“One of the great things about travel is that you find out how many good, kind people there are.” ~ Edith Wharton Of all the things we experience as we travel, food, architecture, landscapes or climate, what really impacts our lives are the people we meet along the way.
It was odd that it only took a 1.5 hour flight to travel to Rome. So much longer when you start in US. It will be interesting to travel around Europe with such short flights. We got our rental car and left the airport around 4pm, knowing we would not arrive at our friend’s cottage (named Lucciole after the summer fireflies) until dark.
Overcast, rainy and cold. It has been cold again, and it has been raining all day. However, we HAD to get out. So off we went to the Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse … again. An indoor, high-end, high-quality market, we always salivate upon entering and encountering the aromas. The meats, cheeses, and seafoods are beautifully presented and exceptionally fresh. There are restaurants all around, and it was here that we ate lunch.
The finale of the Fête des Lumières will begin with a Celestial Parade where “The planets and stars of the solar system meet in Lyon on December 8 at Place Kléber and parade along Cours Franklin Roosevelt all the way to the start of the fireworks display in the 6th arrondissement.” We didn’t have a clue as to what to expect but it sounded like fun, and it would end with fireworks at the Rhône river.
Coming here evolved out of several factors. We had originally planned to search out some warmer climes for the winter, but it’s not warm here. Whatever reasons we may have had for being here have been eclipsed by the serendipitous happening of the Fête des Lumières.
Together with our new French friends Nicolas and Lucie, we returned to the Fête des Lumières. The images that are projected on the buildings are filled with motion and constantly change during each performance. Some use the architecture as part of the imagery and some merely use it as a screen on which to project. The music and sounds that accompany each performance truly adds to the beauty and magic.
Last night was the first of four nights when the city is brightened up by 70 installations that create a truly magical atmosphere, and that is in addition to all of the lights in stores and on the streets. The festival is probably one of the three biggest festive gatherings in the world in terms of attendance (after the Rio Carnival and Oktoberfest in Munich) with over 3 million tourists coming to Lyon.
We have always said that our travels do not stem from a desire to leave someplace, but rather to go somewhere else. To us it is a significant difference. I think it is a corollary to the “glass half-empty or glass half-full” thing. And so it was, on 01 December, when we departed Montpellier. It had been a wonderful place to be, to make friends, to eat, and to explore the surrounding areas. We had not seen everything there was to see, but that wasn’t the goal to begin with.