|Day 14: In Lyon from Annecy.
Weather: Very HOT all day – maximum reached was 37C. It was 30C at 10:00pm.
Steps: 10 100 (5.6km).
Last night was not as hot as the night before, so having the window open was enough. I had checked my route last night and decided I would take an A tollway as it cut the travel time by over 1 hour and I thought it was worth it as I had to had the car returned to Avis by 11:30am.
After breakfast, I settled the account, collected my parking discount ticket and head to the car park, luggage in tow. It was just after 9:00am so not too busy, luckily. I was able to negotiate my way out of town successfully and soon came to the ticket booth of the tollway. I collected my ticket and continued all the way, except for a petrol stop close to Lyon. Well that was interesting!! It was very large and obviously I misinterpreted the signs, but so did others, and I drove to a pay by card machine – I knew my card would not work, so had to back and then go to a machine which allowed you to pay inside.
Ending the tollway were a number of choices of payment methods – transponders, cards or cash – again, wrong place but I was able to drive across 5 lanes and go to a cash exit, YAY!!! It cost €14.50 for my trip of 1 hour. Well worth it in saving time!!
Mme GPS successfully negotiated me to my hotel without turn backs or anything. It was just near the station where I was to return to car to the Avis office. It was now 11:30am so I was very aware of being late. I booked in at the hotel and asked if I could leave me luggage and go – they said a room was ready and I could access it if I wanted. How wonderful, especially after being told to wait 15 minutes before rooms were available at 3:00pm in another hotel!! I unloaded my gear and the room is good – yes, a shower only!! I also have a little balcony overlooking the park – very nice.
The receptionist printed a map for me to deposit the car and it seemed okay, despite many, you guessed it, one way streets. WRONG!!!! I took a wrong path when two were available and I ended up in the carpark – it said free for the first 15 minutes. I seemed to take ages to try and find a way out and when I did, it said I owed €.60 at the gate but there was nowhere to pay. AAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! Stress level was now HIGH and some inappropriate words were said, in English of course!!! I decided to ring the Avis office and let them know my predicament – luckily the fellow I spoke to spoke English well. He gave the address exactly, thankfully. I did not know what to do as I could not find a machine for paying. So, I parked the car and went into the station/shopping area. No, no machine here BUT I met a security guard and with little English, he took me downstairs to where the machine was located – now €1.20 needing to be paid!! I paid for my ticket and thought I would be there very soon.
Using Mme GPS I added the new address but it seemed very confused as I was in a carpark. I had options for exit but it did not assist so I took one and ended up driving beside the river for another kilometre. Luckily I pulled over and put the address into my Apple Maps on the phone and it successfully directed me but when two streets are close it is sometimes very difficult to choose – luckily I made the right choice!! I was GREATLY relieved to be there.
When I had collected the car, I decided to pay the extra to reduce any excess to €0 and I was glad I did. Two days ago, a stone flicked up and obviously hit the screen and today when I got into the car it had created a large crack ¼ of the way across – oh dear! I know you can be covered by your credit card but I still chose to pay the additional cost and I was very glad I did on this occasion. It was now 1:00pm!!!! Because I had rung and the fellow knew, he said he would not charge a late fee. There was a bit of paperwork associated with the windscreen so I finally left the Avis office at nearly 1:20pm. RELIEF!!
A drink and quick sandwich for lunch before returning to the hotel to become cool and upload yesterday’s Blog. It really had been VERY stressful returning the car – I think I need to return to an office out of town or in a smaller town, if possible, and come into a large city by train – especially when it is just moi!! After uploading the Blog I decided to have a rest in the cool so that was great – I felt much better after 2 hours of RnR!!
At 6:30pm I headed out and about to look around Lyon – still many people about despite the extreme heat: 37C!!! I walked up Rue Victor Hugo (every village/town/city seems to have a Rue Victor Hugo!!) which is a car free street in the main shopping area. It took me to La Place Bellecour, a very large open space to the north of the central city area. This was very busy with many bars, cafes and restaurants doing well. There were a number of ponds in this area and many children were playing in them – many adults cooling their feet as well. Popping fountains were also popular! There were a number of sculptures here which are in the photographs.
Prior to leaving the hotel, I had looked up reviews of restaurants for Lyon and saw Le Sud, a restaurant in the Paul Bocuse group. It had a few mixed reviews but I decided to give it a try. There were three eating zones (same price for all!) outside, inside in the glass enclosure and within the restaurant which was rather cave-like. I asked if there was a table for one inside and there was. It is very large and was very busy – the staff move quickly and work very hard. The menu was good and I chose from the menu de jour, 2 courses for €23. I had a beautiful piece of sea bass on a vegetable/risoni mix with a richly flavoured seafood sauce and it was delicious! For dessert I chose Tiramisu, not too French but again it was delicious. Very light and luscious!! It was a lovely meal and I found no fault at all.
It was now after 9:30pm, and people still coming into the restaurant, and it was time to return to my hotel. At 10:00pm it was still 30C!! Today’s Blog time, uploading of images etc and at 11:30pm it is time for bed me thinks.
I am glad to have finally been able to return to car and I look forward to exploring more of Lyon over the next 3 days.