Thursday, January 11, 2007

French Flat

Like the title? Simple and succinct. Much like me...well, actually not like me at all but that's neither here nor there.

It's a cold Vancouver afternoon and I'm pleased to say that I've gotten a lot of work done this morning. No, I haven't touched my correspondance just yet but I'll get to that. My goal of today and tomorrow is to finish William Faulkner's "Light in August." Sounds like a daunting task considering I'm only on the first chapter, but hey, I read "The Bell Jar" in a few hours so I can do anything.

Another goal I had for today was to continue writing about my recent travels (here and on my other blog, where you can read all about Scottish Food). I realize I'm still stuck on Lyon and though I keep getting sidetracked about boots and things and I'm currently wanting to brag about how I went to the market this early morn (tried blood good) and didn't slip and fall on my ass like so many Vancouverites who decided to brave the ice today, I know that I have to write the damn travel posts or it'll never get done. And thou shall never know the misadventures Ross and I bestowed upon ourselves...even though the posts pretty much add up to watching a boring vacation video at Aunt Selma's (there will be no pictures of my hairy legs, rest assured).

Anyways, I've wasted enough time. So, on with it!

To recap (as if you need it) click here.

I'll start by talking about the cute french flat we had the privilage of staying in over a few days.

Ross's sister Cat and her husband Chris purchased a 300 year old flat in Vieux (Old) Lyon last year and Ross and I were very excited about staying there. Or at least I was. Even though I spent a month in France last year I never got to see a typical French abode, only hotels (which were also typically French in their own way).

The flat's location was excellent, on a corner so it's bright and airy and situated directly across from the River Soane.

View of the river from the den, where Ross and I slept/passed out

Unfortunately it is also above a noisy bar. This may seem like a good thing to some people, but believe me, it's not.

The flat consists of the two stories above the "Piano Bar."

Cat and Chris frequent their friend's Scottish bar The Wallace, which is one block away so they don't even use the convenience of actually living above a bar. Plus the bar is extremely noisy. The old, high ceilings of the flat provide no sound insulation whatsoever, so when the bar has their concerts you can hear it all throughout the flat.

The flat's high wooden ceilings...and Ricky Gervais!

They had one on our last night and even though we were two floors up we could hear it clear and loud as day. Even through my earplugs, I could samba to the bass. Cat had a screaming match with the bar's owner and phoned the police that night, the second time she'd called them since we arrived and probably the hundredth time that year. As expected, the music died down...only to start salsa-ing up an hour or two later.

Aside from that one drawback, the flat is absolutely adorable. I love anything historical, so it was a real treat to stay someoplace as old as that flat (in Vancouver, if it's over 100 years old it's like a national treasure).

The living room was such a nice place to laze

I especially liked the candy-colored kitchen that was sprinkled with French cookbooks, bunches of lavender, old cooking pots and a fridge stocked with wine and beer. The booze was the selling point.

So French, so sweet

Best of all, the walls and doorframes....

Padding sleepily through the hallway

...were all old stone. It gave it a desirable rustic look that I would love to be able to duplicate in my new-ish studio (hmmm, perhaps if I took a bat to my walls and ripped out some of the mortar).

Even the stairwells of the complex were in not painted, not swept and with unpaned windows.

First one of the day...

A perfect place to have my morning cup of coffee and watch the streets of Lyon below.

Spying is fun

The most "French" thing of all, happened on the last day. Outside our window, a Sunday market suddenly sprang up. It gave new meaning to "Window Shopping!"

The French Home Shopping Network

So now you know a bit about where we stayed...what we got up to while we were there is next.


Anonymous said...

This makes me want to travel even more. You seem to have a knack for making your own experience. Doing your own thing and having so much more fun than someone who follows all of the guidebooks.

Indiana said...

Having friends in a destination does open doors and let you see inside a place a little more than the usual cursory visit lent us from the guidebooks.

Still not sure about the title though ~grin~

manders said...

Oooh, that makes me want to travel as well... I always thought it would be fun to stay in a flat while away and really get an idea of living in that far off land...

And I agree: Spying is fun!

Anonymous said...

In that first picture you look a LOT like Izzy on Grey's Anatomy.

Wanderlusting said...

Rachel - Very true, even though I scour over every guide book and then put together my own itinerary!

Indy - Yes, having a Scottish man definitely has some privilages ;)

Manders - Even though it was only a couple of days it was really nice to be able to get the inside scoop from Cat on Lyon.

Rachelle - Awww thanks! I love Katherine, ever since I saw her in My Father the Hero when I was young.

M said...

ooooo, I LOVE those old places as well!

Expat Traveler said...

I absolutely love old buildings. I think this is also my hang up about living in the states. Buildings don't have character! I so agree with you here.

These pics are just what I need. It brings back memories of Montreux and Geneva where I was for 1.5 years. The wooden floor in the living room is the exact floors I remember from Switzerland from the older buildings. Newer ones were of course a bit different...

I love the high ceilings too, and the architecture is to die for...

Ah don't mind my daydreaming again. I can't wait to travel!