Saturday we headed out into Lyon to explore a bit. We took the bus to Place Bellecoeur, and from there wandered the streets and found a food market where we met a Chilean man selling empanadas. =) We stopped and chatted with him for a few minutes (in Spanish, of course!) and bought an empanada from him that Zach and I shared. I kinda wish I'd taken a picture of him-- what a random encounter.
Zach and our empanada.
At the ampitheatre.
From then on we walked past cathedrals, took a teleferique up the hill to some stone ampitheatres and strolled through the Greco-Roman museum, then onto the basilica (forget the specific name) at the very top of the hill. We made our way back down the hill and decided to find ourselves a place for lunch, since it was already about 2pm. We found a restaurant Zach had read about (La Gargouille, I think?) and we were standing outside the front door, debating whether we should go in and ask if they're still serving food, when the most amazing thing happened-- the hostess opened the door and asked (in French), "Are you two wanting to come in and eat? Smoking or non-smoking? Oh, Non-smoking of course, for the baby. Ok, give me 5 minutes!"
My jaw dropped. I mean, can you ever imagine someone doing that at a restaurant in Geneva? I couldn't believe it. Again, more proof that people in Lyon might be the nicest in Europe. Lunch was great, by the way, delicious. Zach had a quenelle which was the best thing he ate all weekend, and I had this great ravioli au gratin, and for dessert a chocolate mousse that was much denser and richer than I normally expect mousse to be, but again-- absolutely delicious.
We had originally planned to go back to the hotel in the mid-afternoon for a break before coming back out for the Festival's biggest night, but by the time we finished lunch it was just past 4pm and the light shows started at 6pm, so we figured we'd go ahead and hang around instead. Soon after we got the call from Cathy, who had told me she and her husband might be going to Lyon that night for the festival. They were already sitting at a pub just across the river from us, and after a humorous phone conversation where 2 people who don't know the city at all tried to figure out how to find each other, we realized they were just a few blocks away and went to join them.
Me and Zach at the pub.
Cathy and Cary.
Our great lunch, and then sitting and chatting with Cathy, her husband Cary, Daren, and their other friend (Marty? forget his name) at the pub seemed to give me a bit of a second wind and so after a few drinks (and fruit juice for me) we set off to brave the crowds... and holy crap were there crowds. We kinda wound up wandering in a big circle, unfortunately not stumbling across many light displays, and instead getting stuck in some human traffic jams in a few places. The worst of which was at this one small plaza where Zach and I had seen a great show projected onto the back of this one cathedral, but with all the people watching, and the others trying to go from one side of the crowds to another, we wound up getting literally stuck, unable to move for a good 5 minutes, and a situation that at first made me laugh with its ridiculousness soon made me kinda scared as I felt like I was in the middle of 2 big crowds each trying to push in towards each other and not getting anywhere. We finally made it out (though I lost my umbrella, which I'd tucked into the sash of my coat), and soon after decided to part ways with our friends-- I was done dealing with the crowds.
A statue turned into a sno-globe-- one of my favorite light exhibits.
Figuring that the buses would also be a nightmare (with all the people, and the buses were actually free that night so even more people would be trying to use them) we decided to walk back to the hotel-- about 2km or so. My feet were kinda killing me by this time, but we made it back most of the way, and then miraculously caught a bus that happened to be going by and had just enough room for us to squeeze in for the last bit of the way back. Since we hadn't really gotten dinner anywhere (other than a kebab sandwich that Zach had on the street) we ordered some room service for me and then settled into watching the Miss France pageant on TV-- which was a whole interesting cultural experience on its own, for example noting for example that the contestants were not nearly as made-up or shellacked as women on US beauty pageants tend to be. Then, exhausted from a longer day than we'd anticipated, we went to sleep, planning on a much more low-key Sunday.
Pictures from Saturday.