Walks and Aqueducts – Lyon

While in Lyon, we had some nice walks in the “woods” behind the apartment:

Another walk into the city center of Sainte-Foy-Les-Lyon, a commune (town) in Lyon, where we found quaint streets, the sewing store of Cecile’s friend, and some fabulous doorknockers:


On another walk, we went through Francheville, another commune in Lyon, past some cool buildings and ruins of an old chateau…


and then through some more woods to the Aqueduc du Gier, which was amazing!




La Saône, The Little Prince, Place Bellecour and the Presqu’île – Lyon

La Saône is one of the rivers that runs through Lyon with several bridges over it, connecting the old city to the peninsula (presqu’île).

Looking down the river and looking across the river to the old city and The Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière up on the hill.


G and L with a cool footbridge behind them that was designed with a single, giant pylon and huge cables.

A closer view of the footbridge, pylon, and cables.

Situated between La Saône and La Rhone in Lyon is the presqu’île (peninsula).  One of the areas on the peninsula is a large public square (15 acres!) called Place Bellecour. It’s a wide open, beautiful area with a view of the cathedral up on the hill on one side…

and a giant ferris wheel at the other end (which I read somewhere is only there during the winter…lucky us!).  Mike and the kids went for a ride. 🙂  I chose to watch with my feet planted firmly on the ground. 🙂

In addition, the office of tourism, a great playground, and a beautiful statue of the Little Prince are all located on the square.

In the office of tourism, L decided to do another statue imitation:

At the playground, G and L’s favorite part was the giant spider web (toile d’araignée).

Here’s the statue of the Little Prince standing behind Antoine de Saint-Exupéry:

I’ve read The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (who was born in Lyon) several times in both French and English starting in junior high and love reading it, as I discover something new about it each time.  Our wedding program even included one of the quotes from the book that’s etched onto the base of the statue:

"One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye."

The kids and I watched this 1974 version a couple of years ago, which we liked. While we were in Glasgow, we all watched this new animated version together, which has a story within a story format that we liked, too.  I actually loved it!

Oh, before I end this post, we walked up one of the pedestrian shopping streets that starts at the Place Bellecour and found our way to La Droguerie, a lovely sewing store. 🙂  See the giant button on the outside?  Lots of yarns and patterns and fabrics and buttons inside…but not embroidery floss, which is what we needed.

The store clerk directed us to a mercerie (a notions store) called Au Liseron.  He gave the directions in French and G led us there, no problem. 🙂

We also came across this beautiful fountain and a lovely flower tree!


Old Lyon, Miniatures, and Movies

Vieux-Lyon (old Lyon) happens to be another UNESCO World Heritage Site and is full of Renaissance buildings, courtyards, and cobblestone streets.  On our way to the Musée de Miniatures et Cinéma, we stopped into the Cathédrale St-Jean, which was built between the 12th and 15th centuries.  We all were impressed by the height of the arches and the huge wooden doors!

There are two parts to the Musée de Miniatures et Cinéma — the cinema part includes props and costumes and special effects information from more than 400 movies and the miniature section includes more than 100 scenes that are unbelievably realistic despite their size (typically 1/12).

The museum is situated on 5 floors of a 16th century building called the “Maison des Avocats” (Lawyers’ House).  We followed along the signs leading you from room to room and floor to floor, starting with the cinema part.

Here’s L in front of Harry Potter’s wand and his letter from Hogwarts!

Below is the Grinch mask worn by Jim Carrey, followed by Christopher Reeves suit and the harness used to help him fly in the 1978 version of Superman!

L standing in front of The Thing and next to it are mask from The Terminator movies.

Here are some other prosthetic masks…one friendly (Mrs. Doubtfire), the other not so friendly. :/


Recognize any of these?

In addition to preserving and displaying the masks and other props used in movies, there are workshops where new props are created and old ones are repaired in order to preserve them.  Below is C3PO peeking at us through a door and in the workshop, there is a tiny version of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow used for one of the special effects sequences as well as an alien from one of the Men in Black movies.

THE predator from Predator, THE alien from Alien, an alien from Mars Attacks, and a dinosaur from Jurassic Park.


We’ll end the cinema section with some cute props — an Ewok mask from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and Winter from Dolphin Tale!


Next was the miniature displays (most were created to a 1/12th scale). The details are amazing!  I took the photos to show how in some of them if you didn’t realize they were miniatures, you’d think they were pictures of a restaurant or a house or a grocery store.  See what you think! 🙂

Here are a woodworker’s shop, a bathroom, and a subway car!

They just fascinate me!  Below are some specific things — shoes, a chess game, and a ballerina tutu.

The final room was a special exhibit about the animated movie “Ma Vie de Courgette.” We were excited because the kids and I saw the movie while we were in Annecy this fall!  It was so fun to see all the little clay figures we’d seen on screen and learn about the process for creating and animating them!






Lounging in Lyon

We arrived in Lyon around 8pm and maneuvered our way (thanks to great instructions from our friend Cécile!) from one train station to another train station to a bus to our apartment.  Cécile’s mom, who lives in Lyon, was visiting Cécile and her family in Minnesota, so she graciously offered to have us stay in her apartment while she was gone.  It worked out great, and we were so, so appreciative!

When we got off the bus at the apartment, it was snowing “snow-globe” snow!  It was beautiful!  There were lots people out on their balconies taking pictures of it, while L was trying to catch flakes on his tongue! 🙂

Thankfully, Cécile’s mom had a pizza in the freezer (which we replaced) as we were all starving and tired. So a quick bite to eat and off to bed. 🙂

Below close up picture: Note L’s true “Alfalfa” hat hair!

The next day we decided to just lounge about as it had been a long travel day.  We enjoyed the snow, I hemmed a pair of pants for L, and we walked down to a store that was a pet store, grocery store, garden store, and home store all in one!  The kids had fun looking at the fish, birds, rats, mice, hamsters, bunnies, etc., and coming up with names for their (unapproved, not guaranteed) pets.