QC Blog: May 2013

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Vienne & Lyon (Day 1)

Finally, I'm getting back to writing about the rest of our trip!  That's because we've already booked our next one and I'm determined to finish writing about this one first!

After breakfast, we had a morning trip into Vienne.  This is a city that used to be under Roman rule, with Roman monuments that  are still intact today.  It was also a home to several archbishops with many churches and convents. We started our walk with a visit to the Gothic former cathedral of St. Maurice, that was built between 1052 and 1533. The inside of the church had wooden chairs instead of pews, with hard wooden kneelers in front of them. It had beautiful tapestries, hanging on the sides of the church. Then we walked to the Cybele Gardens where the Roman remains of a forum with two magnificent archways remain in the center of the city.
The Roman Temple of Emperor Augustus and Liva was awesome.  It has survived because it was transformed into a church and a library and was recently uncovered and is being renovated.  We weren't able to go in, but it was impressive.

The town was completely empty, since it was still a holiday weekend (Armistice day).  I did finally spot a fabric store, where they had their fabrics on the street for sale.  We had a break for lunch so we window shopped and had coffee outdoors at a real French cafe. The tram, which was several cars long, picked us up and sped up small winding streets.  It took us to the highest point in the town, Mt. Pipet, considered a sacred area because it was on top of the mountain.

 We drove within inches from the curbs and the walls of the houses.  We passed this beautiful cemetery adorned with mums.  The guide told us that in France they are the symbol of death, sort of like lilys are in the U.S.  The Pipet Fortress was built here, where today stands a chapel and a statue dedicated to Notre-Dame de-la-Salette.

Unfortunately it was pretty foggy, or the view would've been even better.  We could see the ancient ruins of a theater still used today.
After going back to the ship, we had lunch and cruised up the river to Lyon.  We were able to disembark and explore on our own.  Mark and I decided to visit the Textile Museum (I'm sure that was a highlight of his trip!). The textile museum was really cool.  Of course Mark and I were sort of at a disadvantage without Chrissie to speak French.  All of the labels on the displays were in French and all of the attendants only spoke French.  There were carpets, tapestries, wedding dresses, and gowns for women and long silk coats worn by men.  In one room there was a special display that had these beautiful dresses decorated with ribbons and heavy beading.  It turns out it was a Fashion Show of dresses inspired from the time of Marie Antoinette created by current designers.

I bought things like bookmarks, cards and small pieces of fabric, that I just realized recently were beautiful glass cleaner cloths. On our way back to the ship, we saw a store that had MoMo's name on it.  It just seemed fitting.  Happy Mother's Day, Mom.

Next: Lyon Day 2

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