Lyon is quickly becoming one of my favorite cities ever. It is clean, the people are nice, there are bicycle  and running paths everywhere. The rivers are clean, people don’t litter and they smoke less than the rest of France. In addition, they are serious about their art, and about their churches. This place has nearly as many churches as Rome per square kilometer, but they have 10 times as many pubs! Moral: Drink a lot, and ask forgiveness later. 😛

So I started the day with a visit to the museum of decorative arts. It wasn’t much of a museum, but they had a nice silver collection. In addition, they had one Phillipe de Champainge, several great pastels, and surprise surprise a small sketch of a child by my hero Federico Barocci!!!

My achilles has been hurting me a lot. I finally came to the conclusion that it is my running shoes, so I decided not to run this morning, and made it my intention to find a running store today and get a new pair. I am loathe to buy a new pair here with the conversion rate, but I can’t run anymore with this pain, and it isn’t getting better. Yet, when I where my walking around shoes I can see the entire city and have no pain what so ever? Luckily, I found a running store and got a new pair that seem like they might be the fix and I hope that all is well. I will see tomorrow morning.

In the churches here are some great paintings as well. One in particular floored me because it was so nice, and because it is so not church like. I could attend a church if all the paintings were this nice inside. Of course it is by another amazing painter the world has never heard of: Etienne Gautier.

Next stop was to climb the hill and see the shining white church I pictured in an earlier post. This church was amazing and worth climbing to the top of 532 steps. Yes, I counted. The entire inside of this church is done in mosaic. I can’t tell you how much work that is, but it was beautiful. Totally impressed.

From this church one can get an amazing panoramic view of all of Lyon.

The Romans and the Ancient Gauls found this hill the best place to live and plant, so they made their civilizations on top of the hill rather than at its base where present day Lyon sits. Upon their ruins an amazing 6 level subterranean museum is built between two old amphitheaters. The collection they have is not only great but very well presented, and it puts everything in context. Here is one of their mosaic floors that I was entranced by.

In the jewelry collection this marvelous amethyst necklace made me immediately think of my aunt which brought a smile to my face. So I took this picture for her, amethyst being her birthstone.

After the museum, I went down into the amphitheater and listen to Amiee Mann doing her sound check for the nights concert. After I found the house of a woman who was very wealthy, but gave away everything she owned except the house to missionaries and to fight for the rights of workers. I thought how noble to fight for the workers, and how selfless to give all that you have in support of what you believe in. But in the house, which is now owned by the Church (surprise surprise) are relics of missionaries that were “First” in their martyrdom in certain areas. I thought how sick is that. To save the bones of someone who pushed their religion so demonstratively upon another, that the only way the other could deal with them was to kill them. Take a hint they don’t want your religion leave them alone. Instead, their finger bones are enshrined in gold as  examples of what others should do as well. What kind $^%# up religion is this anyway???

Next I walked around the shops at base of the hill in the oldest part of Lyon. Found a pub filled with Italians, Canadians (even one from Ottawa), and Americans watching the Italian World Cup game and decided to join them for a pint. Afterward I tried a couple new things tonight. I had this sweet called merengue, which is just egg white whipped with sugar, and I don’t know what to think of it. It is kind of like eating cotton candy. There is a lot there, but once it is in your mouth, there wasn’t much to it in the first place.

I also tried yet another Bordeaux wine that was referred to me by my wine guide while I was there. It is called Sauternes. When I asked this 80 year old lady who spoke of everything in the wine country in the first person (we do this, and we do that) about Bordeaux sweet wines she said, “Oh, you are a naught boy. You like the sweets eh?” I immediately fell in love with her except for her repeated coughing into the microphone as we were traveling. I think it was just to wake us from our drunken stupor. But, she talked of this sweet wine that was “world famous” called, “Sauternes”. I’d never heard of it, but tonight I found some. Like all the other Bordeaux wines…this too was a disappointment. Oh well, life is short, drink wine (from California)! 😛