European Vacation: March-April, 2010

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Wednesday, March 31 - Second Day in France: Vienne et Lyon

View Photos from the morning of March 31 (6 images)

Since we covered a lot of ground the previous day, we decided to take a day trip on Wednesday to Vienne. So after breakfast we caught the 11:22 train for the 30 minute trip south down the river Rhône to Vienne where there is a Gallo-Roman museum with several outdoor blocks of Roman ruins. Though the tourism office was closed for lunch, we did find another office where we got a map of the city. After learning then that basically lots of things close during lunch hour, we did at least go over to the very large Roman amphitheater and look through the chain-link fence at it -- it didn't seem worth it to wait and pay for an official tour.

View Photos of the train ride (23 images) View Photos from Vienne (52 images)

On the walk across the river toward the museum, we got a döner kebap and a coke for lunch on the go. The museum is actually in Romain-en-Gal which is just across the Rhône river from Vienne. We had to be back at the train in a relatively short time, so we skipped the audio tour and didn't actually visit the museum building, but we thoroughly covered the outdoor areas. There were placards describing what you were looking at and giving valuable info about the area.

View Photos from Romain-en-Gal (83 images)

In the late afternoon back in Lyon, we decided to take the Metro to visit the Parc de la Tête d'Or and Croix-Rousse again; we figured out that it was just a little more money to get a full day pass than to get 4 individual Metro rides, so we got another day pass so we could ride the Metro more instead of walking so much; and we also got the tickets we'd need for the tram to the Satobus the next morning. The Parc de la Tête d'Or (Park of the Golden Head) is so named because legend has it that somewhere in the park is buried a golden head of Jesus. The park has lots of green open space where kids were playing ball and the small children were running around in circles and doing what little kids do. There's also a sort of zoo in this park, home to deer, giraffes, water buffalo, flamingos, porcupines, monkeys, birds, meerkats... all kinds of wildlife.

View Photos from the trip back to Lyon (19 images) View Photos from the Parc de la Tête d'Or (34 images)

From the parc, we rode the Metro up to Croix-Rousse again to check out some shops and streets and to get another chance at some great views of the city before it got dark; we also wanted to locate a particular church, one we nicknamed the "Church of the Two Steeples" since we didn't know what it was having only seen it from a distance (we never found it -- c'est la vie). On the way down, we stopped for dinner, a "kebap gillette", a variation of the döner kebap that's served in a dürüm as a wrap rather than in a pita. Since we were leaving early the next day, we decided to get a couple apples from a small market for the trip. Ginger's feet were really hurting and we were pretty tired, so we jumped on a bus that said it was going to Hôtel de Ville, which we knew was right near a Metro station (hooray for the day pass that's good for buses too!). We decided to ride the Metro (hooray again!) to the Part-Dieu so that Ginger could get some insoles for her boots from Carrefour.

View Photos from the evening of March 31 (13 images)

Back at the hotel, we soaked our feet in the tub for a while to relax. Neil enjoyed a café au lait in the bar in the lobby during the first half of the Arsenal vs. Barcelona game; Ginger went to bed as Neil stayed up to watch the last half of the game.