Chez Goeminne

I couldn't be more excited to be here in Lyon, sharing my old home and my French family with Adam!  He had already met the Goeminnes in summer 2015, when they invited us to vacation with them on the French island of Ile-de-Re and were impossibly generous hosts.  This is a trend with Catherine and Henri-Jean:  originally, when they heard we were going to pass through Lyon on our trip this summer, they insisted that we stay in their apartment (even though they weren't going to be here) and had their daughter, Aude, give us the key in Paris.  But, happily (and amazingly!) for us, Henri-Jean decided at the last minute to drive with Catherine for SIX HOURS from Tours to Lyon, just so they could be here with us for the weekend!  I can't express how much I genuinely hope they come to the US someday to visit so that we can even begin to repay their years of hospitality to me.

Saturday was a nice, relaxing, and productive rest day.  We enjoyed delicious viennoiserie (croissants) for breakfast and a fresh salad for lunch, all while relaxing around the apartment.  Adam was feeling a bit under the weather (dehydration, we think), but after some naps and lunch he was back to his normal self!  We had several fixes we wanted to make to Charlotte and Buddy, so we went to Decathlon (kind of like the Sports Authority of Europe) to stock up on some cycling supplies in the Part-Dieu mall.  We were both pleased to discover that malls in France are very similar to malls in the US (crowded, bad music, not enough elevators, etc.), although they differ in a few ways (most notably, the fact that we saw not one, but TWO people peeing directly outside.  Like, on the sidewalk.  One was a baby girl and one was a grown man.  Gross!)

After stocking up on chain lube, degreaser, toe clips (to increase our pedaling efficiency), a seat cushion (for me), and a new angled stem (also for me, to raise my handlebars a bit), we set up an "atelier" (workshop) in the Goeminne's back courtyard, under Henri-Jean's supervision!  I feel much more comfortable now fiddling around with Charlotte, and I'm also pretty thrilled to have set up a more comfortable ride for myself :-)  We finished the day with pizza (homemade by Catherine) and LOTS of laughs over dinner!  It turns out that Catherine and I are similar in that we talk our husbands' ears off over dinner, then start to fall asleep when they begin talking about work!  Haha :-)

Sunday was our last day in Lyon, and it is finally less than 90 degrees out!  Adam and I enjoyed a gorgeous walk in the Parc de la Tete d'Or, which is like the "Central Park" of Lyon and is right down the street from the apartment, after a breakfast of brioche aux pralines (the pralines in Lyon are hot pink and sugary and DELICIOUS!).  Henri-Jean made a big, traditional Sunday luncheon for us (roast meat and homemade fries!).  I know I talk a lot about food in this blog, but hey, we are in France!  Can't help it!

After a little afternoon nap, Henri-Jean and Catherine took us on a marvellous tour of Lyon by car to see all the best sights.  We started up Croix Rousse, "the hill that works", where the silk trade that originally enriched Lyon took place.  There, we saw a fantastic fresco, the Mur des Canuts (canuts = silk workers) that painted an incredibly realistic scene of modern Lyon!  We also pulled out over an embankment that provided a gorgeous view of the Soane River.  We saw another mural on our way down (of famous Lyonnais, including Antoine St-Exupery, the author of the Little Prince) as well as an ancient Roman amphitheater dating from the time when Lyon (then known as Lugdunum) was the capital of Gaul and the first real center of Christianity in France.  We then headed up Fourviere, "the hill that prays", to see the gorgeous white basilica (topped with a golden statue of Mary) that overlooks the whole city.  The inside of the basilica was absolutely packed with statues, mosaics, more gold, and other exquisite details.  It was built to thank Mary for protecting Lyon during the Black Plague and, later, during an invasion.  Another incredible view of Lyon up there!

We ended the day with Mass at a vibrant local church, St-Pithon, where Catherine continued her tradition of introducing me (and now Adam, too) to her innumerable church friends!  Everyone was extremely friendly and very interested in learning more about our trip.  More laughs over a delicious dinner (this time about how Catherine and Adam are both hoarders!  Haha!), and it was time for bed.

Now, we are waking up to get back on the trail!  This is where the Rhone turns eastward, towards the mountains -- the scenery is going to start changing a lot as we enter the Savoy departement of France.  We can't wait to see what it will be like, although as usual, I am so sad to bid farewell to Catherine and HJ, my cherished French parents!

See you in the East!


Where are we now?


  • Red = We're going to bike that
  • Purple = We're biking that now
  • Grey = We biked that!
  • Black = We decided not to go that way
  • Yellow = We took a train
  • Magenta = We took a plane

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