Friday, July 15, 2005

Ah, la France.

Well, there were no terrorists on the plane ride here so I'll chalk it up as a good flight.
I write to you now from Lyon, which is where the majority of my french family (including my mother) lives. It really is a magnificent city: it was first built by the Romans--who chose to make it the capital of Gaule-- then was constantly retransformed throughout the middle ages and the renaissance. When you walk into the old city, you can still see Roman architechture, window frames from the Middle Ages or delicate arch-ways dating from the Renaissance. It's quite impressive! Plus, it's the Gastronomical capital of France, which means: very good food!
Every year, I have the great fortune of going to one of the best Jazz Festivals ever: Jazz a Vienne. It happens in Vienne, this small town about 45 minutes to the South of Lyon. My mom (and all her family) was born there. The Romans were here too. The town is built on hills, and on one of the hills (facing the sunset), the Romans built this big amphitheater, which is still used today. Well my mother got five tickets for July 13th, so four cousins (Maxime, Francois, Henri and Johanna, my south african cousin whom I hadn't seen in 8 years) and I headed down to the theater to snatch places. And the theater was packed full-- 7000 people! The Jazz began at 8:30 and went on until the sunrise. Pretty amazing! It was Brazilian night, so although unconventional, it was awesome to just let loose and dance your heart out.
The next day was July 14th, Revolution Day (and the national holiday) in France. Jo and I came back to Lyon (exhausted), slept for the majority of the afternoon, then joined my mom, dad and brother for diner in the old city. After diner, we saw scores of people crowding on all of the city's bridges (Lyon is crossed by two rivers), so we followed the crowd and sat, waiting... waiting... all of a sudden, with a boom, the fireworks begin, and people all around us start cheering. A little girl behind us kept on making amazed comments (these were her first fireworks): "Ooh, ca clignote, la, et ca scintille comme the l'or. La! Des etoiles filantes! Du rose! Vert! Violet!"
Today I'm making my cousin Jo visit "les traboules", which are the old tunnels built by the romans. They can be found all over the old city.
Oh and by the way... I haven't managed to sleep well since my arrival here, which makes me 1)cranky, 2)too tired to reread this.


Blogger Kate said...

yay, a new post! it was good!

10:01 a.m.  
Blogger 007 in Africa said...

Vick, I'm kind of miffed that you know the area about 110% better than me yet, I am considerably older than you. Somebody was paying attention in Geography class. Dork!

11:16 a.m.  
Blogger 007 in Africa said...

By the way, the phrases the little girl said really made me laugh...It's such a bunch of clich├ęs but it came naturally to her.

11:19 a.m.  
Blogger Beaver said...

This is probably one of my fave posts ! :)

Sounds like you had a great time.

Hmmm... France... I am vicariously threading on the promised ground.

11:36 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The gastronomical capital of France is Belgium, not Lyon!!!
-Michelin Guide 2005

2:40 a.m.  

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