s hard to get around. You know, it’s think so

Elyse Rivin 1:03:35

Annie Sargent 1:03:36
Anyway, so they were with us. And so after dinner, we go back to get on the train to go back down, and it was closed. Train closes at like nine or something. And so we had to walk down. Okay, so this was funny because the blind guy didn’t think this was any that was difficult because I mean, obviously it was dark. So when you’re at the top of the hill, you still have the The glow from the cathedral for them from the Basilica because it’s so well lit that it lights the path down. But as you get lower and lower, you know you can’t see bloody much. So my husband was lighting the way with his cell phone. So the guide dog could see where he was going. And so I could see where I was going but the blind guy was all ready to do walking down the hill like it was nothing but

Unknown Speaker 1:04:23
I wasn’t

Annie Sargent 1:04:24
comfortable you know, it’s not like something we do walking in the dark. Yeah, and that’s a very steep part of the city. Yes, it is steep and the stairs are kind of uneven. So you have steps of different heights and different lengths and blind guy was handling all this beautifully. And it reminded yet again that you know, he’s, he’s well adjusted for the stuff he does. And as soon as we get put in that situation where we can’t see where we’re going, we’re like,

Elyse Rivin 1:04:49
freaking out. Let me just, you just reminded me talking about the hills and talking about walking around with Nicolas and Igor, that obviously has to do with A sight and light. But one of the most famous events in Lyon is an annual light show. Yes, that goes on for three or four days and attracts three or 4 million people every single year. And what they do is they do illuminations on all the major buildings in the historical area both at the Fourviere which is up above and down below in the Old City. And I’ve never been, but I know a couple of people who’ve been there and they say that it’s really fabulous. Very packed with people. It’s Yeah, like going to the Christmas market and Strasbourg Yes. Really, really. And I

Annie Sargent 1:05:37
think it’s already December, isn’t it? I believe so.

Elyse Rivin 1:05:40
Yeah, because this year, unfortunately, it was cancelled because of the events in Paris in November. Mm hmm. So they didn’t want to take a chance. Overall,

Annie Sargent 1:05:48
Lyon gave me the impression of a lovely city that I would enjoy going back to just to see more of it because I didn’t I felt like I didn’t get enough time. To see it all right. They have some beautiful buildings. They have some beautiful museum.

Elyse Rivin 1:06:05
Yes, they have some very they have a very, very, very wonderful art museum. They also have one of the most top notch art schools and cinema schools in the country. Uh huh. Yeah,

Annie Sargent 1:06:18
they have this Gehry looking building.

Elyse Rivin 1:06:21
Oh, yeah, yeah.

Annie Sargent 1:06:24
I can’t remember what it was called. But they you know, they again I want to go back because it was just too short. But I thought the ambience at night so once we got down our Hill, and got back to civilization, the city was packed with young people. Although cafes and bars was plenty of night life Yeah. It’s It looks like a super friendly town and the weather wasn’t super hot, but it wasn’t cold either. It was just right. It was really really pleasant.

Elyse Rivin 1:06:57
I mean Lyon is that I think a city that’s in a part of a country. It actually has for four seasons. Yeah, it gets quite it can be cold there in the winter. It is really picks up a lot of stuff from from the Alps. Yeah, but and I do believe it actually gets hot really hot in the summer because it’s far from the sea. Yeah, but it’s close. It’s a couple of I mean, it’s known for its art. It’s known for its cinema. It’s known for this light festival and it is of course, a huge University City. Yes, it is a big city.

Elyse Rivin 1:07:26
I mean, yeah, not that many people. It’s like all major cities. The majority of the people don’t live in the city center in the old part. So really, I remember a number of years ago, the first time I drove through it, not wanting to visit the old city center because you could drive for 45 minutes to nothing but major apartment complexes and all of these things that surround the outside of the city and yeah, ignore that. It’s really not very pretty. All of that, you know, the old city center is really one they all have. They also have rafineries. Yes, they have petroleum like well connected to the and all this stuff connected to the pharmaceutical so they’ve had a lot of problems with working on cleaning up the waters that you know the dump stuff into the river Yeah, yeah but it’s I know people who’ve studied there I know people who teach there I know people who work there and live there and they all say that it’s a really wonderful Yeah,

Annie Sargent 1:08:19
I think it would be very nice to visit I I would probably give it three days Yeah, maybe four if you can. I felt like the two partial days we gave it was not enough.

Elyse Rivin 1:08:32
Yeah, I think that the city center of any major city like that you need to good three days at least, you know, to do it. Just I noted this down from Lyon to Paris, which is a two and a half hours on the bullet train. Yep. It’s 460 kilometers from Lyon to Marseille is 320. So it’s really pretty much almost not quite But anyway, from Lyon to Toulouse is 540 So, even further away than than Paris, and from Leon to Geneva only 150 which is 100 miles Yeah, that’s right. So it’s like a loop just about an hour a little bit more than once you get out of the traffic jams around the main gr the city, you really can get into the Alps very, very quickly from Lyon and the area around beyond, you know, and you You said you saw it, but I remember that one of the things I love there because that’s part of the stuff I like, is that they have this they have a lot of the remnants of the old antique Roman theater above at the in the Fourviere area.

Annie Sargent 1:09:36
I didn’t go because again, it was dark, right and we had to get down and it was late and all of that

Elyse Rivin 1:09:42
and it’s a if I remember correctly, it’s not even one of those places where you have to pay it’s like it’s just like a park. Yeah, there’s a park surrounding it and you could just go and sit on these grandstands and you have a view looking west and and and South over the entire city. It’s really really cool Yeah.

Annie Sargent 1:10:02
So I would say go visit it if you if you so inclined that it would be a fun city for Janet for instance Who wants some nightlife and a nice downtown you’re definitely has a nice compact downtown. Yes, of course you can move out and see the other places it has arrondissements just like Paris. Yes, because it’s big enough to just have that. So it’s it’s just a you know, it’s one of those French cities is very unlike Toulouse, but I thought it was really really pleasant.

Elyse Rivin 1:10:32
Not only that, but if you go to the own, you can include it in a trip if you’re going to go into the Alps. Hmm. You can go from there into the Alps very easily. Yeah, you can really consider it almost like a base to go off and do a bunch of other things. Yes, the same time you’re by Yeah, that are nearby on the land. It just takes one hour to get across the river. You go to the Massif Central going west and you get eventually to send a chin. It’s gorgeous. If you go into the Alps. You can see them from parts of Leon obviously,

Annie Sargent 1:11:02
Chamonix is up that way.

Elyse Rivin 1:11:06
Yeah, I think Chamonix is a little bit further north, I think. But But you but you very quickly look, it’s only an hour away to Geneva. So you’re already into the Alps with the lakes and things

Annie Sargent 1:11:18
like Chambery, Chamonix, you have a lot of things like that, that you can do in the mountains that are not too far. You know, and you have born is not too far, which is also another place and see when I’m this summer, so I’m going to, we’re going to spend four days in Paris and then we need to drive south to Nimes for a family wedding. And we need to stop a couple of places along the way and I’m

Elyse Rivin 1:11:43
stopping the go to Auvergne. I think it’s

Elyse Rivin 1:11:46
Auvergne, unless, I mean it’s just the vote the old volcanoes, the beautiful old villages. It’s really, really gorgeous. There are two cities or I guess you could say small cities. Just South of Lyon that are really worth a stop to and one of them is Vienne. Yes, which has a huge section of old Roman ruins, but it’s a very beautiful little city center. And then a more like a very large village that’s famous because of its craftspeople. And that is a village called Perouge. Yes, I heard about that. And beautiful, gorgeous village made out of everything out of stone and lots and lots of crafts. That famous for having artists and crafts people there. And that region south of Lyon is where you get the famous Poulet de Bresse

Annie Sargent 1:12:36
Poulet de Bresse and Bleu de Bresse Yes, yes. Very nice blue device, which I probably would enjoy more than the fried pork fat.

Elyse Rivin 1:12:47
Make sense? Oh.

Elyse Rivin 1:12:50
Well, we don’t want to end with fritons No,

Annie Sargent 1:12:51
no, we don’t end with that. We can just say if you have a chance go I think it’s awesome. Lugdunum. Look dinner. Go see some traboules.

Elyse Rivin 1:13:03
Go see? Go see the Roman ruins.

Annie Sargent 1:13:06
Have a good time and need some Quenelles you love it. All right, everybody. Thank you for listening. And many thanks to listeners who donate to the show or use our Amazon or hotel booking links on join us in France calm or on the show notes that appear on the podcasting app on your phone. Most new listeners find the show through a recommendation from a friend if you’re the kind of fan who drops our name here and there. Bless you and thank you for your help. I hope you have a great time in France. And when you come back, consider sharing your experience and thoughts with other listeners. drop me a line any at join us in France calm if you’d like to do a trip report with me. Thank you. Oh wow. This episode is licensed under the Creative Commons tribution noncommercial non derivatives international license

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Category: Lyon Area