Month: April 2019 Page 1 of 3
What you’re about to witness can be hard for the sensitivity of the younger ones : the harassment of poor old little Vanille, the old kitty by the young and intrepid Globule the doggy.
Chateau St Giles
Amazing villas …. with … hummm fake cows !?
And a glimpse of the place we’re staying at !
So today we went visit my parents in Saint-Priest. This is the city I grew up in for most of my young life (from 5 till 20 years old). As is often the case with childhood memories, I have fond memories of it. Time tends to color everything with the rosy touch of nostalgia.
Of course not everything was great in old Saint-Priest. It is located at the south-east of Lyon. Not the nice western suburbs, but one of the impoverished “ghettos” of the east. Around its historical center with its lovely castle, it has grown lots of “HLM” (social housing) and other lifeless blocks to accommodate a huge population expansion (20,000 to 40,000 between 1950 and 1970).
My parents bought a flat on the outskirt of the city, in a newly constructed building in a neighborhood composed of houses and a few huge flats buildings. There was a lot of delinquency problems in the first years. Lots of squatters that made inhabitants uneasy. Not a lot of life there.
And now, more than 10 years after I left Porte-Joie, I am back to a different pictures. You can still see stigmata of the past: no more benches on the central square; CCTV in action. But they are new shops that opened. A lot of new neighborhood got built along the tramway linking Saint-Priest to Lyon. The forsaken fields above our neighborhood became a nicely kept park for a walk. A lot of things changed, for the better. It warmed my heart to see that.
A posh residency in Caluire center, 30 minutes from Lyon center by bus and subway. That’s where we took refuge from the Garden City mess.
We arrived on a Sunday at 15h29. Booking.com told us the checkin was from 15h to 18h, but while en route to this center, we received a call from an employee who told us that on sundays it was actually only until 15h30. When we arrived, he said he couldn’t wait 5 minutes as he had “an important appointment “, so he could not do the checkin and we would have to come back the next day for that. He gave us the key, the list of penalties if we forgot to clean and empty the dishwasher, the kitchen top,… before checking out before 11am, and the directions, and off he went. Anyway, we found our house easily enough and settled in. Not for long though. We never saw an accommodation so dirty. In the kitchen, one of the light switch, greasy with yellow who knows what, fell off when turned on. The dishwasher was not emptied. The bottom of the kitchen unit actually fell off when we opened one unit. The ventilation fan was so full of dust you really did not want to turn it on. The house was very bare, despite its size (2 bedrooms with an empty room upstairs). There was no oven, no washing machine, a very small TV on a cheap TV stand, a small sofa, a few chairs around a table. In the bathroom, the shower was in a bathtub, protected by a curtain much too small. There was only 1 bed table for each (double) bed, with a non functional nightlight in each. The bed sheets smelled of something strong, like too much perspiration washed too often (though you get used to it). The walls had stains in various places. There was very poor sound proofing, so you could here anyone passing by. Obviously there is absolutely no decoration that could give some life and charm to the rooms, it feels empty, cheap, and that’s it. All of that for the price of a good hotel room, in a location far from Lyon or any facilities. We checked out the next day rather than staying the whole week. The receptionist never asked why.