Archive for Lyon

Panoramarama part 1

Posted in French canals and rivers, Photographs, the Mediterranean Sea, Walking with tags , , , , on May 30, 2011 by maidofmettle

Maid of Mettle is at sea, or possibly stopped somewhere without internet. Yes, this does occasionally happen.

While I will try and post occasional updates via satellite phone, they will not contain the number of photos you have become used to.

So should you miss them, please enjoy this brief pictorial interlude. Otherwise described as: I finally got around to finding a program to stitch series of panoramic photos together. Just left-click on the thumbnails to open a larger image in a new tab.

This is Valence, on the River Saone in southern France. We didn’t actually stop here, but the view passing through was quite impressive, especially the castle-topped hills overlooking the town on the left bank.

Next up is Lyon, on the River Rhone. We did spend quite a few days here – it’s not only a beautiful city, but also home to my friend (and former housemate / colleague) Caroline. The view is from the La Croix-Rousse quarter, once Europe’s silk factory. You can just see the basilica at Fourvieres on the skyline on the right- it was built in thanks after a medieval plague passed the city by.

The next couple are both from the top of the city walls in Avignon. The first looking north…

and the second looks east  across the edge of the town to the beginnings of the Alps in the distance. The most famous ~1/4 of a bridge in the world is unfortunately hidden behind a tree somewhere.

To continue the mountain theme we’re going to dash to the bottom of France, and then across the Golfe de Lion to L’Escala, just over the Spanish border. This time it’s the snow-capped Pyrenees you can glimpse on the skyline in the far-right.

Part of this walk was a bit creepy – I was going through some woodland when I saw a cat sunning itself in a spot of shade. So far, so good. But then there was another. And another. And another. The overall effect was rather disturbing..

Still, it was well worth it for the views of this tiny hilltop suburb and a beautifully blue Mediterranean.

And the mysterious phantom island on the horizon on the left. It really doesn’t look like a cloud, but I’m sure there shouldn’t be land in that direction within several hundred miles. Strange.

The next leap is to Barcelona, and the view over the city from Park Guell.

Next is a view of the west coast of Ibiza and offlying islands. San Antonio is visible on the right, but you can’t see the nightclubs from up here.

Still on the same island, here’s a long-distance view of Ibiza town itself, from the dunes by the Playa Las Salinas, named after the numerous salt-pans nearby. Apparently Jade Jagger and Kate Moss frequent this beach, but unsurprisingly not in February.

Finally (for now) a return to the Spanish mainland in Cartagena – the harbour and some of the city from a fort high above the eastern side of the entrance.

Only 331km to the sea

Posted in French canals and rivers, Fun, Photographs with tags on November 26, 2009 by maidofmettle

I am writing this from the comfort of an actual house, or flat to be more precise.  Pete has friends in Lyon who very kindly welcomed us into their home for the day to relax and take advantage of some mod cons.  As I am writing this via a french keyboard the chances of bizarre spelling increase and my previous Patricia Mayhew school of touch-typing skills are being challenged somewhat with zs and other random letters keep cropping up in unwanted places.  Even as i tried to write this a z appeared and a was mysteriously replaced by q.

Our first night mooring spot in Lyon

As you will have gathered we are spending a few days in Lyon, having travelled quite quickly to get here.  The rivers seem much easier in that respect but more difficult to just stop anywhere so we have had to plan ahead a lot.  The mooring situation was less than ideal to be honest; either too shallow or deep enough but with locals to contend with in the evening.  Thankfully we came across a kind French barge who we are now moored against.  This is much better and despite the cronky ladder they lent us and the big barge wash that batters us a bit ocassionally we are less worried about it now.

Mooring up to barge for our second night

What Lyon lacks in decent mooring space it makes up for with views.   Yesterday we took a walk up to the Basilica via a big hill and off the path route (by accident) The view across the city was pretty spectacular and I got my first mountain view of the Alps.  Clare will vouch for me in just how much I love seeing mountains…needless to say it was great to see the sunshine and a big fat open space with an exciting mountain range just visible in the distance.  We also got our first glimpse of the mighty Rhone which looks quite wide and a little faster than the Soane.  We will see properly when we move off again.

The view from the Basilica

yay! mountains!

On the way back down the hill we discovered the remains of a Roman Amphitheatre.  Well not exactly discovered it ourselves but followed some signs to it.  Anyway, apparently they do concerts there in the summer but we found some people free-running there which was good entertainment especially when they started doing flips and somersaults off of bits of rock.  Chris had fun trying out the sport mode setting on the camera here!

Free running

flipping

The history bit

I have found a new money making idea only I will need to get my saxophone.  Yesterday we saw a busking sax player at the traffic lights on a bridge…on second thoughts he didn’t seem to do too well but I’m sure he was enjoying playing through people’s windows all the same.

The busker

Somewhere near the Rhone

We had an amazing meal out last night at a salad restaurant.  Those of you now laughing at the idea of a salad restaurant should be warned that this was not salad for the faint hearted.  I didn’t think it was possible to get full with a salad but it really is.  I think we all wondered whether we should have gone for the 3 course option.  Thanks to Lionel and Caroline for a lovely evening and the biggest, most tasty salad in the world!

Lionel and Caroline

Ahhgh. The salad is taking over the world

Incidentally, getting here was fairly straight-forward; leaving the strange Anglicised St Jean de Losne, with its amazing book swapping service, and calling in at Chalons-en Champagne (lovely old timber frame houses) and Macon which had showers and a horse-drawn bin.