Tuesday, November 17, 2015



Hello beasties!

Did you miss us? You did! Thank goodness for that...

Well, we're safely back from France and ready to report!

This is the first of two posts about mine (and Toby's) recent holiday to Lyon, for my birthday. This first post has plenty of photos and a brief diary of what we got up to - whilst the second post will have further photos and a new prose piece, relating to the Horner character from BEAST OF FRIENDS and is a loose sequel to the piece that I wrote in October, set in Devon.

Anyway, here are some photos and then we'll move on to the diary - you can, of course, read more about the city at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyon


The photos in this post are mainly what I got up to on my birthday, Tuesday 10th November - as (slowly) gallivanting about the city was one of my main birthday wise. Although it wasn't raining, the day began rather overcast...

But then, around mid-morning, the sun suddenly decided to come out...


Monday 9th November 2015

Today Toby and I headed off to France from Heathrow, via the coach from Woking train station - yes, even glamorous French holidays can begin in Woking! There's rarely a great deal to write about the first day of a holiday when you spend more of it travelling - but everything went very smoothly; considering the troubles I've been having with my feet and legs this year, this can only be a good thing. Just getting there was quite enough for one day and after a train ride, a coach ride, a flight, three further tram and metro trips and also a certain amount of walking we made do with a burger from a take-away for our dinner and then settled in for the night. Neither of us slept that well - but then I don't at the best of times at the moment; the main thing is that we got to Lyon in one piece.

Tuesday 10th November 2015

Today was our first full day in Lyon and it was also my birthday... It always takes me a while to settle in to a new bed and I don't really sleep too well in hotel rooms; but our room had a sneaky second bedroom attached to it, that we weren't expecting - with a sofa bed that I adopted during the trip - not that I slept especially well in it. I ended up opening my birthday cards at about 2am, but after that slept through until almost 8. Breakfast was good - a buffet where we were able to have an assortment of breakfast goodies - cereal, meat, cheese, scrambled eggs, coffee and juice, jam and all manner of different breads and pancakes.

Breakfast done, we pottered down to the River Saône and took photos - it was still quite overcast at this point, but that didn't last long. After a walk through the old town I called my mum so she could say happy birthday - at which point the sun came out and the clouds burnt away in a matter of minutes. Back by the river we went in search of the funiculaire up to Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourviere. The view was great and I also took a few photos with me and the 4th season BEAST OF FRIENDS book. Don't ask me why, exactly. I just think it deserved a holiday.

After we took a look around the Basilica we returned to the old town for lunch and I randomly chose a restaurant - LE PANIER DU CHEF at Place Neuve Saint-Jean, photos of which follow below. It was all very delicious - thank you again, Toby, for such a lovely birthday treat.

To be honest we did very little with the rest of our day - I was beginning to flag a little, so we did a lot of sitting and admiring the view in impressive locations such as Place Bellecour. After that we explored the shops for a while, but mainly in search of some nibbly bits for our dinner.  We were back in our hotel before the sun went down and I caught up with messages and had a nap. Toby went off to hunter/gather some more food after that and we ended up watching a couple of movies that Canal+ were screening in English (Kidnapping Mr Heineken with Anthony Hopkins and a revenge-western called Sweetwater) and then it was time for bed.

Wednesday 11th November 2015

Wednesday was a quieter day and we didn't quite do as much as we'd intended to; partly because it turned out to be a national holiday in France for Remembrance Day which made it busier than we'd expected. We had intended to visit one of the large parks in the city and to take a picnic there - but by the time we had waded through the crowds at the shopping centre at Lyon Part-Dieu then all we really wanted to do was to come home for a rest. In the afternoon we pottered down the road in the hope of finding the Musée des beaux-arts de Lyon open, but it was closed for the holiday. Instead we spent the rest of the afternoon sitting at different spots along the river - not far from the hotel - just enjoying the sun. The evening was mainly spent chilling out, listening to podcasts and working on photos and writing for this post and the next, which is also Lyon themed.

Thursday 12th November 2015

On Thursday we had another relatively leisurely day - the sun didn't quite make it through the clouds and at one point the church on the hill could barely be seen. We pottered over to have a quick look at the Rhône to see how it compared to the Saône; it's basically noisier and busier. After coffee we returned to the Musée des beaux-arts de Lyon - which was open this time and had a lot of interesting arty things to keep us distracted! (Arty things... Yes! That's the technical term for stuff in galleries!) After we'd had a good look around we stopped for lunch - just in case were wondering the dessert below was the exact lemon tart that I ate on this occasion. So, now you know! Oh, and the gardens were also very nice too!

We had other plans for the afternoon, but in the end we just ended up picking up more nibbly food for our dinner. After an afternoon nap in my little room it was suddenly time to eat and that was pretty much it for the day; but I was completely fine with that. We managed to find a bit of TV in English; it wasn't exactly The Walking Dead - but never mind.

Friday 13th November 2015

Friday was our last full day in the city and we didn't stray far - returning to the old town and heading back up the hill via the funiculaire and then returning via the gardens, which were lovely in the autumn sun. Once again there had been cloud in the morning, but it cleared by lunch-time and we had a nice lunch at LES VENTRES JAUNE, a couple of doors down from where we ate on my birthday on Place Neuve Saint-Jean...

After that we took a leisurely walk back to the hotel, revisiting a number of places that we'd been to during the week to bid them au revoir! We spent the evening back at the hotel - chilling out before tomorrow's journey home.

Saturday 14th November 2015

Saturday was mainly spent travelling home - but we did get one last lovely Lyon breakfast before we headed for the airport and there were no delays, except for the fact that it took 45 minutes for someone to find a ladder (or similar) to let us off the plane; but to be honest considering the dreadful terrorist attack that had occurred the previous night in Paris we were amazed and grateful to have made it home so smoothly.

Next time, as promised, I will be sharing some more photos from the trip and also presenting another story involving Horner from the BEAST OF FRIENDS series; with a bit of luck I'll be back next week!

More soon!

Yeti hugs,

Paul xx
P.S. Most of the photos in this post were taken by myself, but one or two - such as the one below were taken by Toby W who was on the trip with me. Thank you so much for the photos, Toby and for making my birthday and the whole holiday a great deal of fun - despite my stupid legs attempting to scupper things! Bad feet! Super Toby! :0)

DECEMBER 2015 NOTE: When I first posted this the photos were a bit wonky - but I hope I have finally been able to fix that. It's not perfect, but it's better than it was!! :0)

This post and all contents are Copyright Paul Chandler 2015.