After our great friends from Dallas arrived during late week #2, we headed out Saturday morning to the open-air market (the best day of the week to attend). Again, the many different types of bread, cheese, vegetables, flowers, and other stuff did not disappoint.
Annecy – Just as Great the Second Time
For a few days, we showed our friends around town, enjoyed delightful and filling lunches, visited Saint Jean and the Basilica, and several areas of Vieux Lyon. We also decided we needed to share Annecy during a long day-trip, with a side-trip back to Lyon through Grenoble. (Not as electric as seen on TV during the 1968 Olympics, but interesting to cruise through.)
Cannes for Lunch!
The next day, actually evening with some of that 5€ chardonnay, Alicia said we should go to Cannes the next day for lunch. “For lunch!!!,” I exclaimed. Usually Alicia is the navigator when we travel, but her sense of geography was lost here. Yes, Cannes is in France, but at 270 miles from Lyon, not a one-day round-trip with maybe wine involved.
So at 9 PM I started searching online for apartments in Cannes and found a perfect 2-bedroom/2-bath unit on the beach. It was pricey and required a stellar damage deposit, but it was available for the next night. I fired off an email with my phone number, offering 150€ with no deposit. At 11 PM, we got a call from the owners who were traveling in Italy. They agreed and said the maid would meet us with the keys and accept payment.
We had a late lunch in Cannes, walked the beach, and enjoyed the marina (where there was a fantastic mega-million-dollar boat/ship show), strolled the boardwalk, and enjoyed the apartment’s peaceful patio and the full moon in the evening.
A Visit to Nice on the Way to Lyon
Again a side-trip when we headed back to Lyon, this time to Nice for a stroll and lunch. We abandoned the fast highway and hugged the Mediterranean all the way for two hours to Nice. It’s great to have the freedom to do what you want, when you want. Another great memory with terrific weather.
Oingt – “The Prettiest City in France”
With a few more days left with our friends, we headed out to Oingt – about two hours outside Lyon. Oingt is reputed to be the prettiest city in France; however, we later learned there are about ten cities designated as prettiest in France. Again, we were not disappointed and, as it was a Monday, we essentially had this small medieval city all to ourselves. More walking and lunch at one of the neatest restaurants we encountered during the month.
A Labor of Love: Wine
With several hours of daylight left, we elected to drive home through the wine country, which is almost any direction in France. We initially stopped at a unique above-ground cemetery, and later lucked upon a small, still-open vineyard. The owner was happy to see us at the end of his day, even though his wife gave us a look. He took us back to his showing room and opened different bottles of red for tasting. We communicated in broken French and English, but we had a great time.
On our way back to the car, the owner waved us over to a barn. Inside was his day’s labor, and he pulled out a handful of crushed grapes. His pride and happiness were obvious when he posed for a picture.