Saturday, Oct 13
This is our last day in Lyon. You will notice the blue skies in the Lyon photos. That’s pretty much the last blue skies we saw on the trip.
Emily had to go to work for a few hours but now we have the rest of the day to go exploring. Lyon is the second or third largest city in France. Walking is a dream because the streets are flat. This is one of the best cities I’ve visited for public transportation. They have city buses, a trolley, and an underground – called the Metro.
Since we don’t know where we’re going, we are taking taxis. It’s more expensive but safer in the long run, I think. Here’s the thing about the taxis in Lyon: It is not unusual to be picked up in a new
Mercedes or other luxury car. I’ve had a few taxi drivers who spoke English and one of them said that taxis are for upper middle class and rich people. They expect to be picked up in a nice car that is spotlessly clean. He said his car cost 150,000 Euros, In dollars, that’s basically a $240,000 dollar car. Maybe I misunderstood him. He spoke excellent English but, really? Can you actually spend $240,000 to buy a Mercedes? Mind you, this car was not gold-plated. The taxi prices reflect the cost of the car. I’m hoping they have “normal” less expensive taxis in Paris. We could go broke just paying for transportation.
As Emily and I walked around Old Town we noticed that there is a cathedral – or what I would consider to be a cathedral – on almost every corner. Kind of like Dunkin’ Doughnuts in Boston. Did you know that Boston has more Dunkin’
Doughnuts per capita than any other city in the US? I’m certainly not comparing a French cathedral to a doughnut shop but you get the picture. I guess in Denver it would be a Walgreens.
Finally, I was exhausted from walking around so much. With my fibromyalgia, I have to be careful not to overdo any activity. The problem is that it’s so much fun and interesting to be in France that I don’t want to miss anything. With her work, this is the only day that Emily has to explore Lyon. She wanted to stay out and walk around so I took a taxi to the hotel. I didn’t realize it but it the hotel was only 12 blocks or so from where we were. When
the taxi pulled up to the door of the Kyriad, the fare was 4.20 Euros. I handed
him a five and he said, “No, No, No. 6.40 Euros” and then a string of French I couldn’t follow. Finally, he explained it well enough that I could understand – 6.40 Euros is the base pay.
I’m suspicious of taxi drivers. Sometimes they will show up with 4.20 Euros on the meter – before we even leave the hotel. Other times they start out with 6.40 or more. OK, 6.40 is the base pay, but the meter starts ticking as he pulls out onto the street. It appeared to me that the taxi industry in Lyon is not regulated.
Not knowing French is a hinderance, but not impossible to overcome. Emily and I decided the most important phrase to know in France is not “Where is the bathroom?” which you have to know if you’re in Mexico. In France it’s “Parlez-vous anglais?” Do you speak English? and then, if they say “Yes” you let out a sigh of relief, even if they only know a little. They say total immersion is the best way to learn a language and I agree. I took two semesters of Spanish at our junior college but it wasn’t until we moved to Mexico for four months that I really got the hang of it. I was in France for 2-1/2 weeks and came home with a much better understanding of the language and pronunciation than when I left.
Until next time,
Susan L Stewart