After 11 days of reasonably leisurely exploration of the south of France it was time to put some serious kilometres on the odometer of the Mercedes. But, before hitting the motorway, we had to try to find somewhere in the Tarn Valley to photograph the Millau Viaduct from a different angle. We tried programming the Sat-Nav, but the only route she could come up with seemed to be an 'as the crow flies' route which was actually impossible for us to drive. Bernie looked at a map last night and decided to see if he could get us to the river working from his memory of the map!
Well, we had a few false starts and several U-turns but, eventually, we found a spot where several other cars were pulled up and the tourists were taking photos of the bridge ... through the overhead lines for the railway ... which we decided was not photogenic enough for our liking. Hmmn, what to do when you don't have time to spend half the day scouting out a great location?? I spotted an overgrown driveway nearby and decided to investigate. Beauty it goes down the hill towards the river. We walked down
the lane, under the railway line, skirted a sign that said the French equivalent of 'Private Property' and voilà - there was a view of the Millau Viaduct with the river in the foreground. Not as good a shot as some we had seen on postcards, but better than up on the road on the wrong side of the railway line!
OK, plenty of bridge photos on the memory cards, time to set our destination to Lyons. From the Tarn Valley we found our way back onto the A75. Since we had already paid the toll to cross the bridge we made sure to rejoin the motorway on the northern side of the bridge. There was certainly no need to pay twice to cross the Millau Viaduct! We continued straight up the A75 to Clermont-Ferrand up hills, down hills, through valleys and over viaducts - all of it extremely green and picturesque. Every second town had a church spire and/or a turreted building just begging to be explored but, unfortunately, our time in France was running out.
Just south of Clermont-Ferand we were guided smoothly onto the A89 which would take us across to Lyon. We enjoyed an
entirely uneventful journey from Millau to Lyon stopping only for fuel for the Mercedes and food for us along the way. Our arrival in Lyon went reasonably smoothly - we found our way to the street where our hotel was located, but we just couldn't find the hotel. Rather than drive around in circles we parked the car and decided to explore on foot. We knew that we must be in the right general area, how hard could it be to find the hotel? We found a restaurant with a very similar name that we thought might be the hotel's restaurant but no, it wasn't. Fortunately though one of the staff was able to point us in the right direction.
We decided to go and check in on foot so that we could find out where we would be able to park the car. All checked in we retrieved the car and drove it into the hotel's basement car park which was very convenient. Part of our package at the hotel includes 'City Cards' that entitle us to use public transport and gain access to a number of attractions during our stay. It was too late today to start
exploring Lyon, but we walked to the train station so that we wouldn't waste any time in the morning finding out how to catch the train into the historic part of Lyon.
There weren't a lot of eating options nearby so we returned to the restaurant with the similar name for dinner. A bit expensive, but the food and the service were spot on.
Steps for the day 11,121 (7.57 km)
Tot: 2.583s; Tpl: 0.042s; cc: 29; qc: 126; dbt: 0.081s; 2; m:saturn w:www (184.108.40.206); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.7mb