|The Last Bits of Lyon For Us
||[May. 8th, 2009|09:48 pm]
Kelly J. Cooper
I made it back to the Parc Tete d'Or on Thursday and headed for the Botanical Garden. I thought the Zoo (or Zoological Garden) was closed for construction, but it was only partly blocked. I DO hope they're building the tiger a bigger place cuz s/he is terribly neurotic, pacing in a tiny part of his/her ridiculously small enclosure. Same for the elephants - I saw repetitive behaviors that made me concerned.
Anyway, I'm a sucker for zoos, so I wandered around and took pictures. Found the cutest weasels in the entire universe. (For reals!) Many pictures of them. The monkeys and lemurs all looked sad and bored. I think the lemurs are going to be relocated to their own island in the middle of the new African Plain enclosure. It was recently built with lots of room for Giraffes and some sort of buffalo and deer and a variety of fowl.
Also! Dude! A bunch of the enclosures have moats and they've got these THINGS in the moats! I don't know if they are catfish or baby monsters, but they're long and dark (so they match the murky waters) and they're vicious! One in the African Plains pond thinger tried to pull a little bird under! It squawked and escaped, but I think I know why there's only one duckling in the pond and why it stays along the shallow weedy edges. Yikes!
Then I went to the Botanical Gardens and WOW do they have a metric buttload of plants. I did not, by any means, manage to see them all. But I visited every greenhouse I could (um, roughly seven, but there were a bunch of interconnected ones and I lost track of how many different houses I crossed). A gazillion more pictures! And one of the greenhouses is THREE STORIES TALL! They have TREES in there, probably older than I am... wow.
I copied down the only English in the whole park - some semi-OK translations of the histories of the Park, the Botanical Gardens, and the Zoological Gardens. I'll probably transcribe them at some point.
Later that evening, the BF & I went back into town and had mediocre pizza, chosen pretty much based on his craving and the fact that it was dry (there was a rather abrupt and extreme rain shower). Thunder, lightning, the works. Plus a 40-minute wait for the bus back to the hotel made for a mediocre evening.
Today, we slept late, then headed up to the Fourviere Basilica (forgive the lack of properly accented letters) via a cable car. Gorgeous church(es) and amazing views of the city (but only on two sides). Plus a tribute version of the Eiffel Tower. After I bought a bunch of postcards, we walked back down, zig-zag style, which was surprisingly challenging but was lovely and shady and smelled wonderful. At the bottom, we found some lovely streets and wandered through town. Neat little shops and food stores and bakeries and restaurants. We ended up in an electronics superstore called FNAC, where I got a 2 GIG memory card for my camera - I'd just about filled up the 500+ picture-holding 1 GIG card. But now I can take over a thousand more pictures! WOO-HOO!
We headed back to the room to nap & so the BF could work on this computer of his (which crapped out & has thus far resisted full re-installation). But first! Naps. Mmm. Naps. Then we went & got dinner here in the Cite complex - I wanted real French food instead of Italian food cooked by French people, but we were both too tired to take the bus back into town (or walk it). We debated taking a cab, but decided instead to poke around the Cite complex (where our hotel is) and see if anything looked good. We tried the Brasserie de la Cite and I got magret de canard (duck breast from a duck used to make pate) in a brown sauce. Tasty but chewy. Is this type of duck breast supposed to be chewy? The potatoes au gratin were spectacular, once they cooled enough so that I could eat them. The chocolate mousse had a thick skin on top and was almost too sweet/rich for me. Ah well.
Tomorrow we get up early to jump on a train and head through the mountains to Barcelona, Spain. I'm loathe to leave Lyon - I wish I hadn't lost Tuesday, as I would've enjoyed more strolling through town. And today was a bank holiday, so many places we would've liked to have stopped were closed. But, maybe next time. No matter what, I enjoyed myself very much here.