Pictures from an unexpected return to Lyon in December to visit Durham students on placement at the CPE, Lyon.


Terminal 2F at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport. The wide open spaces are a pleasant change from most airport architecture (although leave little room for construction lapses – Terminal 2E partially collapsed in 2004 and had to be completely rebuilt…)


Early evening view across le Pont de Lattre de Tassigny (Rhône) from a viewpoint on the slopes of the Croix-Rousse [45 46 21 N, 4 50 10 E]. The Croix-Rousse was a centre of silk production in the 19th Century resulting in some distinctive architecture; apartments with high ceilings to accommodate silk looms, and a network of staircases and passageways (traboules), which allowed the finished silk to be protected from the weather during transport.

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The most well-known of the traboules – “the Cour des Voraces (“courtyard of the voracious (ones)”) at 9 place Colbert. The name apparently refers to a group of particularly militant silk workers who campaigned inter alia against a plan to reduce the size of the standard Lyonnais wine measure…


Normal accommodation in Lyon had been completely booked up by visitors to the Fête des Lumières. This has recently developed into a major tourist event centred around large artwork installations; here an incomprehensible slide show on the façade of the Saint Paul railway station [45 45 58 N, 4 49 37 E].

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Place Bellecour [45 45 29 N, 4 49 54 E]: Giant ferris wheel and the statue of Louis XIV turned into a snow dome…


Along Rue de la République


And up the magnificent pedestrianised Montée de la Grande Côte [45 46 20 N, 4 49 54 E].

The oddest “artwork” was “la vie en rose” – turning all the lights in the Lyon metro pink. According to the official guide:

Les concepteurs […] proposent […] une entrée optimiste et glamour dans les rigeurs de l’hiver. […] La partie cachée du paysage urbain devient alors lumineuse et ce simple déplacement, un véritable voyage dans un univers inattendu et décalé.

Unsurprisingly French artspeak doesn’t translate well into English…

Accommodation: Cercle Villemanzy [45 46 21 N, 4 50 8 E] was a converted military hospital (and a convent before the Revolution) for visiting scholars (how convenient). OK, but last refurbishment was clearly some time ago…

Fête des Lumières