Lyon and Homeward Bound
Tuesday, July 16. Lyon.
We sailed up river yesterday and overnight to make port in Lyon. The day was windy and a good one for sail boarding and parasailing.
Flight connections from Lyon to Heathrow were too tight to book a flight the day of disembarkation, so we stayed in Lyon in the InterContinental – Hôtel Dieu https://www.ihg.com/intercontinental/hotels/gb/en/lyon/lysha/hoteldetail. This hotel was originally a Medieval hospital https://en.lyon-france.com/Discover-Lyon/heritage-unesco/Remarkable-sites-and-monuments/grand-hotel-dieu . This place is truly grand and occupies a whole extended block along the Rhône.
Shireen, our Cruise Director had been a student in Lyon and had contacted a wonderful Italian restaurant within walking distance from the hotel for our lunch. Obtaining a reservation for 14 people on short notice in Lyon revealed just how influential she is.
The afternoon was spent walking around a portion of Old Lyon – Vieux Lyon – and taking pictures. As I now look at the map, I should have walked the 1/2 mile to the confluence of the Saône and Rhône to see the Musée des Confluences by day, but honestly, we were fatigued with all the data overload and preferred to rest up for our last family meal in France at the hotel.
Wednesday July 17. Homeward Bound.
This departure was no exception to the trend of very early rides to an airport to wait in line for security and finding our gate. Actually, the flight Lyon-Heathrow was a little over an hour, giving us, we thought, more than enough time to make our final connection. Wrong! The bus ride from Heathrow landing gate to another terminal was 11 minutes. Walking what seemed like a mile through passport control and to the terminal center, then 10 minutes by shuttle train, only to find that the departure gate would not be listed for an additional 15 minutes. Upon listing, “officially” there was 10 minutes until ticketed boarding, but the departure gate was a good 1/4 mile around the circular concourse to board another shuttle train to a “sub-terminal” location where, with mounting fatigue and anxiety, we finally found the departure gate and the rest of the family. I’m still not sure how they arrived before we did.
To our great relief, boarding had yet to start. As we waited – it became apparent that several passengers, our son Paul among them – lacked some boarding information and held up the process. I will avoid Heathrow connections in the future if possible.
The flight home was fine and we were delighted to find our driver, though we waited in the 90+ degree heat for everyone to find our two vehicles for the final leg back home.
This trip apparently didn’t turn us off to travel: we’ve booked a small group trip to Scandinavia with Tauck in May of 2020. And the beat goes on.