Sunday, May 20, 2007

Les Berges du Rhône

When I arrived in Lyon at the beginning of the year, the area on the other side of the Pont de la Guillotière, on the East side of the Rhône, was an enormous building site. What I didn't quite grasp when my flatmates were explaining that this was in aid of smartening the area up, was that previously, the banks of the Rhône had just been one big car park, and that now they were making a big effort to transform them into something nice (which, incidentally, Lyon badly needed as it lacks recreational green space in the centre). Ten days ago the work all finished and the Berges officially re-opened to the public, with two weekends of entertainment to get the people enjoying themselves along the river. And they're great. Each section of the river bank is named after an important woman (the nearest to my house is Marie Curie), and there are pretty boats, lawns, flowers, a stream-cum-paddling-area, climbing frames for children, roller-blading/bike paths, pretty lights in the evening, sitting space and so forth. Yesterday we went and sat on an area of decking and had a picnic. Very pleasant indeed. Well done Lyon.

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