A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: M6-Greg

Lyon - THE FINALS

Prep for leaving and the big game

sunny 94 °F
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Ivan and Diana can't put it off any longer - they have to do laundry before continuing on (they are only about 1/2 way through their extended European vacation). Jerry and I meet up with them to hang out while they do their morning activity (yeah, you know, Diana is really doing it). Back to hotel to finish packing up - I'll leave at 4am in the morning for the long flights home. The rest are off to Paris later in the morning (Sally returns tomorrow night, the others leave the next day).

The plan was to meet up for lunch and then head to the game. It is a Sunday which means some places are not open. Since Ivan and Diana had not been to Le Pap, we went there again. Different, less friendly waiter (little English) and the "group" did not enjoy their food as much. With the late night dancing, Sally can barely walk. The group is kind of pitiful getting to the metro... I'm just hoping to be able to make it through good parts of the game - come on, pepto, save the day.

It's a long metro ride out to catch the bus/tram the rest of the way. We are directed to the bus this time. Again, other than the hour+ to get there, it isn't too packed getting there. We meet some nice Netherland fans along the way as well.

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It was pretty easy getting into the game. I need to drink some more water, use the restroom and sit down. It is exciting - but I really don't feel too well still. But it is THE FINALS baby, so I go ahead and switch into my "game gear" (mainly skipping too much "celebrating" while getting to the game). Our seats are just off the goal - 6 rows from the field - but right in the hot sun. We look for pre-game shady seats and hope that sun will creep down before kick-off.

As luck would have it, behind the sun going down and a cloud here or there, we are shaded for the game (though those on the other side of the goal were not - and on the far side - directly into the sun). First half tie of 0-0 pleases Dave Parsons (had to give you a shout out Dave, as you love the 0-0 soccer scores and were the impetus for the blog this time around) - hopefully you made it to the end :)

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We were luckly that all of the second half scoring was on our end! Including the penalty kick. I haven't tried a video in the blog before... here goes nothing:

The game was great! All things feel into place for our group - games all the way to the final and winning it! Couldn't ask for anything more. Begs the question of whether to do another one? (how do you top that?). The celebrations after the game were fantastic - some of the spectacle (graffiti cannons and fireworks), but also the booing of Gianni Infantino (head of FIFA) and chants of "Equal Pay". But the best of all was how truly excited the ladies were to win. We benefited from sitting with the USA (and American Outlaws) fans and the team partied for a while right in front of us! It was really a touching and amazing thing to see - and there's no such as celebrating too much or in the wrong way as the champions!

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Trying video another way.... The post game celebration!

World Cup Champions - Four Stars - Wow. What a finish to the long haul. We stayed until all the players left the field, Jerry did some more shopping and it was still packed leaving the stadium. But everyone was in a good mood for the long wait. I small group of young French girls sang their national anthem to the delight of the crowd. A mere 2-3 hours after the game, we found a small bar to toast the Women's Victory and say goodbye - the end to another great world cup soccer trip.

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Thanks for following along with us. As for the next one - who knows? We missed Russia (along with the Men's team) - doing both would be too much (unless we hit the lottery - but alas "you have to play to win"). Might have to do a soccer trip around a different tournament? (non soccer trips haven't ever made the blog :) ) I can't support Qatar and 2026 is a ways off (and it is in the USA/Canada/Mexico, so might not be so interesting?). The Women will try to Three-peat (never been done) and in February they'll annouce where it will be hosted - but as Phil said - he'd bet anything the locale will be better than Qatar.

I guess time will tell... Au Revoir for now!

Past blogs (Men's World Cups): (no comments on how young or thin we were, or how my writing was better :) )

Posted by M6-Greg 12:44 Archived in France Comments (0)

Lyon - Murals

Last touristy day

sunny 99 °F
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Tough day today - it our wedding anniversary and we are apart :( Yes, I appreciate how great Gwen is to allow me to stay with my friends (and luckily to see a World Cup Final), but I still miss her...

It going to be another hot day, so again, Jerry and I are out early. Up to La Croix-Rousse (the Red Cross) area (we never saw the red/brown stone cross that the area is named after). The main attraction is the Le Mur Des Canuts (which was pretty awesome). Note that is is a plain/flat side of a building (if you can't tell). We couldn't help but be goofy tourists.

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We (well, me) had understand that there were lots of murals in the area, but after only seeing a glimpse of one other that we couldn't really get to (inside an isolated square), google reveals that the various murals and frescos are really scattered all over the town of Lyon, not really concentrated anywhere in particular - in fact, we saw one in our own neighborhood later on.

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The Red Cross area was bustling with outside markets, stairs and hilly, up/down terain and some scenic views. We are at the cross-over time when it is difficult to find food - but even difficult to get waited on at all. We finally gave up and just grab something from a pastry shop. Afterwards, we just went back to the old town area to stroll and bit and see a little more of it (and Jerry had some serious shopping to do). We found that the Saint Antoinie market is much bigger on Saturdays (pottery) and lots of cool shops in old town (candy flowers, glass art and liquors sold by the milliliter). We hit the Crock n' Roll for lunch. And tried the fan fest for shopping (which worked) as well as the local soccer club store.

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Ivan and Diana also spent the day eating and shopping - but unlike Jerry, they were not very successful - and even missed the Fan shop at the Fan Fest :)

Tonight there is a special party for US fans that we were invited to at 7pm. Unfortunately, I would not escape my turn at falling ill (and it didn't sound great to me, tomorrow it the final and no wifey) - so I skipped. I heard that it was a neat enough Disco but with high prices ($12 beers).

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Phil, Kate, Ivan and Diana text me that they were going for dinner about 2 hours later, so I wasn't regretting the decision not to go (and hard to believe that Jerry and Sally would disco Ivan and Diana off the floor). Might not have gone to eat, but it was Pho, so I thought that might be good. I guess we passed around a stomach bug or something (although many blamed it on the food - hard to imagine it being passed around on different, subsequent days...) The pho was good even though they didn't have vegan or chicken, only beef or seafood... And I passed on the crazy, but interesting looking drinks.

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Off to bed for me, trying to get well for the cup tomorrow...

Posted by M6-Greg 07:05 Archived in France Comments (0)

Lyon - Lumiere Museum

Day of Recovery

sunny 98 °F
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Jerry is going to power through today and get out (not feeling 100%). Unfortunately, Diana is not feeling well, so they are stuck inside for the day. Kate needs a rest/off day as well. Per usual, Jerry and I are out earlier than the others and are out mainly just wandering. We had the hotel breakfast as it seems difficult to get breakfast reliably... Places are "open" but only serve food during certain hours (like 7-10:30am for breakfast, then 12:00-2:00pm for lunch and post 7pm for dinner) - they just serve drinks outside of these hours. After wandering long enough to get thirsty we paused for a drink - where we ended up waiting for Phil to join us.

Destination for today will be the Lumiere Museum. It is housed in the family's house and dedicated to the evolution of Motion Pictures and their family's involvement in that (and other things). It is a very pretty house - stain glass windows, murals on the walls, etc (done by the family). They have a lot of really interesting old technology and lots of interactive parts. We had chosen the museum over something else outside because it was a hot day - unfortunately, the museum only had fans (and a thermometer that read 95 degress) - probably the hotest museum I have ever been to (and definitely warmer than outside in the shade).

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Another pool day for Jerry and I. And we scooter to meet the group rebounding for dinner. Going to Les Vieux Garcons (The Old Boys), it is a nice place near the main group's hotel and we have an enjoyable and casual meal. One more nightcap for some of the crew to round out the evening.

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Another laid back day as people are recouperating and settling in (longer visit so not so rushed).

Posted by M6-Greg 03:38 Archived in France Comments (0)

Lyon - Fourth of July

Picnic for Treason Day

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Phil had the idea to have a "cookout" or "picnic" at our condo to celebrate the 4th of July. We had seen a British/American guy with a shirt that read "Happy Treason Day, Ingrateful Colonists". Oh, so side topic - Phil's first new job after retirement is to create wacky t-shirts like we have seen throughout out trip, with quooky english words put together in non-sensical ways (only in different languages like French). I think he has a name for his company as well as several good examples...

Unfortunately Jerry is down today - thought he just overdid last night, but he caught some stomach bug or disagreeable food or something - can't let the hotel room, we will leave it at that. The plan was to got to the Saint Antoine market by the river to get picnic supplies for later on. Ivan, Diana, Kate and I start out to the Market. It is a nice farmers market - complete with fresh fruits/veggies, cheeses, olives, nuts, and meats (including skinned rabbits). But without the paella that Ivan wanted and nothing so great for a picnic - and it was much smaller than we had expected.

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We grouped at a cafe for a cafe/soda. We decide to venture on the Bus (new experience) to the more famous Les Halles of Paul Bocuse. This was really a fancy dining hall/shopping area that was really impressive to see. Fine wines, cheeses, chocolates, seafood, bakeries, etc. It was like a tiny shopping mall devoted to fancy foods and mini-restaraunts. Ivan quickly got his paella for later, some wines, and a few "snacks" for now...

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Except for the Paella and with Ivan now full, it seems the afternoon picnic was becoming an evening time thing. At a lost for what else to do, we just headed for the huge grocery store to pick up items. Not exactly "American" food, but some nice cheeses, meats, french bread, fruits and some macaroons.

I took the opportunity to do my laundry and use the pool between shopping and dinner (now that the pool was open it was refreshing to cool off). We had a laundry mat on site as well. I watch a bunch of French kids/families as well (turns out there is a Montessori school next to our condos, in the same courtyard). I saw one French dad that was so patient with his son that skinned his knee. It was an interesting experience.

Jerry is still not feeling great, but did pick up our place for the guests coming over. Others didn't do their laundry as planned, nor took advantage of the pool, but with our Rowenta fan, we managed to have a nice fourth of July picnic dinner.

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A lazy day, but a good one. Hope you enjoyed your 4th as well.

Posted by M6-Greg 11:50 Archived in France Comments (0)

Lyon - Fine Arts

sunny 89 °F
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Jerry and I get out early and ride on the rental scooters. They probably aren't very safe, but they are a lot of fun to ride. We did at least start off on some open areas before braving the streets. I haven't seen any bike or scooter accidents, but I can imagine they could be bad. We found a nice lake with some water lillies.

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Later on, we meet Phil, Kate and Sally at a cute little neighborhood restaraunt (Le Pap). The waitress is very nice/funny older lady who did not speak much French. But I she realized that I spoke a tiny bit when I busted out laughing when she asked in French if Jerry was Sally's son :) She was embarassed that she asked, but I loved it. The food was very good; another very good experience.

We decided to go to the Fine arts museum today. Ivan and Diana joined the group there. It was a fine museum with lots of famous artists, some egyptian pieces, modern pieces and sculptures. The fountain that sits opposite it is under renovation, but still pretty impressive.

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We found a nice place nearby with a good beer selection - seems France like everywhere else now has a good variety of beers - at least a certain stores/places. Ivan, Diana and I decided to stay and look for a nice meal while the others went in search of the semi-final game back in our hotel area. We found some great places, but even though they were empty - they all were "full" with reservations. We did find a nice italian place though and had a very good meal.

We met up with everyone else at the My Beers place again. Unfortunately, we had not realized this was an "after work" bar, which meant it closed "early:, that is, about 10pm before the game was to be over. But the guy said we could order a couple of beers in advance and hang out until the end of the game while they shut down.

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However, the game went into stoppage time. We were hoping for extra time so maybe the Netherlands will be tired for the final match :) even if we lost our place to watch it. I have never heard Phil cheer so much for "fouls" and "cards" ;) The guy at My Beers went down the street to find us a different pub where we could finish watching the game and told us how to get there - extremely nice guy. It was a nice pub as well with a friendly bartender - who appreciated my "drinking Ricard like a French man" - anise liquor with just a splash of water.

Finals is set - USA verses Netherlands! And we get tickets to another game!

Posted by M6-Greg 02:17 Archived in France Comments (0)

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