Narbonne and Lyon (June 15, 2013)

Day 15: Off the boat and onto the train, and too little time in Lyon.

Woke earlyish, packed and cleaned the boat, and took it through the lock into Narbonne and to LeBoat. Aatish and Carolyn and I went to Les Halles to get food for the train trip.

We got veggie pasties and chicken pasties and tomatoes and manchego and comte and bread and cherries and strawberries. We made it back to the boat, got a staffer to take a group photo, and dragged tout les baggage du monde to the train station. Eric found us an earlier train that might get us to Lyon sooner, so we said our goodbyes to Ben and hit the train. We had delicious picnic on the train.

Sadly the train connecting from Montpelier was full so we waited till our original train and got into Lyon around 4. We walked from the train station (through a deeply unsettling neighborhood) and got to our hotel (which was bizarre – tiny rooms painted deep red, shower/toilet combo bathrooms smaller than the one on the boat, beds harder than the ones on the boat and inexplicable racist photographs of Sikhs in polo uniforms on the walls), and headed out to explore. We discovered that Lyon was a fairy tale trap out to snare the unwary, and streets of gorgeous clothing, books, and jewelry ended with us discovering the most bizarre dragon/hoarder’s store of antiques and objects d’art. So far as we can tell no one was consumed by demons or replaced by fairies. (The woman running the store is the last in a family that made their money in glass dolls eyes. Her salary job is to consult on doll eyes and appraisals, and the rest of her time she obsessively curates this shop which I’m certain will one day rise up and crush her in her sleep.)

Carolyn bought this adorable tiny brooch of a snail whose shell was a freshwater pearl, and Tish was convinced he had to get this tiny hand-illuminated prayerbook. I spent my entire time in the shop completely goggle-eyed and overwhelmed, and while I’m certain there were a million objects in the store I would have been happy to go home with, I somehow couldn’t get my brain to parse out any individual object from the MASS OF SHINY, and ended up leaving with nothing. I’m still a little sad about that.

Eventually, Carolyn and Aatish split off to do more exploring, while Eric Kendra Mike and I went to get sadly disappointing dinner at an Italian place. After dinner we walked down by the river to see the buildings lit up at night, and agreed we needed to spend more time in Lyon. Then we stayed up way too late packing the suitcases in such a way that the wine would make it safely to Prague, and all the cases would be under 50lbs.