Saturday, December 1, 2012

Head Cold Friday

Thursday night I had grandiose plans of using my only day off a 13 day stretch to get away from Lyon and do one last sightseeing excursion before flying home to California for the holidays.

I originally wanted to go to Strasbourg in the north of France to see their famous Christmas Market. Unfortunately, the trip to Strasbourg requires an eight hour round trip train ride which is way too much for a one day trip. We have our first Cadet team scrimmage at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday so staying over night would be sketchy given the potential for train delays with a cold front hitting France this weekend.

A second possible destination was Monaco, the small independent principality in the south of France. The weather called for rain in Monaco and, quite frankly, I'd had enough of the rain at our night practices this week.

Thus, I decided to take the two hour train ride to Paris for an always interesting diversion in the French capital. It promised to be cold but not raining. If the weather got to be too much, there were always some of the world's finest art museums in which to find refuge.

I was set.

Until I woke up at about 5:30 a.m. with a very sore throat, both ears aching and my snot producing glands in overdrive.

Trip cancelled.

I spent most of the day in bed with plenty of aspirin and fluids nearby.

Finally, at about 2:00 p.m., I rallied enough to head downtown to do some more Christmas shopping and re-charge my Lyon city transportation pass for the month of December.

Verdun Monument

This monument is located in the Place Carnot where the Lyon Christmas Market, selling throat soothing vin chaud by the way, commemorating the French casualties from the World War I Battle of Verdun that lasted ten long months. 

Current estimates peg the total French and German casualties in this battle at over 976,000!

I was able to find a few more gifts today which was a good thing on this sunny, chilly day.

I had time to do a quick sketch
of St. Francis de Sales Church

Nice Marble Altar Piece

Good Cupola

Not a cloud in the sky

SFR bus touting their new and
improved 4G system

My carrier here in Lyon is indeed SFR, why do I rarely get any coverage from them when I step away from The Villa.


The Bellecour Pathé Theater

I had received a discount pass to see a movie in this theater for only five Euros when I went to the Lyon hockey game a few weeks ago. Today was the perfect day to use it given my physical state.

Now, I only had to see if they had an English language movie playing in VO, i.e., Version Original. VO means that a film will be shown in its original language with French subtitles.

The 5:00 p.m. showing was in VO!

I liked it, Bond at his very best.

After the movie, I felt up to touring Lyon at night.

Stomp those grapes

I could use another vin chaud.

The night lights of Lyon

I can't wait for one of the great cultural events in Lyon each year, the Fête des Lumiéres, next weekend. For four nights, several of Lyon's major buildings will be bathed in colorful lights to say Merci again to the Virgin Mary for saving Lyon from the plague in 1643.

Over 4,000,000 visitors are expected to descend on Lyon for this festival between December 6-9.

I'll see Laurie in only 11 more days

Lyon's Theater

Rue Victor Hugo

Colorful Fountain

King Louis XIV guarding the
Place Bellecour at night

Christmas Tree at the entrance
to the Lyon Christmas Market

I'm surviving.


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