Sun 8 Dec - Lyon, France

A fabulous finale...

The day after the night before, our host family decided to go for a jog in the morning. Breakfast, albeit small, first of course, but by 11am, they were all ready to go. Of course, this is blog-worthy stuff and here they all are.

And they are off... Down from street level to the river Rhone and then north.

The route that they were jogging was roughly the same as the one that we intended to walk, north along the Rhone towards the big urban park called Parc de la Tere D'Or, a loop around the park and then back again. This is how we walked, some 8+ km so it wasn't too bad for us either. More walking later on today.

Plenty of joggers and cyclists were out along the Rhone this cold and fresh morning (+1 degrees Celsius). Here is Hans and we are looking back south.River Rhone is behind the trees to the right.

The signboard at the southwestern entrance to Parc de la Tete D'Or where we wandered inside.

The historical gates to the park were very impressive indeed.

And so were the Chinese lanterns just inside the park, another display that we presumed was forming part of "fêtes des lumières".

And from underneath, the Chinese lanterns looked great in contrast with the yellow leaves.

The invent fully named "Le Lac" forms part of Parc de la Tete D'Or in this section of the park. We assumed that the man made lotus flowers in the water will also get lit up at night.

Over, not under, the bridge is Di.

A tunnel under the water to the island featuring a war memorial. Clever and non-intrusive and looked interesting as well. We didn't walk across but continued the main path.

The local tourist board has been in action here. Punters were encouraged to take photos of themselves and this logo and post on social media. We took this photo, and posted it in this blog, but not anywhere else.

A couple of shots to show the wide circular path through the park. Plenty of space for everybody as cars don't seem to be allowed in.


These houses were on the southern, city side of Parc de la Tete D'Or and we bet that they were very expensive. Not exactly small shacks either.

We exited Parc de la Tete D'Or through a different gate on the lookout for a coffee in this northern part of town, but given that it was a Sunday midday, not much was open. And yes, there were joggers here too.

We slowly took ourselves back to Place du Marechal Lyautey, having circled to the south and then to the north again along the Rhône river. Another beautiful clear day.

Martine had mentioned Raclette as a treat for lunch and we timed our arrival so we could eat (again) another delicious meal together.

Raclette is an old style food from the alps and is basically melted cheese served with boiled potatoes and smoked meats.

In the old days the cheese was melted against a fireplace and scraped off with a knife. Now, we used the grill in the middle of the table and put cheese slices in our own little grill plans and then, when sizzling, scraped the gooey yummy cheese over the potatoes and smoked meat on our plates.

A first for Hans and hopefully not his last. Very enjoyable and social way to eat.

The outcome on the plate. You put the cheese into that square compartment at the top and scrape it off using that wooden tool.

Some exercise, wine, good food and good company inspired us all to rest for a few hours before doing it all again!

Lise arrived while we were napping and by 5.30pm it got dark so the family started preparing for the true history of Fêtes des Lumieres, which is putting small candles in all the windows on the night of 8 December and that night only.

Di watches the candle lighting process with interest.

Opening the windows for candles on the outside sills.

The result in a window, looking over Place Lyautey. Very pretty.

Looked great from outside too. We were the first in our apartment block to light the candles as we were going back out for dinner, passing some light festival sites along the way.

We stepped out and stopped...a candle procession for a local church was underway, again as a rememberance of 8 December, thankful for saving the town from the plague.

We stopped and watched the procession for a short whole and then moved on. Plenty of people on the move to the island for the main festival displays.

Originally the fête was just 8 December but due to the huge crowd it draws (it is the third largest visited public event in the world!) it has been extended to 4 days and finishes tomorrow Monday.

On the way to Place Bellacour we admired and stopped to photograph the lighting and decorations.

Francois was trying out a new tripod for his very good camera so we took some time here which allowed for a few more photographs from us as well.

Out destination for dinner, more food (yet no one was very hungry), was this huge brasserie, established in 1836, Brasserie Georges.

Yep, they are proud of their long history. This is part of a house water bottle.

Did we say huge? 700 square metres and tonight, being their busiest night of the year, they serve 2,500 diners. We had arrived early, at 7pm, so had no trouble getting a table. By 8pm, it was almost full.

Art Deco inside and a band playing - perfect. Love those orange ties...

The menu was extensive and as usual Di had trouble choosing, plus she only wanted something small in quantity. So she chose 2 entrees, Fois Gras to start, then Soupe L'Ongnion Gratinée to follow (only to realise later she was the only one eating an entree, the others just had a main meal).

So she savoured the Fois Gras on her own.

Lise and Francois ordered their favourite...Steak Tartare. The preparations at the table made for great entertainment.

First the ingredients. Very lean French beef, an egg yolk, shredded herbs, capers and diced onions and various sauces.

Our waiter mixing each portion to first Lise and then Francois' preferences.

We all had a little taste. Fantastic flavours. Yummy.

Our main meals arrived, soup for Di was more like a gratinee soaked with soup (too much again) and Hans had entrecôte and frites with parsley butter as he had been advised to have a steak in Lyon and this was really his last chance.

The Badin family, minus Antoine. Lise... look into the camera, please.

Well, we think that Lise enjoyed her Steak Tartare.

And then Lise dashed off to catch her train back to Paris, departure at 8.50pm. Hard to say goodbye Lise (and via text, bye Greg) but no years as we will see you again next year!

None of us wanted more food, so we skipped desert and then wandered through the Christmas markets outside just north of La Perrache train station.

Some nice lighting here too.


On to Place Bellaour for a big light spectacle, using the Ferris wheel, the statue of Louis XIV, fireworks, laser beams, music, flames, robotic arms and colored ballons.


We watched for a while with the thousands of others and started making our way home, with a few more stops on the way. First this artistic wall caught our eye.

Hans joined the characters... It is him to the left.

A short while later we noticed a queue for another light installation so we joined that queue without a clue of what we would see.

We loved it. The courtyard was filling with thin rope draped down from above and coloured lights and music weaving through, the song "Singing in the rain" mixed with Johnny Weissmuller's Tarzan screams. Interesting choice.

A "selfie grande".

The music changed with the we got a green eerie light and Tarzan sound track!

Sparkles. Very cute.

Di's singing, and dancing, in the rain...

Very French red...

Lots of laughs and smiles as we finally found the exit and realised we were on track for home still.

Gotta love parking styles here...

By 10pm there were far more candles in the windows, to great effect. It looked fantastic but a bit hard to capture on film.

A tissane (herbal tea) followed by a Grande Marnier digestif, more chatting, and we were ready for bed by 11pm.

A fabulous end to a great visit with Francois and Martine in Lyon. We were very thankful for the opportunity and great hospitality. Tomorrow, we will be on the road, no train, again the short trip north to Dijon. For now though it is good night.

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