Sunday, September 20, 2009

Journées Européennes du Patrimoine 2009

Les Journées Européennes du Patrimoine or European Heritage Days were this weekend in France. This is an excellent opportunity to : visit places which are usually not open to the public; go on tours/guided visits; and choose from a wide variety of activities which are often free or at a reduced price.

I returned to Lyon this Saturday for this event and went on the following tours with a friend and her mom:

- Vieux Lyon : Renaissance et Traboules (10am to midday, €5)
- Vaulx-en-Velin : Usine de tissage de soie (3pm to 5pm, €2)

Here are some pics!!!

Place Bellecour, statue of Louis XIV
According to the tour guide, the queue du cheval is a good meeting place.

View of buildings around Place Bellecour

Le Rhône

City bicycles

Cathédrale Saint-Jean

Tax was determined by the number of windows you had.
Result = people got rid of some windows

La Maison du Charmarier, which was occupied by high churchmen
There is a well on the right of the photo.

A lion which was bought at an annual auction.
Apparently there are several other lion statues around Lyon (I've yet to see them!)
This one is outside the Musée des Miniatures.

Upward view from inside a traboule in Vieux Lyon
A traboule refers to a passage through buildings connecting different roads. They have been quite useful in the past (e.g. transporting silk, escaping an enemy during WWII, etc). Many traboules are private, but there are a few which are opened to the public during the day and closed at night. I don't think the residents would enjoy having people walking through their building 24/7!

Rue du Boeuf
Given the statue, perhaps there was a butcher at this location in the past?

La Tour Rose, from one of the traboules
Align Center
View through the traboule with the Tour Rose (pink tower)

More sealed windows

Les Guignols

Another upward view from a traboule to give an idea of the space

Holes to allow air to circulate through the traboule

Horloge astromonique in the Saint-Jean Cathedral

Weaving factory in Vaulx-en-Velin

A one-day TCL transport ticket proved to be a wise purchase considering the amount of travelling done around Lyon! From the 8ème district to Bellecour, morning tour (from Bellecour to Vieux Lyon), lunch at Toutes les Couleurs (restaurant for vegetarian/organic food in Vieux Lyon), afternoon tour in Vaulx-en-Velin, return to Vieux Lyon to meet some people and chat a bit, then back to the 8ème for dinner, drinks alongside the Rhône river (by the péniches), followed by catching the last métro and returning to Chambéry by car.

I wanted to visit the Abbaye d'Hautecombe (in Savoie) today, but unfortunately didn't go because I got the cold (not swine flu!). Anyway, guess I'll do that another time. At least I was able to take advantage of one of the two days of the Journées Européennes du Patrimoine. :-)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Une année!

Today is exactly one year since I arrived in Chambéry last year! :-)

Wow, time flew fast!

P.S. This day last year was nice and sunny, and fortunately so since I had a particularly heavy suitcase, and some other luggage to tug around. Today it rained (and was cold!) but that was ok, because going to Lyon for a few days doesn't require travelling with a 32kg bag lol.