Wandering Lyonnaise I

It seems that I failed to mention that the Wedding for which I knitted the ‘Wedding Cardigan’ was in Lyon. Whilst we’ve driven around Lyon’s one way system many times, and nearly got the car towed by accidentally parking overnight in a car park that was the site of the next day’s market, we’ve generally only passed through with a briefest of stop-offs. Mostly we pass through on our way back from Italy, stopping off overnight, and then heading for the ferry back; our time limited by the fact that we take the dogs and their passport means time limits between their pre-departure visit to the vet and boarding the ferry.

Anyway, this time we were just going away for a couple of days so flew down and stayed with my sister in law and nieces and mooched about the city quite a bit.

We were really close to the botanic gardens – Tete d’or – so went there a couple of times. I was very taken by the alpine gardens which had a wide selection of mountain flowers from different alpine regions from Europe to Scandinavia and the north, and the far east. I love alpine flowers because they remind me so much of being in the mountains where their simple existence in such conditions seems like a miraculous gift.

I love how these tight balls of succulent flesh cling on to the rock and flourish. I also love this combination of bright green with red. It reminds me of nice crunchy apples like those we grow on the allotment.

I also have a real passion for irises. I remember being totally amazed when I saw them for the first time growing wild as a meadow flowers in the mountain valleys of northern Spain. I had always associated them with cultivated environments.

Who could fail to be wowed by these after climbing up over the crest of a mountain and descending into the valley?

Well, quite a few people I’ve walked with who unfortunately are of the ‘get up there as quick as possible and tick off another peak and get back down again’ persuasion.

Luckily Paolo is more accommodating of my stopping to photograph the tiniest slivers of botanic life peeking out from the rocks.

The gardens also have some amazing mature trees including larches. These are another personal favourite for their intense vibrant green canopy but absolutely delicacy:

There are also more formal areas including a lake with its own island accessed through and underpass from the lakeside. And having a large lake means there has to be boating right? Right, lots of blue pedaloes.

We did not go boating but I did think the Pedalo House was pretty amazing. The tile work drew my attention:

As we were visiting over easter weekend we saw Lyon’s chocolatiers at their most spectacular. This particular chocolatier was incredibly crowded but I did take some pictures of their window, including the largest chocolate egg I’ve ever seen which really filled the window:

and some ‘cakes’, although that seems too simple a description for these creations:

Needless to say, we ate very well whilst we were in Lyon including a visit to a Paul Bocuse Brasserie where we ate very well indeed…

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