Rained quite hard overnight, woke to thick fog in morning. Put cuppa on and had a bucket-wash inside in our carpark as officials arrived for the early morning bike racers.
Stopped at bakery for delicious light French croissants. Fog slowly lifting. Avoiding highways and tolls, passing "rustic" villages (meaning part charming, part daggy/unkempt/falling down). Forest more deciduous, woodier, not pines. Not much summer left, will look lovely in Autumn then stark and leafless in winter. Coffee and wifi in McDonalds - ah France, easy internet, caught up on emails and details of Guy's accident in Germany. We too, have been alarmed at speed of fellow travellers on autobahns. Our "tank" might seem over the top in Europe but it sure beats a lightweight motor home if rear-ended at 150kph! Came out to sunny day, all traces of fog gone. Countryside much prettier, variety of agricultural pursuits, dairy, corn, cereals, sunflowers, grapes, orchards. Plenty of lakes on Saints Road to Lyon, water birds/ herons in tilled fields. Crusty bread rolls for lunch beside River Sãone in sun - swans and cygnet on opposite bank, heron and bright kingfisher, near exposed sandstone buff. Easy to stay and snooze awhile, but Lyon beckons...
|Just love these pale denim shutters|
Arrived Lyon mid arvo, too late to do much except drive along edge of river in heart of city, look at cathedral and metallic tower on hill, and try to park for a stroll. Found spot 2kms from Old Town, so walked back through nightclub district, and past bastion (fortifications part of “second belt” of defense of hilly Lyon).
|Bastion on edge of River Saone|
Looked inside Romanesque style Eglise Saint Paul church, with its C15th angel musicians decorating a funeral recess. Had a beer in Elephant and Castle English pub, then crossed one of the many bridges to the city on the hill, and browsed book stalls lining River Saone.
|Not interested in knocking on this door....|
|Starting to feel very French....|
Gaped at some of the spectacular wall murals of in/famous Lyonnais folk and businesses, one of them on a 7-story building. Urban art - such a brilliant concept to battle city-drab and graffiti, and to build community pride.
Retraced our steps back across the river, past L’Homme in Rock statue, medieval walls, ponts, barges, river boats cruising under multiple bridges.
|The Man in the Rock|
Not much English spoken (is this a rebuff of their near neighbor??) although noted new adjective in the language....
|Easy Rider meets Vespa??|
Checked Aires place for camp, but it was a creepy dead-end full of permanents spread out everywhere amid waist high weeds and rubbish (people looked to be from Morocco/ Algieria/ Gabon?) Parking was a premium in the city so it was obvious there'd be no free camping, drove north of town to Indigo International Caravan Park.