But at least now we know how bus travel works here, at least on one of the lines (FlixBus). . .
And the AirBnB our taxi driver delivered us to is quite comfortable, functional, and quite well equipped. Importantly, there's a decent little kitchen, and since I was speaking of empty tummies, you might understand the focus of this post. . . our visit to the Marché de la Croix Rousse, just up the hill from us, a marvellous market that stretches over half a kilometres.
Gorgeous produce, beautifully arranged, but perhaps what pleased me most was how friendly all the vendors were and how readily they accepted our French -- no exaggerated puzzlement over our pronunciation, no immediate switch into English. . . I don't think it's because our French has improved dramatically, but we were able to chat with this Monsieur about the obscenely large asparagus he displayed but wasn't selling -- I'd assumed it would be too tough to eat, but he assured me that once he'd peeled it, he sliced off pieces to eat raw and found it delicious.
These beautiful endives, for example, we had to resist. . .
And these sumptuously sculptural artichokes -- magnificent, aren't they?!
We didn't buy these mushrooms -- Mousserons from the Auvergne region, which we back-packed through so many years ago. . .
But I did ask the vendor who makes up these beautiful bouquets for a botte of pivoines (peonies), an 8Euro indulgence I couldn't resist even though we'll be leaving before they're fully opened. Had a little chat with this vendor as well -- I hadn't known the word botte before in this context (it also means "boot") and was trying to remember whether I'd learned it at the Bordeaux market in past years. Did it signify a handful, I wondered, and made accompanying gestures to illustrate. His brows furrowed a bit, and he asked if we were anglais, and then he asked what the word was in English. . . Too funny, because of course that's exactly what I didn't know.
Now that my glossary had been augmented, the vendor chatted with us about the beauties of his city while he trimmed each tige of my botte of pivoines and wrapped the bunch in cellophane. He was worried that our three days wouldn't be enough to enjoy his très belle ville -- and we already knew it was not enough to taste its food.
But as he wished us a Bon Séjour, we at least had a good sampling of the city's fresh produce and a handful of fragrant peonies as we walked back to our little apartment for lunch. . .
We're moving on tomorrow, earlier than we'd planned thanks to the train strike, and we're crossing our fingers that the train connection we're leaving early to make will happen. . . Cross yours for us as well?
Wish you were here. . .