Day 13, Part 3 - 31st January - Vienne
At the archaeological site, I'd been asked for my postal code - apparently they thought I was French. I told the lady that one could tell that I was not French, and she said I had no accent. Right.
River, Château de La Bâtie
Towns Vienne is twinned with
Buttresses of church
Merchandise. I think this was in an exhibition room I popped into to warm up in
Road of the Round Table
Temple of Augustus and Livia
Like the Maison Carrée in Nîmes, it is exceptionally well-preserved (both were turned into churches). In fact these are the only two Roman temples preserved in France.
On the temple
Front of temple
There was a Roman pyramid, but I didn't particularly want to see it (I think it was also out of the way, so given the snow and time constraints I passed).
There was a Fine Arts museum. I think all the towns in France have a fine arts museum.
Dolphins (2nd-3rd c. AD)
The museum was of interest primarily for its layout and form: this was what museums used to be like (stuff in cabinets). And much stuff was not labelled (if there was anything it was usually just a label).
Casket in form of a head
These were really quite ugly
Plate inspired by Bernard Palissy
Most things were not labelled, and there was almost no information apart from the label even when it was present
I then popped into the Cathedral of St Maurice.
As can be seen it was very plain. The outside was alright though.
I then went to another museum, housed in a church building. There was a bit more info here but there was bad light and positioning (it was kinda cramped) so it was hard to see, let alone take photos, of some stuff. Incidentally I was visiting all these places because I'd gotten a super saver pass.
Former Church of St Peter, Mosaic
Theatre masks mosaic
Inscription commemorating the donation of a flaminique (wife of a flamen, a "priest devoted to the service of a particular god, from whom he received a distinguishing epithet."
2 mosaics from the 3rd century AD. Spring or Summer.
The Kidnapping of Ganymede
I think I saw this in Singapore in the 90s
Apollo the Archer
Funerary Monument figures
Snow Angel again
Happily I managed to catch the 1558 train back, and was just in time for it. Arriving back in Lyon I pondered my options. I could go and cheong (rush) the Gallo-Roman museum and have maybe an hour before it closed, then I could go for my opéra. But instead I decided that I'd spent the day at Roman sites, and it was easy to see Roman stuff.
I took a few snaps in the Cinema and Miniatures Museum, in the public area (I'd finished at closing time the previous day and wouldn't have gotten good, or maybe even any shots)
Green Goblin mask from Spiderman
The Boarding School miniature
Skimpily and not-so-skimpily dressed fairies
I had my doubts about whether this one was original but a sign said only the R2D2 (not pictured) was not original
I then went for an early dinner (4:45pm). The waiter was the same as on all the previous nights. Finally, on my last full day in Lyon, I got to eat at L'Amphitryon (on my third attempt)!!! The online ratings aren't very good, but Rough Guides had recommended it and I found it quite good.
I don't understand how the same thing (Cervelle de Canuts - a cheese spread) can be both an appetiser and a dessert. It being cheese explains that, I suppose. Maybe the only difference is there're no potatoes in the dessert form.
House apéritif and pork snacks (lard and salami)
This was like fermented ribena
"The faith of a pig. All is well" ("Foi de cochon" seems to be an idiomatic expression meaning "I swear")
House tart. It was nice but it was still just an onion tart.
At 5:07pm a table of 3 waltzed in so I was no longer the only customer. They had the same idea as me!
"Pay attention. The toilet flush is wicked"
L'Amphitryon - naughty toilet
Breaded pork legs baked in the oven, with gratin
This was quite good. A bit plain but there was sauce. It was baked in the oven but yet crispy. I'm not sure why I expected French pork to be less fatty than Southeast Asian pork. Ah well, when one is adventurous one is liable to be disappointed.
The gratin was the best I'd ever had, with an added dimension of flavour (mushroom?) The Gratin Dauphinois was worthy of the Dauphin! Sadly I couldn't finish my food.
Breaded pork legs
As with some other restaurants, I was asked what dessert I'd like after my main course. That's a good idea since one's mood might change.
I heard the Starhub wait music in the restaurant (the waiter was being put on hold on the speakerphone). Maybe they got it off a royalty free audio file site.
Dessert menu. With "snow egg" as a choice.
"Snow egg". Inside was a bit crumply. The egg white was frothy and yet solid above. Below it was like marzipan, and as such slightly too sweet.
No pig - stained glass of another place
Another place's menu
Ice cream flavours
The operas I watched this evening were Puccini's Suor Angelica and Hindemith's Sancta Susanna. The former of which the Singapore Lyric Opera was going to present, but no longer (they replaced it and Gianni Schicchi with Miss Saigon, undoubtedly because of its mass appeal).
Coke cost as much as wine. Mon Dieu.
"First time at the Lyon Opera?...
Chic or relaxed? I don't know what to wear!: Jeans or long dress, vest or T-shirt, sneakers or pumps... There are no rules, what counts is to be at ease and to pleasure oneself. It's your evening after all!"
How about singlet, shorts and flip flops?
I'd paid 27€ for a really restricted view (stalls, at the back and at the side).
They were selling librettos for 7€. I thought the lights at the seat were to read them with but they turned off when the performance started.
The pre-show announcements were in French only. This despite theatre signs in German and English also.
The first opera was the Hindemith, in German. It was better than the Bartok (Blackbeard's Castle), but unfortunately that was the best I could say about it. Naturally, this being France, there was full nudity (a nun throwing off her habit revealing her underlying nudity, and there being words on her body). Luckily the opera was short, so it ended faster.
The Puccini was much nicer than the Hindemith. I could find the tunes most of the time. Sadly I dozed off a little bit after my long day, but I only missed part of a long lament about a dead son. What I didn't miss... was more nudity.
Incidentally both plays had an all-female cast, largely made out of nuns.
Missing poster for a 14 year old who looks over 20
"Generous and delicious. Sub 30. Chicken Teriyaki... Food product made from Chicken"
There was a ticket check in the metro. With police backup (the problem is that bad, huh). However it wasn't very effective - I saw 2 girls turn back and wait at the bottom of the stairs in plain view. In Paris what I'd seen in 2006 had been for the inspectors to hide around a corner so by the time you saw them it'd be too late.