Posts Tagged ‘statue’

Up a different hill this time

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

It turns out Lyon isn’t the only place in France with an impressive basilica that sits upon a hill and overlooks the city below. Marseille’s version is the Notre-Dame de la Garde, which we set out to visit on a beautiful Saturday morning (after a healthy amount of rest, breakfast pastries and croissants, and coffee, of course). Despite being able to see the basilica from almost any point in the city, we weren’t quite sure how to get to it, so once we were in the right part of the city we simply resolved to keep walking in whatever direction continued our vertical ascent. It was a decent strategy since the basilica sits at the highest natural point in Marseille, and sure enough, it worked!

The basilica itself was beautiful, as were the views of the city (and the sea) that it afforded. It was a bit crowded for my personal church-visiting tastes, and much like the Notre-Dame de Fourvière, the amount of adorning detail covering practically every surface was nearly impossible to visually process, let alone photograph. But, I am very glad we made the trek up all the same! (Plus, I actually don’t think you’re allowed to visit Marseille without paying the basilica a visit.)

Marseille, France (Nov 13, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 13, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 13, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 13, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 13, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 13, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 13, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 13, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 13, 2010)

Photos taken in Marseille, France on November 13, 2010.

That is a really, really big cathedral

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

The first thing we sought out in Marseille – in part because of its proximity to our hotel – was the Cathédrale de la Major. We didn’t know exactly where it was, but we knew the general direction, and as we turned onto another seemingly run-of-the-mill street, our jaws all promptly dropped. The Marseilles Cathedral is enormous. I am fairly certain it is the largest cathedral I have ever seen. I don’t think I could even really comprehend its massive scale as I gazed at and walked closer to it.

Marseille, France (Nov 12, 2010)

Photo taken in Marseille, France on November 12, 2010.

Unfortunately, we arrived at the cathedral at an awkward time of day – about twenty minutes before it was dark enough outside to warrant turning on the lights inside. As a result, it was pretty much pitch black everywhere inside the cavernous building. (In fact, I made a misstep down a few stairs that almost resulted in a broken ankle.) Just as we gave up seeing the interior and began making our exit, they actually did turn the lights on, but we wanted to see more of Marseille before the sun went down, so we resolved to come back another time.

Sadly, when we did come back the next day, we arrived a little while after closing time, and we weren’t able to visit the following morning of our departure either. I was disappointed, but even just that first glimpse and impression of the Cathédrale Sainte-Marie-Majeure de Marseille was enough to burn it into my memory for a long time to come. Perhaps I’ll make it back another day.

Marseille, France (Nov 12, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 12, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 12, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 12, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 12, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 12, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 13, 2010)

Photos taken in Marseille, France on November 12-13, 2010.

Up Fourvière one last time

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Something I loved about Lyon was the fact that no matter where you were in the city, you could almost always see the Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière looming above. No matter what we were doing, the basilica was there doing it along with us, like a giant sitting on the hillside, a quiet but prominent and persistent friend, watching us play and laughing at our thoroughly un-French antics. (I admit that this illustration may be somewhat influenced by the fact that I am currently reading The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis.)

Lyon, France (Sep 18, 2010)

Photo taken in Lyon, France on September 18, 2010.

So, unsurprisingly, the basilica and the hill upon which it sits was something of a centerpiece of my Lyonnaise life. Due to its general impressiveness and historical and visual allure, as well as my silhouette-inspired interest in the lookout, I visited Fourviere more than any other place in the city. Sadly, since I needed to leave France sometime, there had to be a last trip up the hill for me! Happily though, I was accompanied that last time by Catie and her sister Emma, and the weather we were given was absolutely perfect. We even had a clear view of the alps from the top! (I had practically forgotten those even existed anywhere close to Lyon.)

Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)

Photo taken in Lyon, France on November 11, 2010.

There isn’t much here in Minnesota (where once again I presently temporarily reside) that could now fill the basilica-shaped hole in my life… The IDS Tower? The Mall of America? The Target Center? (I should quit my mocking for a moment and acknowledge that there is the somewhat impressive Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis, but it is definitely not a part of my everyday life like the Notre-Dame de Fourvière was. For one thing, I can not walk thirty yards out my front door in Plymouth and see Saint Mary’s!) I will miss my giant French friend, but for now, when I look up I can be satisfied with the beauty of the snow falling from the cold dark Midwestern sky.

Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)

Photos taken in Lyon, France on November 11, 2010.

Initial wanderings

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Despite a forecast of a solid week of cold rain, Emma seemed to bring a wave of delightfully good weather along with her to Lyon. We spent most of her first couple days with us just wandering about the city and soaking in the late autumn sun. I’m glad Emma came at the end of my own time in France, because it gave me motivation to get back out into the city and see it all (figuratively speaking) through one more time before I left. (To be honest, I’m actually writing this from Minnesota. I got back last Wednesday, and I miss France a great deal. I know – big surprise!)

On a technical photographic note, you might notice a slightly different visual quality to the images in this post (or you might not – I can’t yet decide). I’ve gotten tired of spending a fair portion of my life sitting at my computer coddling RAW image files, so I have been experimenting with shooting in JPG and tweaking the in-camera picture processing controls. A photographer and camera guru that I admire has his own preferred style that emulates one of his favorite types of film, achieved by using Nikon’s VIVID picture setting and cranking up the saturation to maximum (as well as upping the sharpening a bit). I decided to try that out myself for these shots. I’m fairly happy with the results (although I don’t think I’m going to abandon RAW just yet)…

Lyon, France (Nov 10, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)

Photos taken in Lyon, France on November 10-11, 2010.

A sisterly arrival

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Ever since we moved in, Catie and I have been feeling like our studio apartment was just a little too spacious for two people, so we were relieved yesterday to finally add a third resident to the mix – namely, Catie’s sister Emma! She took the train from Geneva to Lyon yesterday afternoon and we didn’t waste too much time before setting out into the mild clouds and wind (and fortunate lack of rain) for her introduction to our city. We did what I would call the ‘classic introductory ramble’, walking west from our apartment across the Rhone to Place Bellecour, then onwards over the Saône to Vieux Lyon, stopping by the Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Lyon, and then looping back towards Place des Terreaux. We kept walking for a while at night, but once it got a little too chilly for our liking, we took refuge in my favorite local creperie for dinner. All in all, it was a great first day (in my ‘veteran Lyonnaise’ opinion, anyway)!

Lyon, France (Nov 9, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 9, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 9, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 9, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 9, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 9, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 9, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 9, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 9, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 9, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 9, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 9, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 9, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 9, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 9, 2010)

Photos taken in Lyon, France on November 9, 2010.