03 May 2009

le dimanche sur le Quai du Rhône

Sundays are my favorite day of the week in Lyon. Here, Sunday is still the traditional 'day of rest', but more in the sense of resting from work. It's just what everyone needs before starting another busy week at work. Whenever it frustrates me that everything is closed on Sundays, I have to remind myself that all the grateful employees are out relaxing and spending time with their loved ones. I only assume this because in observing over the past months, French people really do have great family time on Sundays.

On this beautiful spring day in Lyon, I took a nice jog along the Quai (the river banks). The quai on the River Rhône is part of the beautification efforts in Lyon over the past 10 years. The quai on a Sunday is a great place to people-watch and see lots of things that are very French. First, as I descended the stairs down to the river, I passed numerous couples young and old making out on the steps. Public displays of affection are just an ordinary thing in France. So is smoking, which the French do beautifully. Then, down on the path, a mother raced her son on her stylish razor scooters. Bikers, runners, and rollerbladers crowded the thin 2-way lane. Sprawled next to the path were families and couples sitting, lounging, and picnicking in the grassy patch. Groups of people still in their fancy church clothes piled onto the boats for a sunny place to order delicious red wine and eat baguette sandwiches. I watched all the action around me thinking: if I was a young child in Lyon, I'd be begging my maman and papa to bring me to the quai every Sunday afternoon.


  1. we brought you to the quai last august for a visit. and now you live there. you're welcome.