It’s time for another gallery of one of our stops in France. This one is a smaller one as we did not spend too much in Lyon. Once we got rested up in Orléans after our flights, we made our way to Le Mans to check out the Le Mans Racing Museum. There will be a separate gallery for that stop as there are a lot of pictures from there (if you’re a car guy you’ll like that gallery) but that will come at a later date. We didn’t spend the night in Le Mans though, once we finished up at the museum we hit the road toward Lyon.
When we rolled into Lyon, it was already getting dark but it was not overly late. Heading into the core of the city we were greeted with this glowing sculpture of, well, a lion.
We checked into our hotel for the night and decided to do what we did in Orleans which was go for an evening walk around the core of the town. We headed down to the edge of the Rhone River and walked wherever the night would take us. It ended up taking us to a restaurant and then bars. Lots of bars.
Just a couple of pictures of a castle, or church, or hotel in the distance that caught my eye.
Just a neat little art installation we stumbled upon. Not entirely sure why it was fenced off.
And this is the last picture that ended up on my phone from that night. I know we wandered around a lot from bar to bar and gave up on the picture taking shortly thereafter. Honestly it was probably for the best, the night got hazy after the first few bars and getting lost on the way back to the hotel was an adventure on its own. Before our bar hopping began, we sat down at a restaurant to have a meal (and a drink of course). While we were eating, we saw an advertisement for a soccer game in Ligue 1 (the top French soccer league) between Lyon and Nice. We realized that the game would be held in Lyon and it would be the next night! In that moment we made the decision to not hit the road the next morning and extend our Lyon stay by one extra night just to catch the game.
To get the full experience we hopped on the tram to get to the stadium, which didn’t prove to be difficult to find as all we had to do was follow the fans. The atmosphere was filled with excitement, there was spontaneous yelling and chanting on the tram and the walk to the stadium.
The Groupama Stadium can hold about 60,000 people and is home to Olympique Lyonnais, the Lyon soccer team in Ligue 1. Construction started in 2012 and the home team played their first game in January of 2016.
As we decided to catch the game last minute, our seats were not the best but we didn’t care as we simply wanted to see the game.
No European soccer game would be complete without hooligans of course. Here you can see the shirtless group which were ranting and raving the whole time. While the temperature was around freezing, I think that they were amply filled with beer and kept their body temperatures up by all the dancing and jumping they were doing.
Eventually we were treated to a bit of a show when the flares came out by the rowdy bunch.
A lot of flares.
So much flares that the stadium started to fill up with some heavy smoke.
We took a couple of videos during this spectacle and I thought I’d share one. This particular one did some justice to the antics of the hooligans.
The stadium became engulfed in smoke so much that after the half time delay there was about another 15 (or possibly 30) minute delay just to let the smoke clear out.
As Lyon was leading 1-0 in the half, they had a chance to nearly lock in their win with a penalty shot by Moussa Dembélé around the 25th minute. I decided to record it as I expected the stadium would erupt with cheers if he made the shot. My cellphone audio didn’t really capture the audio well enough but the crowd did go wild, even with the stadium only half full it was great to hear the celebration live.
Here’s a little bit of a zoomed in picture of the Nice goalie. You can see a bunch of debris on the pitch that the Lyon hooligans threw at the keeper. No one looked to be bothered by this so I imagine it’s a fairly common occurrence.
France prides itself on fine food, there is no doubt about that. However, I’m not a major foodie so I didn’t take much pictures of all the places we ate at. However I did take a snap of this breakfast we had to nurse a bit of a hangover as it definitely hit the spot. Not only that, but given the generous portions the price was more than reasonable at this little mom and pop restaurant.
When we hit the road I couldn’t help myself to take a picture of this unique building. Well after we came back home to Canada I did a little research as to what this building was and it turns out that it’s the Musée des Confluences. If we had a bit more time on our hands we may have made a pit stop there as well as from this site I came across shows that the interior is just as interesting as the exterior.
Our second and third nights in France carried on over the exciting feeling we had our first night in Orleans. I hope you enjoy some of the sights (and in this case sounds) of our stop there.