The Plan (the whole Plan)
Day 17 : Thu 7 Jun : Back to Lyon, depressingly.
The last day (the last proper day anyway) and another long drive.
We decided to make Vichy our stopping-off point for lunch. No particular reason other than it was about the right distance and it obviously has a bit of history.
But that is really all it has. Vichy gives the impression of a place where nothing significant has happened since the war (and it is believable that when the occupation government moved there then no-one really noticed). The place is trying to be gentrified, but the loudest note sounded is that of the long, long decline familiar to English seaside resorts. There is a lot of tired-looking wrought-iron work forming verandahs and colonnades, giving a strange sense of Southport without the sea. (But with lots of water, obviously.)
Well, we looked bemusedly at one of the pavillions from which you can get water from the various sources (the sense of a poshed-up tiled urinal was overwhelming) and had some lunch at a cafe. Life ambled by slowly while we waited to be served. Bizarrely, during the course of a very short meal, the same woman walked past no fewer than eight times. Very slowly.
So we headed off to Lyon for the last leg of the tour, and we stayed at another hotel in the same chain as last time but this time on the other side of town, though it too has an underground car park that was impossible to negotiate, and we found our rooms and finisted off the last of the gin and tonic, and sampled one of the bottles of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and after we had wandered around the other side of the town centre, along the Saone rather than the Rhône this time, we went back to Chez Hugon and started off by drinking communards which taste as weird as they sound if you read the description in Day 1 and our favourite parts of the menu were still there so we had the andouilettes and terrines and a pricey-but-excellent chicken dish with small crayfish and several pots of wine and obviously we finished off with the cervelle de canut and the poire au vin and once we finally got Arlette Hugon to give us the bill (because, as last time, she seemed in no hurry to take money off us) then we headed back to the hotel and it was pissing down with rain again, with a repeat of the spectacular lightning in spite of the fact that Mark hadn't done anything unusually blasphemous for a while and we got back, dried off, shared the remaining wine out and packed it into our bags and that is pretty much the end of the story (unless anything entertaining happens on the way back to London tomorrow in which case there'll be another page to look at after this one).