I just realized today that I have not posted or been very present on the blogosphere over the past week and wish to apologise to all. I haven’t forgotten you, there’s just been so much going on here that it has zapped all of my energy and left me a quite tired.
Silly pregnant brain has been behaving itself quite well this week, except I did nearly take the tube in the wrong direction after meeting up with fellow Lyonnaise blogger Charley Appenzellar from 365 things I Love About France. Charley is an American writer who has been living in Lyon for the last 8 years and I was absolutely delighted to meet her. Charley is the first expat I have met in Lyon through blogging and I am really pleased that I did. I love her blog as it’s everything mine isn’t and gives me a constant reminder of the reasons I like France and enriches my cultural knowledge of the country at the same time.
We met to have a coffee in one of Lyon’s best pastry shops, Bernachon. I’m so glad Charley suggested it as a meeting place as I enjoyed the liquid chocolate hot chocolate and the most delicate of apple tarts I have ever tasted and have been having cravings ever since. Unfortunately I do not think it would be very wise for me to return anytime soon as strangely enough my weight took a giant leap up over the last week… If you want to indulge yourself in some visual goodies have a look at her blog post here.
Last week was also the week of the famous Lyon illuminations. I’m quite embarrassed to admit that I have never done the “touristy” thing and made a special effort to see them (Mr Piglet is convinced that we went there one year with my parents but I am sure I was ill and that we didn’t go… either way, I have no recollection of going). I did get to see some of them in 2007 but it was different as I was working in the city centre, it wasn’t as if I had made a special effort to see them. With little piglet on its way and our move to the country, I decided that this year we absolutely had to see them.
So, we wrapped up warm and drove head on into the huge traffic jams in the quest to find a parking space not too far away from the city centre as it was freezing cold outside and I was tired. Luck was on our side and we quickly found a space but that was where our luck ended.
We started off our tour by the Chambre de Commerce near Place de la Bourse which wasn’t lit up but is still a gorgeous building and meandered down the Rue de la Republique which is Lyon’s main pedestrian shopping street.
I had hoped to take lots of pictures to share here but after spending a few minutes to set it up so that the flash didn’t go off constantly, I managed to take one photo of Le Printemps building and then the battery died and I was left lumbering around a great big camera for nothing.
Not that you missed much finally. I was grossly disappointed by the few light displays that we managed to see, notably the one near Printemps, which was a water display where you could see a weird film projected on the water – you had to be standing in exactly the right place to see what it was otherwise it was just like looking at green coloured water. It was too arty farty for me and not practical as a display – how on earth were hundreds of people meant to view it at a time when you could only fully appreciate it from one view point?
The other display at Bellecour where a film was being projected on to the big wheel and foam headstones were being squirted out into the air by a big machine was also a let down. Compared to the snowball and ice rink of which I had seen photos of for previous years and had experienced seeing briefly in 2007 I was bitterly disappointed. Freezing cold, craving mulled wine and really peed off with the human traffic jams and people elbowing me constantly, Mr Piglet and I decided to call it a night before I decided to physically assault someone and headed off to seek out a table at our favourite Thai restaurant, Le Petit Siamois where we indulged in not one, but two spicy chocolate fondants for dessert…
If you would like to read someone else’s more positive experience of the illuminations I noticed that Le Franco Phoney had some good pictures and got to visit more of the displays than I could be bothered to.