Big Al in France

Go to California | France.. Genas | Lyon | Go to Italy | France 2 | England & Germany | Cambodia | Visit Little Henry

Enlarge small photos with a click

This is the church in Genas, a small village on the outskirts of Lyon. We struck it on a sunny day, which after Southern California, is not to be taken for granted in Southern France!

This is the village we are staying in because it is where my auntie, uncle, grandmother and three of my cousins live. One of my cousins is studying in New Zealand, so she is not here at the moment.

Everyone around here speaks French, which is hard to understand, but we haven't got lost yet!

Go back to top of page

Rhone River Lyon This is the Saone River, which shortly joins the Rhone River, as it passes through the middle of Lyon. In the background is the old part of the city with narrow streets and cobblestones. Up on top of the hill is the Fourviere Basilica (which is a step up from a cathedral) which we get to eventually via the funicular railway.

St Jean church This is the Cathedral of Saint Jean. It is huge in itself but is joined by two other chuches within a mile around the bottom of the hill. With the basilica on the hilltop, that is a lot of worshipping space.

Pastry peekers The old part of town is not just narrow streets that often join by narrow covered passageways between the houses, it is also an area of shopping, particularly restaurants. But what often caught our eye was the pastry shops. The French make beautiful pastries. Yummy. Here we check on another one to make sure it is okay.

Roman theatre This is the roman theatre built on the hilltop. It was built by the Romans when they controlled this area, in fact in the year 43 BC. This is the largest roman theatre in France.

Lookout Lyon At the top of the roman theatre is a very good view over the city of Lyon. Luckily we were there on a clear day and we could see all the red tile roofs of the houses - they are all red.

This is the Fourviere Basilica. It sits on top of the hill overlooking Lyon and it is a big building!

Made from marble stone, the inside has a lot of mosaics (pictures formed from very small tiles) on the floor and walls, as well as lots of wooden carvings and some really big stain-glass windows.

It was fairly dark inside. I wonder why that is?

Go back to top of page

Roman theatre This is my cousin, Simone, and I at the Roman theatre in Lyon. It is now in ruins - but it wasn't me.

French food This is me eating real French food in a small bouchon (restaurant). The food was yummy, except the tomato. But the chicken and french fries were good. Unlike the French, however, I did not have any wine.

Leaden fountain This fountain, which looks like four horses galloping with a chariot, was made by the same man (Bartholdi) who made the Statue of Liberty in New York. It is made from 21 tonnes of lead. It sits in the middle of a big square called the Place de Terreaux in front of the town hall in Lyon.

Sleepy heads That was a busy day.


Funicular railway This is the funicluar railway that took us to the top of the hill. It is like a railway carriage at an angle (you can see the railway line curving up the hill behind us). The carriage is pulled by a very long steel cable that runs between the rails. As one carriage is coming down the hill, it is counter-balanced by another going up. This minimises the amount of energy required to run the system. And we go through a long tunnel too.

Another pastry shop O-oh. Another pastry shop!

Go to top of page

Pont for bridge Lyon has a lot of bridges. That is because two major rivers pass through the middle of town less than one kilometre apart. Some of them are for cars, but the one I am standing on is for pedestrians only.

Alice's restaurant Hey, my restaurant!

Somebody should write a song about that.

Woody wanderers Wandering about in the woods around Genas, about five minutes from where we are staying. Lots of ivy climbing the trees.

Rural meander And wandering the countryside. That is Genas church on top of the hill to the right.

Most of the fields do not have fences. So the pasture is either cut for silage or hay to be fed to stock. There are some cows around here, but no sheep!

Perouges archway We went last Saturday to visit a small French village called Perouges. This village sits atop a hill and was built centuries ago and has been restored to its original condition. All of the houses are stone and the streets are stone. There are no electricity wires, antennas or any sign of the twentieth century. This is me with my cousin Simone in Perouges.

Perouges gateway This is the front gate into Perouges, and one of the few things not made of stone. And, as you can see, wood does not last as long as stone, only four or five centuries. The gate has steel studs that hold it together.

Canut mural This is me in Lyon with my mum and my cousin Sophie. Behind us is a big building on the Boulevard des Canuts. It is a big, plain wall that has a big painting on it of a street scene, including buildings. These large paintings are called murals and this is the Mural of the Canuts. Canuts are weavers and Lyon is famous for them, over the centuries.

Painted wall This is us in front of another mural that covers a whole building, down by the river Saone. This one is famous too, but I forget the name.

Go to top of page

Boulangerie We stopped at a boulangerie, which is a shop that has fresh bread, which they make into sandwiches, as well as pastries. Yum. We had the long bread, called a baugette, made into a big sandwich. My cousin, Sophie, did all the talking as she knows French!

Field walk With Mum and cousin Simone on one of our walks around Genas along tree-lined laneways.

We walked two and a half hours that afternoon. Man, was I tired!

Bye Well, I won't be reporting for a while as we are heading to Italy, where we will be very busy travelling and won't have the opportunity to log on.


Go to California | France.. Genas | Lyon | Go to Italy | France 2 | England & Germany | Cambodia | Go to top of page

Want to send Big Al a message? Click here: bigal@large