A Travellerspoint blog

Day 19 Strasbourg, mercredi 25 août 2010 - To Durstel

sunny 21 °C
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We all really slept in this morning. No alarm needed to be set as Marc's internal alarm clock would rouse us. We and his alarm were on a vacation, as I for one, did not wake up until a few minutes before 9 am. It was decadent and luxurious to sleep in this late. I obviously needed it as it was an accumulation of our busy schedule.

Showered, dressed and packed and into Marc's car for 9:45 am. Now driving to go have breakfast at a special place.

We stopped briefly in a small village called Kirrwiller where there is a cabaret called Royal Palace. www.royal-palace.com/en. It is the third largest music hall after the Moulin Rouge and the Lido. I agree with Margy that it is most curious that a sleepy village such as this one would have a music hall with exotic dancers. By the way, some dancers are topless. There are male and female dancers and no, I already asked, the males do not go bottomless. Tant pis! (Too bad)

On the way we travel along very pleasant country roads. Some are straight while others wind through villages between houses. I really love the roads when you see the variety of homes on each side.

We pass fields of corn as well as bales of hay. Large plastic rounds also sit on the fields and Marc explains that it contains the food for the cows in the winter. The bales of hay are used in the barns. I, city woman, enjoyed seeing fields occupied by cows, sheep, and geese.

We arrive just after 10 am at Bernhard, a wonderful bakery where we will have breakfast. We dine on the typical French breakfast of coffee, juice, baguette, jams and croissants. When we leave we purchase a baguette for later today. They have a trés cool sink in their toilette. It was like a tall vase.

There is a strong Germanic influence in the style of the homes as well as names of streets in Alsace. Here is a sample of what I mean, there was a sign with the name “Alteckendoorf” and another read “Mertzwiller”. Both are names of places.

We are back on the road shortly after 11:00 am. We got out of the car to walk to a bridge to see a little house which acts as the gift shop and is built on a rock. There was no opportunity to go inside and in any event there was a good chance it was closed and would not reopen till later in the day, probably 3:00 pm.

We arrived in La Petite Pierre to see a castle but first we go to the tourism office to get information.

We then went to the small church there called Eglise Simultanée de l’Assomption. Our timing was fortunate as we arrived just before noon and got to hear the marvellous church bells chimes. I have always loved the sound of church bells. It is a beautiful and unique music of its own.

We were unable to go inside any of the many museums or shops or the castle as everything closes at noon. We did however walk all around the base of the castle which was really interesting as the castle is also built upon a rock. One section of the rock even rested on a brick wall built as a structural support. There was a dramatic and a bit scary statue outside the church called “Les Dames Vertes” by Deny Lavoye which looks very familiar but I am not sure why.

We walked around the area for an hour. It was really enjoyable as the air was fresh and clean. There were signs explaining the various features and construction of the castle. Lots of greenery as there is a fair amount of rain here. There are no cicadas here but frogs instead.

We were back in the car around 12:45 and on the road again.

Arrived at Durstel by 2:00 pm. Marc, Margy, Marc's aunt, his parents, oh and lest I forget, Marc's beloved cat Minette all live in homes on a large piece of land. The name Minette is French and for a female and means “faithful defender”. A great name for a cat, but this princess doesn’t dirty her paws by killing. She is much more interested in being loved and admired which we all enjoy doing.

The parents are in the first home on the road, then the aunt and Marc and Margy are part of one house. It is like a duplex as they each have a separate entrance.

Marc's house is large, three stories, the top floor is dusty, not renovated and used for storage. You can see just how old the house is by being in the attic. When they were alive, his grandparents lived in this house. The house was built in the late 19th Century.

In the backyard is a pond with a little bridge and fountain. Flowers planted by Marc enhance the surroundings. There is a picnic table, numerous fruit trees and a vegetable garden. The trees are pear, apricot, two apple, two prune plum, and a mirabelle which is a small plum.

The garden is Margy’s pride and challenge as plants tend to grow on their own time and terms. They currently have no lettuce as the chickens got out and ate all of it.

In their vegetable garden are herbs, zucchini, and tomatoes. I absolutely love the yellow tomatoes. They are like beefsteak tomatoes with an incredible sun kissed sweetness to them. Margy teased that I would like to bring a box home with me. She is so right. They are amazingly good. I already really love tomatoes and these are the Rolls Royce of tomatoes.

There is also a large cement deck for a patio table that seats 6 to 8. A retractable awning above keeps out sun and wind. No mosquitoes here but flies.

We had a lovely lunch of breaded veal in a chive cream sauce, cucumber salad, tomatoes with minced red onion, and boiled potatoes. Dressing by Marc was simple and really good. Vinegar, dijon, sea salt, and maggi seasoning.

We all helped out with the preparation of the meal. This is the most enjoyable way for me to prepare a meal and I miss this.

For dessert we had fresh melon and cheeses. Beer with our meal and tea and coffee for after. It was a wonderfully leisurely meal and we dined from about 2:15 to 3:30 pm.

After that it was time to deal with some housekeeping. Laundry, but first the monumental task of unpacking to locate bits of dirty laundry.

I had purchased a lot of things on my trips to Paris, Nice, Eze, Cannes, Villefrenche-sur-Mer, Monaco, Monte Carlo, Marseille, Lyon, Strasbourg and Durstel and numerous little places between Strasbourg and Durstel and beyond. I have yet to shop in Durstel as we were at the house all day. I told Margy that today was one of my most happy days in France as we just puttered.

My room is absolutely lovely and Margy wasn’t kidding when she said I had a large room with lots of space to spread out all my things and that I did. I had a table to put things on, a second twin bed as well as lots of floor space. There was a large wardrobe as well as a second smaller wardrobe and I still had lots of room. I couldn’t have really done it any earlier as I was still shopping and so I didn’t know what I would need to pack or not pack.

I happily sorted out my things and probably spent 2 hours doing this. It was pretty exhausting when I finally got it all done. In the end I will be bringing back a larger suitcase and leaving my smaller one here with Margy and Marc to bring with them when they come to Vancouver. I needed that much more space to store my things, old and new.

I also never ate all the snack bars that I had packed and I expected that might be the case. They will be easily used up on Margy and Marc’s many cycling trips.

We got to the task of sorting laundry and Margy put on a few loads. I got to help with putting a load on the clothesline which is a habit long gone from my life since I have no laundry line. It was a nice blast from the past.

I finally had a look at my watch and saw that it was 6 pm. I couldn’t believe that I had spent that much time sorting out my things. I went downstairs to the kitchen and it was time to bake. We had bought whatever supplies were needed for us to bake my chocolate chip cookies.

They don’t have chocolate chips or if they do they were not good, I think the latter is the case. Anyways purchased some Nestle baking chocolate and Marc’s job was to cut up the chocolate into small chunks. Margy helped me with getting all the supplies out and helping me with the mixing.
We baked 4 dozen cookies and they turned out good. Less salt is needed as the sea salt has a bolder flavour. Also the butter was different and even though the dough was quite stiff the cookies still spread out a bit. Flour was not 100% whole wheat but a blend of whole wheat and white which still worked fine for our needs. Most importantly I wanted to bake for my friends and to do that in France was sweet.

We had aperitifs at about 8 pm or maybe a bit earlier. A sweeter white wine. Along with this there were peanuts. We then sat down to a simple dinner of croque monsieur which is a much nicer name for grilled ham and cheese.

Blogged a bit and then we sat down and watched on the TV a DVD that I had bought in Paris called “France the visit”. Enjoyable and we learned a lot about history although it didn’t cover all of France. We were all yawning quite a bit near the middle of the DVD as by this time we were getting quite tired and finished up by 11 pm.

Into bed and I read for a bit and then I went to sleep shortly after midnight for me.

Posted by Sydney324 14:15 Archived in France Comments (0)

Day 18 Strasbourg, mardi 24 août 2010 - Strasbourg

semi-overcast 20 °C

Today we woke up around 7:50 am or so. First night at the Strasbourg apartment. Marc came to pick up Margy and me last night when our train finally pulled in shortly after 11:00 pm. It would have been a tough struggle if he had not come to pick us and all our baggage up. Pardon me, my baggage, as predictably, I have shopped and shopped a lot. If the economy in France shows a great upswing in sales for the month of August, you can give me credit. I have been doing my best to stimulate the economy.

We had a nice leisurely breakfast. Marc had gone out to purchase a fresh baguette, some plain croissants as well as some filled with an almond paste or chocolate. All very yummy and I know it’s not true, but wouldn’t it be great if the calories in France were less than in Canada like metric to imperial? Good thing we walk tons.

We left the apartment and walked to where Margy works, the Council of Europe. On the way she pointed out the buildings as we passed them. It was very interesting to see the Parliament Buildings as the architecture is designed in such a way to make the building appear like it is not yet complete. This is to state the mandate that “Europe is a work in progress.” The building that Margy works in is also unique and interesting architecturally. There is a beautiful statue that sits in front of the Council of Europe which signifies unity, and says on it “Europe a Coeur” which means “holding Europe close to your heart”.
In the courtyard of the building sits large placards for each country that is part of the Council of Europe. The names of the countries are in that country’s language. For each country it also lists all the members for that country. In France all the members are voted in.

Got to see Margy’s office as well as some of the other rooms. It was a really sweet treat to finally see where she works. We went to the cafeteria that the staff utilizes and bought lunch. Quite the value at 6.90€ per person for a substantial lunch of fries, half a grilled tomato, courgettes (zucchini) with cheese and curried beef meatballs. Very good fare for cafeteria food. We left at about 1:30 pm.

We saw a piece of the Berlin wall which comprises of four sections. On it is written “Le duo d’enfer a encore frappé” which means “The devilish two have struck again”. This phrase may be recent graffiti or actually part of the original art on the Berlin Wall, which it is we are uncertain. It is now a permanent fixture on the lawn of the European Court of Human Rights, ECHR.

We then took the tram to get to downtown Strasbourg. We went the square where Strasbourg was liberated after World War 1. Went in and out of a few shops and also went to the Cathedrale Notre Dame. Another amazing church as the design of the exterior was equally as amazing as the interior. The stained glass, the ornate and detailed sculptures, the beautiful astronomical clock and the list goes on. By far one of the most beautiful churches as well.
We stopped for ice cream and apple pie and then continued our walk and walked along the canals and looked at all the beautiful flower window boxes.

Strasbourg again feels completely different than any other city in France that I have been to. She has her own personality as well. She is proud, very clean, has a strong sense of pride and what is right and wrong. The pride is visible in the way people carry themselves as well as how clean their streets are and the pride taken in keeping their businesses attractive. Some other cities could learn a few things from Strasbourg.

We went to the mall as Marc had an errand to run and we went to the grocery store where supplies were purchased so that I could bake my chocolate chip cookies in Durstel. We go there tomorrow.

We got back to the apartment at just after 5 pm. I laid down on my air mattress and conked out within minutes. I was tired.

A colleague of Margy’s came to meet us at the apartment and she came to join us for dinner and the concert.
For dinner we went to La Scala restaurant located right next to the theatre we were going to tonite. I had a grilled whitefish similar to halibut but not as dense, along with sauerkraut which was too sour according to my dinner companions who are connoisseurs, and spaetzle. Fish was really good and I liked the spaetzle. Margy had a penne with pesto, Marc had chicken cordon munster and their friend had the foie gras with a salad. We downed our meals with a beer each.
We were going to a concert by a françcaise chanson by the name of Aelle. Concert was not quite what I expected as I had thought that it would be ballads more along the line of Edith Piaf. Aelle had a wide range of music and is very accomplished. Still really enjoyed myself as Aelle and her bandmates are very talented. She has an amazing guitarist and the violinist is no slouch either.

I ended up sitting in the front row and the others were right behind me in three seats. The lady on my left was a much older lady and was enjoying herself but kept falling asleep. The man on my right was acting like he was being punished as he kept covering his ears and acted as if he was pained. His wife must have made him attend.

After concert it was nearly 10 pm and back to the apartment and off to bed for another day tomorrow.

Posted by Sydney324 12:43 Archived in France Comments (0)

Day 17 Lyon, lundi 23 août 2010 - To Strasbourg

semi-overcast 24 °C
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Woke up to alarm clock today at 8:30. Tired and felt achy as back still really sore across top and shoulders. Carrying too much again.

We went to have breakfast and packed sandwiches to have for our train trip which leaves Lyon at 10 minutes to 5 pm today.

After breakfast we took the Metro to go to Hotel de Ville. Got off one stop too late and it turned out to be a blessing. We then walked from the Foch metro station across a bridge, Pont Morand over the Le Rhône. It was a blessing as we got to walk over the bridge and feel the wind revitalize our bodies. Wonderful respite from the last 4 days of high heat and humidity.

After getting to Hotel de Ville and walking around the Place des Terreaux we saw some beautiful and incredible works of art. There were some very dramatic and stark pieces. One, the Bartholdi Fountain is the highlight and is named after the man, Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi who designed it, as well as the Statue of Liberty. It has four horses which represent four rivers racing for the ocean. The statue is so well designed that you expect that at any moment the horses will break free of the chariot and race away.

I have been so very fortunate to have seen and many times touched all the beautiful sculptures. There has been an endless supply and I have never had more of a treat for the senses seeing it all.

They are truly great works of art when you feel like they could come to life as they have a flesh and blood quality about them and not hard as rock.

We saw the Opera House with 8 lovely figures at the top. I think they were all female figures as well.

Then to the cloister garden just as the sky opened up and there was a downpour for about 10 minutes. More statues and long halls with beautiful ceilings.

In Lyon I saw my first Petit Casino 24. Casino is the name of a chain of grocery stores in France. This one was like a very large vending machine containing grocery items and available 24 hours.

By now it was shortly before noon and we had arrived at the Fresque des Lyonnais Célèbres. Beautiful murals with French celebrities. See photos.

We then walked on the Passerelle Saint Vincent which was over La Saône.

Passed a few shops that were open and we went into the Tresor de Soie owned by Yves Cordin. www.tresordesoie.fr. He had many beautiful pieces of silk scarves in different weights and sizes. Also brocades, which I love, in two tones and a chrysanthemum pattern, tres Chinois. I did not buy a shawl from him because it is not an item I would often use. Margy bought herself a lovely turquoise silk shawl. The colour is fabulous on her.

We walked into the old Lyon where we saw a building called Un Saint Jean Hiver. I took a picture because it was a cool looking building. Turns out it is a unique and old building. It looks almost like it was placed there or everything was built around it.

Went to another traboule which was beautiful as it was a peachy orange colour.

Had lunch just after 1 pm at La Petit Glouton. There was a young woman standing in front of a stand that had two crepe making plates. She made an endless supply of crepes. Some plain as they would be used for savory dishes as people ordered them. She also made the dessert ones. Some of the flavours were fraise (strawberry), abricot(apricot), myrtille (blueberry), chocolate, Grand Marnier, rum and another flavour crème de marron.

I looked up crepes on www.epicurean.com and found the following information: “The word crêpe is French for pancake, from the Latin crispus, meaning crisp. In France, crêpes were originally called galettes crêpes, meaning flat cakes. The French pronunciation of the word is with a short e, as in bed. Crêpes originated in Brittany, the northwest region of France, where they rarely had fillings and were used as bread. Until about one hundred years ago, all crepes were made of buckwheat flour. Today, creperies that specialize in serving sweet and savory crepes are found throughout France. The savory pancakes, served as a main course, are usually made of buckwheat flour and called galettes, or galettes sarrasines, while dessert crêpes are made with wheat flour.”

I had the savory ham and cheese crepe, a bit of salad followed by a chocolate crepe for dessert and decaf espresso. I was super full and it was a good thing we had lots more walking ahead of us.

We then saw the Cathedral Saint John the Baptist. Yet another lovely church with organs, beautiful stained glass, and currently exhibiting works of art by a Korean person.

We finally got back to Place des Terreaux as we had walked some distance by now.

Walked up and then down Rue Romarin until we found the L'Atelier de Soierie.

I had really wanted to go to a silk shop in Lyon but because time was limited I didn't hold out hope. There were other places to see as well and our time was limited.

Getting to go to the Atelier was wonderful. When we arrived there a man showed us the silkscreening process of using the various colours to screen different parts of a scarf. They were all on a continuous piece of fabric. They did work for many of the museums including the Louvre. He explained that the design on the scarf he was working on was that of his parents.

On the wall were 10 boards showing the changes in a picture until you got the finished product, a silk scarf.

He explained that there are many screens for the one scarf each of which was a different colour. The dyes are all made by them and are quite thick.

We watched as he demonstrated the silk screening process and added a dark green.

After we went upstairs to the boutique where we were showing exquisite pieces of silk with vicose embroidery woven into the silk. They were flower petals and leaves. She explained and demonstrated the individual painting of each and we saw all the different colours.

They sold scarves, ties and handkerchiefs. I bought myself a gorgeous hand painted silk scarf with poppies which the lady herself had hand painted. There were of course a wide variety of colourful silk screened scarves. I liked mine for the lightness of it and the handpainted work of art.

We thanked them for their kindness and time spent showing and explaining everything to us. I gave each of them one of our Canadian Olympic loonies. They were touched and in turn presented me with a book on Lyon. Very kind and nice people. I told them that the visit was most special to us. Definitely the highlight of my trip to Lyon and one of the highlights of the entire trip to France. There have been numerous highlights and I have been so lucky to be on this trip. Each new city has given me something special that I will never forget.

Got back to the hotel just after 4 pm and boy can two strong and determined women accomplish a lot in a short time. I returned the room key and got the baggage locker opened up.

Margy returned from ladies just as we were bringing bags to reception area. My turn to ladies and then both of us bought scarves from their boutique and with an additional 25% off that wasn't there yesterday. Silk of course.

Rushed out the door with luggage and purchases and walked briskly to train station to arrive at 430 pm. Tres bon. Train is late 20 mins so we can breathe. We got here on time. We were both hot, sweaty and tired.

Train was finally ready to board 42 minutes after it was supposed to leave.

Got settled on the train in compartment 17, reserved seats 25 and 27. Ate my sandwich and drank my Orangina and read my book. Shortly after, I fell asleep for about 1 1/2 hours.

When I woke up and looked out the window I saw cows, a lone goat lying in a field and then flocks of ducks. This was countryside and nature. How great is this.

Eta to Strasbourg is 5 hours and. Marc will be picking us up in Strasbourg. We will then go sleep at Margy's apartment.

Posted by Sydney324 10:51 Archived in France Comments (0)

Day 16 Lyon, dimanche 22 août 2010 - Lyon

sunny 32 °C
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This is our only full day in Lyon.

Got up around 8 am. Felt groggy and almost like I was hungover. More likely just tired and probably dehydrated. Lack of finding bathrooms sometimes makes you drink less water.
Got dressed and took elevator down to buffet breakfast which cost 9€ each. As it was buffet there was a much greater selection including cheeses, camembert in individual triangle packages, emmental, babybel and a soft spreadable cheese.

Real whole fresh fruit along with variety of breads and pastries, cereal, yogurt, hard boiled eggs, ham and salami, toast, jam, and my favorite, nutella.

Walked to the tram and took it to the tourism office where got some information. We hope to do a dinner and boat cruise tonight. Margy tried without success to get a hold of someone there. No answer and no way to leave a message. Obviously they are closed till later today when a message said to call back around 7 pm.

On the grounds of the tourism information office is a great huge sculpture of the words "Only Lyon" with a large red lion. Many people were getting their pictures taken with it, me included.

Lyon is the third largest city in France and is in the Rhone Valley. There are two rivers here, the Rhône and the Saône. Lyon is a leader in publishing and banking. Nancy, they have the musée de l’imprimerie de Lyon which is one of the most important printing museums in Europe.

It is also one of the world’s silk capitals and the centre of silk manufacturing in Europe. Lyon is also home to some of the best restaurants in the country and has the best Bresse poultry in France. I had this type of poultry yesterday at Brasserie Georges for dinner.

We then got back on the tram, changed to the metro and took a few different lines and also took the funicular to get to the Basilica of Notre Dame de Fourvière located on Fourvière hill. Arrived around 11:30 am. Incredible views of the city of Lyon from here. This is by far the most beautiful church we have seen as the architecture was breathtaking. No pictures allowed inside the Basilica. (By the way I needed to know what “basilica” meant. It is “basilique” in French. Here is the main definition that I found: “privileged Roman Catholic church: a Roman Catholic church or cathedral given ceremonial privileges by the Pope”.

It was designed by Pierre Bossan and built between 1872 and 1896; the architecture is Romaneque and Byzantine. Beautiful coloured mosaics are everywhere in the basilica’s interior. There is a gold statue of the Virgin Mary on the top of the belfry. The doors to the entrance of the basilica are incredible works of art. See the picture.

“A funicular, also known as a funicular railway, incline, inclined railway, inclined plane, or cliff railway, is a cable railway in which a cable attached to a pair of tram-like vehicles on rails moves them up and down a steep slope; the ascending and descending vehicles counterbalance each other. The word is from the Latin funiculus, a diminutive of funis, "rope (from Wikipedia).

There was also a museum of religious artwork and we did not go in there. On the wall outside the museum we were informed that there are 1.5 million visitors annually and that this sanctuary and tourist site is one of the busyiest in France. The usual gift store with a very impressive selection of every type of Catholic crosses, rosaries, crucifixes, pendants, figurines, etc. The selection was endless.

I didn't go to the crypt as it was very hard for me to go into the one at the Notre Dame de la Guarda in Marseille, Margy did and found it impressive and quite different than other one. There are concerts held in this crypt.

I did go into the chapel where there was a sign asking that you be silent. It was very calming there and I cried a bit. The peace and tranquillity was most welcome. I was grateful to be alive and in France on this trip.

Walked around in the area and went to a park where we sat on a bench for a while. Here we ate the sandwiches that we had made from our buffet breakfast to take with us for lunch. It was now shortly before 1 pm. Don't know exact temperature right now but it feels like mid 30's. I kept dozing off after my lunch and slept upright for about 15 or 20 minutes.

Went back down by furnicular and off to the metro and took several transfers to get us to Croix Russe.

As soon as we arrived we headed to the Bull Cafe and ordered two beers. A pleasant respite on a very hot and humid day. In the shade of course and it was a nice quiet place. The Bull Cafe’s toilet can be found outside the restaurant and through another door from the outside. There is a step stool to reach the toilet. Not just short people need it as the toilet is high up.
We then we walked around lots for about an hour. We walked for blocks on end and often times did not see any people. There would be a few vehicles and almost all the stores were closed for the day or for the yearly vacation.

We passed a few shops with great signs; one in the window and the other above the bar. See pictures.

We got back on the metro to go to see a mural and then got back on metro to go back to Croix Russe to see a few things there. We went to see the traboule in Croix-Russe which means russet cross. This area was heavily marked by the silk industry.

Traboules are passageways that are generally associated with Lyon but are in some other French cities. Here they were used mostly by silk manufacturers to transport their goods. Traboules were also utilized during poor weather and the war. There were a few books on the traboules available for purchase at the tourist office. They are thought to have first been built in the 4th century.

Half an hour later we were maxed out and tired. At 4:45 we got back on the metro C line then transferred to A to get back to our hotel for a much needed rest.

After showers to cool off, we had a rest. I fell asleep and probably slept for 1 ½ hours. I was beat. Woke up feeling disoriented and back was aching worse now. Overdid it hanging bags on me like a pack horse yesterday. Downside of shopping I guess.

Left our hotel around 8 pm to go to dinner. Back to Brasserie Georges as this was where we had talked about going to tonite. No chance or wish to even follow up with the boat cruise which would have been lovely but it meant a late night as the cruise started at 8:30 pm and was for 2 and ¾ hours.

At the Brasserie we were seated inside, as by this time there were no tables available outside. They were not filled but obviously reserved. You dine very late in France. We still saw a lot of people arriving at the restaurant after 9 pm for dinner. As much as I have really enjoyed the later dining because of the nice lingering meals I do look forward to getting back to dinner at 6 pm and not staying up till midnight and later because I am still digesting.
We passed on appetizers but did order a bottle of mineral water called Badoit and has been around since 1778. I also had an artisan apple juice that tasted like applesauce. It was very good.

For dinner I had my first Steak Tartare. It came with a green salad and french fries. My steak tartare was prepared at the table and was really flavourful and I enjoyed it a lot. We enjoyed watching our server as he mixed the raw onions, seasonings, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, raw egg and finely chopped beef. Will be uploading video on this shortly. I also cannot get over the price as it was just under 16€ and a generous portion as well. Margy had the Georges salad which she enjoyed.

For dessert Margy had vanilla ice cream and a sort of berry compote. I had a chocolate mousse with lemon sorbet inside it. Very delicious and quite the work of art as there was a layer of sorbet with some raspberries inside it.

It was 26 degrees at nearly 11 pm. I am now exhausted and it is very late. Bonne nuit.

Posted by Sydney324 15:58 Archived in France Comments (0)

Day 15 Lyon, Samedi 21 Août 2010 - Hotel Axotel Perrache

and Brasseries Georges

sunny 31 °C
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I fell asleep twice while on the train from Marseille to Lyon. I obviously needed the rest. We had so much luggage to get off the train and then it was a matter of getting ourselves to our new hotel. We took the tram which got us there very quickly. And did I mention that it was hot, really really hot. 35 degrees at least. No breeze. As I had a look at our surroundings I saw a fairly modern looking city. Clean and it felt very different than Marseille. It was quite noticeable when walking on the streets. Lyon feels more like Vancouver or Seattle at least on my initial impression.

The Hotel Axotel Perrache is a really nice hotel and it is located just a few blocks from the tram station. Our room is very nice and the colours are orange and red and yellow. Small room but all the amenities including a tv that works well. Air conditioning, wifi, shower and a desk and nice twin beds. Most up to date lodging for us as I wanted something a little higher end for the last leg of our trip. Very cool exterior which has to be checked out on the website. www.hotel-axotel-perrache-lyon.federal-hotel.com.

After we arrived in Lyon we were hit by such an intense heat it was hard to fathom how hot it could possibly be. We each had a shower and got settled in our room and then headed out shortly after 7 pm to go to the Brasserie Georges for dinner. I had wanted to go to this restaurant when we got to Lyon and had no idea it was only a few blocks from the hotel I booked. How fortunate is that.

The Brasserie Georges was established in 1836. That’s no typo as the restaurant has been around for almost 200 years. www.brasseriegeorges.com. They have a poster listing all the famous people that have eaten there in the past. Some were Ernest Hemingway (he sure gets around), Edith Piaf, Auguste Rodin, and Jean Paul Sartre. Just think that all these people once walked on the same floor that we did tonight.

We each had a beer to start. We had olives with our beer and I have really come to like the olives as I have had several different varieties in my travels in France. I ordered the onion soup as this is one of their specialties. It was very good, flavourful and not salty. Too much cheese though and the portion was big. Didn’t finish it as I wanted to make sure I could eat my entree.

Margy ordered the Suprême de pintade farci au jambon cru et emmenthal, risotto aux cèpes and I ordered the Volaille de Bresse farcie au foie gras, poché aux légumes de saison, sauce fleurette au porto. With our meal we had half a carafe of red wine (37.5 cl rather than the usual 50 cl).

We finished dinner around 9 pm and then slowly walked our way back to the hotel. Off to bed and we have a busy day tomorrow, just as soon as we figure out exactly what we are going to do.

Posted by Sydney324 14:49 Archived in France Tagged food Comments (0)

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