Two major rivers, the Rhône and the Sâone, converge in Lyon at the southern tip of the Presqu’île de Lyon, the heart of Lyon.
At the intersection of the two rivers is the Musée des Confluences. I wanted to go there, but I did not plan to go inside and view the exhibits. I wanted to look at the building itself, outside, and at the lobby.
I did not know where I would eventually eat lunch, nor did I have a plan for getting to the museum, other than taking the metro to the Perrache train station. From there I assumed that I would walk.
I had selected then a tourist attraction for the day. I was hoping that a good lunch would follow, although I had my doubts, because I knew a bit about the area at the confluence, and also that something entertaining might occur while going to the museum or returning home. (I would walk, take the metro, unlock two e-scooters, and ride a bus. The e-scooters were, of course, the most fun.)
It is said that the museum was designed “to resemble a floating crystal cloud of stainless steel and glass.” When I saw it for the first time, I thought of the overly large, sleek yachts I had encountered in the ports of Antibes and Monaco. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.) But wait, there’s more!
Three anecdotes about buying time by riding e-scooters.
I wanted to return to Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse. I had been there during a previous stay in Lyon, so I knew that the walk from the Presqu’île de Lyon to Les Halles is straight, flat, and . . . boring. I set off anyway. The day was hot; the sky was open and large. After crossing the Rhône and walking a few blocks, I decided enough was enough. At the next corner were some e-scooters, lined up like race horses in their stalls. I unlocked one, pushed off, and quickly breezed on my way. I arrived at Les Halles within a couple of minutes.
It was Saturday, which is not pertinent to the story, but it does emphasize that all was quiet that day. I wanted to visit the Musée des Confluences de Lyon, south of Perrache, which is a major train station in Lyon. I took the metro from Ville de Lyon to Gare de Lyon-Perrache and from there I started walking south. Did I say it was Saturday and nothing was open and the boulevard is long and straight and little to consider to the left or to the right. After a few blocks, I thought, “Enough is enough.” I unlocked an e-scooter and whizzed away, arriving a few minutes later at the Musée des Confluences. I could have taken a bus, I suppose, but I did not want to stand, and to wait, and to look, and to look, again, at my phone. I wanted to move.
E-scooters are fun, but I find that I use them to “buy time.” In other words, I want to move more quickly than walking, and usually no buses will arrive soon or they are not available. I unlock a scooter, and I am off. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.) But wait, there’s more!
« Vous voulez devenir un Lyonnais ? » “You want to become a Lyonnais?” My driver had asked how long I intended to stay. I told him one month. A little later, during the introduction to the apartment, my landlord commented about the length of my stay, « Vous devenez un Lyonnais. »
Popping in and out of a city in France does not give me much pleasure. I dislike the constant movement between hotel rooms and the need to spend time going to and from airports, train stations, and bus terminals.
The hotel rooms are often within blocks of the transportation hubs or near the center of the city. Major businesses are there. The locals go to work, and then they go home, leaving you to your hotel room.
I look for places that are a little isolated, away from the center of the city, but within easy access to public transportation. I prefer a neighborhood with character, that seems to live with residents.
My neighborhood in Lyon is les pentes de la Croix-Rousse. It has a small park Place Sathonay which has an extensive history. Surrounding it are some small restaurants where one can sit à la terrace and sip an espresso. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.) But wait, there’s more!
While looking to understand the Fresque des Lyonnais that I had happened upon a few days earlier, while walking across the Saône in Lyon, I learned that several other wall paintings existed in Lyon. To my surprise I saw that a larger fresque could be seen in the Croix-Rousse quartier and not far from my neighborhood.
I had a tourist destination for the next day. I decided that I would walk to the painting, getting some exercise at the same time, since I would need to climb a series of stairways to reach the Croix-Rousse. I could easily enough use an electric scooter but the walk might offer some adventures and certainly more opportunities for taking pictures. I chose where I wanted to eat as well.
Unlike most days, before I left the apartment this day, I had chosen how I would get around, where I was going, and where I wanted to eat lunch.
Soon enough I turned a corner and stepped back and stepped back again and saw la Fresque des Canuts.
All of the buildings here are painted images, trompe-l’oeil, a part of le fresque des Canuts, including the cream-colored one in the background. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.) But wait, there’s more!