Saturday, July 16, 2011

Work in Progress part 2


This is still a work in progress. But a continued progress. Today I went to Dijon and instead of having Boeuf Bourguignon (since I was in the capital of Bourgogne), I stopped at Darcy Kebab and got a "kebab" which is (not really) French (as in apparently, the actual term) for Arabic/Turkish origin sandwichness (I site the pseudo resource wikipedia, but there's just a lot of restaurants in Paris and in other parts of France apparently that largely only call themselves either Turkish or Oriental and serve similar middle eastern cuisine). (The standard shish kebab in French is called a brochette - I know this because the people I work with go to the same sushi place whenever the company cafeteria goes on strike and they always order the "menu" that gives you sushi and brochettes). Yesterday I went to Grenoble and the day before I saw the 14 Juillet fireworks in Lyon which was actually really enjoyable -- they were pretty, lasted 20ish minutes, and there wasn't too many people. (Pictures: Top right is me making a weird face infront of the "ONLY LYON (LION)" sign infront of the tourism office in Place Bellecour, middle right is the fireworks on reg camera setting to give you idea of where they were happening, which is between Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviere and Tour Metallique de Fourviere, and bottom right is in the fireworks setting). The metro/tram though was fully packed afterwards and while I don't think this was directly related, the tram was making very loud scrapping noises as it was trying to get out of the first stop with all of the people. Also trams and metro systems in other French cities are very cute compared to the Parisian metro/tramway. This is in part because I'm only familiar with T3 in Paris which is one of the newest trams (tram in Lyon is apparently 10 years old, it says so on all the windows now) also because the metro system is ridiculously huge and fast in Paris. But in general, there are so many more cars in a given line/tram that the 3-4 car lines in other cities is cutesy. In my opinion at least.

I went to Nice last weekend, and then simultaneously went to Monaco and Eze (a pseudo-random city inbetween the two). Monaco was impressive because it really is just straight up. Public elevators everywhere (not that the one I tried using worked though). And there's several ways to get to the train station because it's built straight into the cliff. Eze-Village is nice because it's an old fort type castle stone building ness. Eze-sur-mer is really nice because it's on the beach but it's not really nice because the rocks there are super slippery and super sharp at the same time. Thus resulting in several injuries (and lots of hobbling) which thankfully recovered just in time for Lyon-ness. Also it's an hour or so to get from Eze-Village to Eze-Sur-Mer, all the while going down a cliff-face. Not cliff side, but cliff face. Also noteworthy in a weird way is that I accidentally found and then had to awkwardly walk through a nudest beach which was next to the regular bathing-suit public beach at Eze-sur-mer because I was trying to get to this island which turned out to be a private one. Also noteworthy in a weird way is that if you walk towards Charlemagne in Lyon, you end up in the super industrial/super trucker filled part of Lyon Presqu'ile. And apparently I'm guessing truckers need lots of "ladies of the night" because there were *a lot*. A lot more than bois de boulogne. Unfortunately (not really) none solicited me this time.

Also when I was in Nice, I was asked to have some "jus de pomme" on this guy's boat. This creepy old (not really old old but very much older) guy.

So I was told that there's nothing to do in Dijon (or more specifically, that if I have seen everything else in France, then I should go to Dijon), but I actually quite enjoyed the way it ended. The actual process wasn't too great because it started raining, but I got to go to two free museums (an archaeology one and a fine arts one, both of which scared the crap out of me for various reasons). Now in further grammatical mutiny,  the reason why these two museums scared the crap out of me is because one, the archaeology one had all these statues from the Roman occupation (ie the original colony Divio according to Wikipedia) of the Dijon area all in these gravelled/pebbley underground/tomb esque basement deal which after Dr Who, I could not stay in that room. Too many statues looking at me or for me to look at simultaneously. I was also alone and that room was just creepy. The fine arts museum was scary because I encountered this artist whose usage of red and green to paint resulted in some seriously creepy depictions of faces and bodies because they were all in this weird bloody red-brown tone. Did not want to preserve said images with a picture so you'll have to take my word for it. At the same time I did find some very nice paintings of which I do have pictures. (in coding terms, this may constitute as a "go to") -So the ending was great because after rushing to the train station to verify the last train back to Lyon (because earlier I thought there was another train an hour later but turns out that's only on Sundays), I then backtracked to the Jardin Darcy where there was an open air jazz festival happening throughout July or something and it was really nice. Not too many people, there was a waterfall, and the jazz actually sounded good. Hopefully I can find the artist at some point, with no leads other than there was a jazz festival in this park in this city.

The Bastille in Grenoble was a lot of fun because one I got to go up/down this "telepherique" (which costed money but student discount at least? also pictures to be posted on facebook of the telepherique, and the view from inside) and then felt super accomplished when I got to the top of the mountain where there was a memorial to the Blue Devils (mountain troops). Lovely view of the surrounding water and mountains too.

It's kind of lonely travelling alone, but it has allowed me to go to Dijon and Grenoble (and Eze and Monaco) on super large tangents because I had no idea I was going to go there beforehand. It's also resulting in lots of myspace esque pictures because sometimes there's no one to take a picture. Alternatively they come out interesting. PS I added a picture to my previous blog post about the Musee D'Orsay.

PPS - I've been meaning to mention this for a really long time. The URL for this blog looks like lm FAT mit to me. Just saying.



  1. I met a french guy today who's from Grenoble. he was surprised I'd heard of it.

    see you.. in 3 weeks. :]

  2. Alan. I blogged. I didn't include the picture of you in the hat.