My son Marc arrived in Lyon Airport yesterday to come and stay with us. Lyon City is 128km (about an hour and a half by car) away from Chalon Sur Saone. Nuala and I set of early in the day with a plan to revisit the Museum of Miniatures and Cinema, and then Lyon Zoo before going to the airport for 3.30pm to collect Marc.
The Museum of Miniatures and Cinema is a fascinating place, the detail on the miniatures is amazing and they also have a great collection of props from famous movies. At the museum Nuala was surprised to see the man in the promotional poster standing in the reception area. Yes, it was the creator of the miniatures, Dan Ohlmann and we got chatting to him. He was very interested in what we had done on our Gap Year and asked me lots of questions about the boat and distances covered. Of course Nuala had to get her photo taken with him! We then bought some miniatures from the museum shop, some to keep as a memento of the Gap Year and the others as presents.
After leaving the museum we bought a picnic lunch and headed for the Lyon Zoo. Nuala has been asking all year about visiting a Zoo, and having never getting around to it this was her chance. Entrance to the Zoo was free, which itself was a surprise and as there was no commercial activity such as restaurants or shops. It made the whole experience very low key and there was no buzz around the place.
It seemed a bit strange that you could go into to it through a number of different gates so there was no focal point, just a small number of people walking around reading the signs in front of each enclosure. Many of the animals were not on view as the weather was too cold for them and there didn’t seem to be any Zoo staff to talk too. All in all it was a strange experience and made us wonder why the Zoo was there at all, perhaps it has to do with conservation of some of the species which are threatened in their natural habitats. However, the Zoo was in a wonderful setting as it’s in a large park in the middle of the city which also has extensive Botanical Gardens. As it was a beautiful sunny day we sat on a park bench, enjoyed our picnic lunch and Nuala fed our leftover bread to the wild birds.
Then it was off to collect Marc. This time I put the correct airport address into the GPS – not like the last time, when we almost missed the flight home when we accidentally went to the wrong airport (there are four in the vicinity) and it cost me a small fortune as I had to park in the short term car park for a whole week! Marc’s flight was bang on time, so we headed straight back to Chalon before it got dark so he could have a look around the marina and get his bearings before settling in with a couple glasses of wine with his father.