*take nothing for granted!
Unless otherwise indicated all photos © Richard McKie 2005 - 2015

Who is Online

We have 141 guests and no members online

Translate to another language

Touring in the South of France

September 2014

 

Lyon

Off the plane we are welcomed by a warm Autumn day in the south of France.  Fragrant and green.

Lyon is the first step on our short stay in Southern France, touring in leisurely hops by car, down the Rhône valley from Lyon to Avignon and then to Aix and Nice with various stops along the way.

Months earlier I’d booked a car from Lyon Airport to be dropped off at Nice Airport.  I’d tried booking town centre to town centre but there was nothing available.

This meant I got to drive an unfamiliar car, with no gearstick or ignition switch and various other novel idiosyncrasies, ‘straight off the plane’.  But I managed to work it out and we got to see the countryside between the airport and the city and quite a bit of the outer suburbs at our own pace.  Fortunately we had ‘Madam Butterfly’ with us (more of her later) else we could never have reached our hotel through the maze of one way streets.

The charment Hotel St Vincente near the river turned out to be well placed to walk to most places of interest so, after a little more exploration than I might have liked due to the maze of streets, I parked the car at the long-stay car-park at the Opera.

 

 

The Opera Lyon
The Opera - Lyon

 

Despite some early light rain we found the city delightful.  Lyon is a city of many fine buildings and a busy commercial area like a small Paris with friendly inhabitants.

 

Lyon Lyon2
Lyon3 Lyon4

Lyon

 

 

Across the Rhône is a high hill, once a Roman fort, topped by a cathedral, the Basilica de Fourvière; and a mini Eifel Tower/communications mast, La Tour Métallique. 

 

La Tour 
Métallique - Lyon
La Tour Métallique - Lyon

 

The Basilica is said to contain a golden virgin that I somehow failed to notice despite roaming around it for some time.  But there’s a nice picture on line (link). My days of noticing virgins have, apparently, passed.

 

 

Lyon5 Lyon6
 

Basilica de Fourvière

 

The Basilica affords a great view over the city.

 

Lyon7 Lyon8
Lyon9 Lyon10

Lyon Panorama

 

 

I was most impressed by the local gallery, the Musée des beaux-arts de Lyon, that’s in an old Benedictine convent and houses what must be the finest art collection in France outside of Paris.

 

Lyon7 Lyon8
Lyon9 Lyon10
Lyon9 Lyon10

Musée des beaux-arts de Lyon

 

 

It provided a nice escape from the weather.  And Wendy too found a lot to like in it, particularly the antiquities and the extensive collection of sculpture representing Rodin, Maillol and a beautiful Odalisque by James Pradier.   

 

 

Lyon7 Lyon8
Lyon9 Lyon10
Lyon9 Lyon10

Musée des beaux-arts de Lyon

 

I’ve also posted a few more of the many photos I took there.

 

One of our first tasks was to find a nice little French restaurant for dinner.  This was harder than you might think.  There were plenty of middle eastern and Italian and even a Thai or two but where were the French eateries?  Eventually we discovered a nearby square with a choice of three but pizza, burgers and kebabs now pervade the entire European continent.  It’s the same in Germany.

 

La Tour 
Dining in Lyon
Dining in Lyon

 

 

The next day was sunny and we did a lot of walking, enjoying the architecture and the general atmosphere.

It's amazing, everyone speaks such good French here. Even the little kids, kinder, enfants. Almost no one speaks English.

Wendy se souvient écolière française.  Moi aussi.  Mais très mal.

Aber ich habe versucht, Deutsch zu lernen.  So that's all a bit confusing.

I don't know. Why can't they all speak one language?  English of course.

 

 

La Tour 
Strolling in Lyon
Strolling in Lyon

Leaving Lyon we aim to reach Mirmande for dinner and our next hotel.  We're travelling by the back-roads and an infinity of roundabouts. 

 

 

Add comment


Security code
Refresh


    Have you read this???     -  this content changes with each opening of a menu item


Travel

Argentina & Uruguay

 

 

In October 2011 our little group: Sonia, Craig, Wendy and Richard visited Argentina. We spent two periods of time in Buenos Aires; at the start and at the end of our trip; and we two nights at the Iguassu Falls.

Read more ...

Fiction, Recollections & News

Merry Christmas

 

 

 

As Tim Minchin sings in White Wine in the Sun [turn on your sound...] Christmas is a time for family.  This year our family is one bigger.  I have a new grandchild, Tilda Charlotte, in Germany.  So the lyrics:

And if my baby girl
When you're twenty-one or thirty-one
And Christmas comes around
And you find yourself nine thousand miles from home
You'll know what ever comes
Your brothers and sisters and me and your mum
Will be waiting for you in the sun
When Christmas comes
Your brothers and sisters, your aunts and your uncles
Your grandparents, cousins and me and your mum
We'll be waiting for you in the sun
Drinking white wine in the sun Darling, whenever you come
We'll be waiting for you in the sun
Drinking white wine in the sun
Waiting for you in the sun Darling, when Christmas comes
We'll be waiting for you in the sun
Waiting
  

have a special meaning this year:  I really like Christmas - It's sentimental, I know.

Read more ...

Opinions and Philosophy

Manufacturing in Australia

Originally written in August 2011 - it might have been yesterday - so little has changed.

 

 

Manufacturing viability is back in the news.

The loss of manufacturing jobs in the steel industry has been a rallying point for unions and employers' groups. The trigger was the announcement of the closure of the No 6 blast furnace at the BlueScope plant at Port Kembla.  This furnace is well into its present campaign and would have eventually required a very costly reline to keep operating.  The company says the loss of export sales does not justify its continued operation. The  remaining No 5 blast furnace underwent a major reline in 2009.  The immediate impact of the closure will be a halving of iron production; and correspondingly of downstream steel manufacture. BlueScope will also close the aging strip-rolling facility at Western Port in Victoria, originally designed to meet the automotive demand in Victoria and South Australia.

800 jobs will go at Port Kembla, 200 at Western Port and another 400 from local contractors.  The other Australian steelmaker OneSteel also recently announced a workforce reduction of 400 jobs.

This announcement has reignited the 20th Century free trade versus protectionist economic and political debate. Labor backbenchers and the Greens want a Parliamentary enquiry. The Prime Minister who reportedly initially agreed has now, perhaps smelling trouble, demurred.

Read more ...

Terms of Use                                           Copyright