Thursday, August 23, 2007

Traboules, chow chow de porc, and violet ice cream

After Cleo's rant about our cutsie-wutsie widdle kitty (okay, she's right, gag me with a hairball; we really have to stop drooling, but Mica is just too cute), here goes part two of Lyon (Did you really think you would get off so easily?).

I could fill this post up with endless photos of the city, but I'll stick to a few favorites and if you really want to see more, they're on Photobucket. While we admired the impressive architecture and curious traboules, the girls were far more impressed by M.'s rabbits, visiting her school, and stopping to have an ice cream.

These are a few of the things Jesús and I found most interesting:
The Opera House
Saint-Jean's Cathedral
A traboule. Lyon is filled with these small passageways that connect one street to another, so you don't have to go around the block, you just go through it. There's even a verb that means to pass through the traboules: trabouler. But if you don't want to get lost, take someone who knows the city along; this is kind of like the maze in Alice in Wonderland (Of course getting lost could be fun, but don't try that with children, unless you want to hear endless whining of "I'm tired, I can't walk anymore").Hey, are we in Paris? No, it's not the Eiffel Tower, it's the Tour métallique de Fourvière.

Versus what the girls liked best:
Vio with Chupi
Carmen, M., Vio and Ro in the park
Slumber party in M.'s room
Cat in a window

We drive 900km and our kids are more impressed by a cat in a window than the magnificent Saint-Jean's Cathedral...Oh well, at least we tried to get some culture into them (which they will remember as being dragged all over Lyon to look at boring buildings). One thing we all agreed on was that the ice-cream we had at Nardone's was the best we ever tried.
Some of the flavors we had were: Violet, poppy, ginger, and orange-blossom. I learned one of the few French words I know here: Coquelicot, which means poppy, although I liked the violet-flavored ice cream best. (So, now I know the words "coquelicot" and "trabouler", I just know those will come in handy someday).

Most of all, we just enjoyed being with our friends, S. and A., who took the time to show us around the city, even though they had their own trip to prepare for. S. treated us to some wonderful French cooking, and we quickly learned to leave room for the delicious cheese that comes for dessert at the end of any French meal. (France must be one of the few countries in the world that actually encourages cutting the cheese at the end of a meal). My personal favorite was Saint-Nectaire. We also tried Chow-chow de porc, which is a French version of a Chinese curry dish. Tres delicieux! Besides being delicious, we also had a good laugh with this dish, because chow-chow in French sounds almost like chocho in Spanish, which is a rather rude word for female genitals. The kids thought it was hilarious to say we were having chocho de cerdo (well, cerda would be more like it)....Okay, you had to be there, I swear it was funny at the time (and now a lot of perverts will stumble across my blog, looking for something quite different from a pork curry dish -guys, you are in the wrong place).

All in all, we had a great time; each of us got something different out of this trip, but we all enjoyed it immensely. S., A., and M., thanks for a wonderful stay and I hope we'll see each other again soon.


  1. Those were wonderful pictures and I'll have to check out your photobucket.
    Glad you had such a good time.

  2. oh, these are absolutely spectacular, Theresa! and your children are trés magnifique! not to mention gorgeous.

    i suspect they WILL remember the "culture" you tried to impose on them, and rather fondly, at that. that said... that is a mighty cute bunny, and so is that cat! ; )

  3. When I visited France I learned "le pomme" I think that's still right and everything became an apple.

  4. I have been catching up, on and off, but alas, have not had the time to comment so perdóname amiga mia!

    The pictures are fabulous! The trip sounds like it was utter fun though I must admit that you SO had me at "chocho de cerda"! Ha, ha, haaaa! It always trows my American friends off when I exclaim "coño" and then need to explain what it means and how such an exclamation is normal down south, in spite of what it means! Dios mio!

    And I LOVE seeing you! Hot mama FO SHO and your girls are beautiful... glad to have you back and congrats on the new kitty!

  5. I know I have some catching up to do! Welcome back and great pics of your trip. The girls are just beautiful. Oh and a new kitty do I spy? Good for you (if not yet for Cleopatra :).

    Glad to see you back in fine posting form. I'll be in and out through September (but that's right around the corner anyway).

    I've left a little welcome back cake on the table. Let me know when the coffee's ready.

  6. Hey Theresa, I just saw that you are reading Good Omens. I read that years ago (when I went to Texas for a job interview for a flight attendant, to give an idea just how long ago.) Anyway, I really loved it, but the funny thing is that I didn't realize that I had ever read anything by Pratchett or Gaiman, though I have been reading a lot about them lately on Funny how things are sometimes.

  7. I am SO taken by the idea, image, and word of "traboule." I'm going to use it once a day ("trabouler" counts, too) for the next week.


  8. Pavel: Thanks. Our pics are not quite as good as yours (we really have to see about getting a better camera), but we did have a great time.

    Neva: Merci, mon amie. I hope they do remember something more than the bunny and the cat.

    rjlight: Well, I guess an apple's better than a poppy, unless you're into certain types of illegal activities.

    Miz Bohemia: Don't worry, I know what moving is like, I'm just glad to see you're surviving it all. It is funny that swear words don't sound quite so bad in Spanish as they do in English. Just one of those cultural things I guess.

    G: Good to see you! The coffee will always be ready for you, my friend (Sorry, I don't have any bubba tea, though). September is right around the corner, and then we bloggers can do some real catching up.

    Michelle: Yeah, this is the second time around for me. I didn't have anything to read, so I decided to read it again since I enjoyed it so much the first time. You should read Mort, that one just had me rolling on the floor.

    Jocelyn: I have to admit that I liked the word myself, that's why it stuck with me. I'll be checking up on your use of the word, I expect to see it in at least one of your posts ;)

  9. It looks so enchanting and inviting. Especially that passageway. I could get lost in those all afternoon. And that would be a good thing! :)

  10. great photos thanks for sharing I have visited there myself and loved it.

  11. Dan: Lyon is an enchanting and inviting city. If you ever get a chance to visit, do, because it is a fascinating place (and there are lots more passageways to get lost in).

    b: Glad you liked the photos, I had such a wonderful time that I couldn't help but share a few.

  12. the cathedral reminds me of a wonderful plac ein Portugal. There is a giant cathedral in Bathala and I swear to *insert deity here* this could be its sibling. Lyon is amazing, i seem not to have noticed that while there...I was 14, I probably tried the ice cream though :)