We are wandering the streets of Vieux Lyon, my friend Julie and I. It's one of the largest Renaissance districts in all of Europe, which makes it pretty prime sketching territory. We were initially looking for the Traboules, the secret passageways that connect one street to another through hidden doorways, used most recently to evade the Nazis, but they were apparently too hidden for us today. There are a million incredible viewpoints here The one that is ending up in my sketchbook, this peek into the doorway of the Saint George Church, was carefully selected by my stomach. We were tired and hungry, and there was a sign out front offering mini raviolis with salad and a 'bon prix' for a 'pot' (pronounced Poe, as in Edgar Allan) of wine. Sold. It's less touristy here than around the Cathedral St. Jacque just up the road. The walls around us are loaded with tins, bottles and boxes from another era. The prices are written in francs on little cards fixed to the front of the old wooden shelves. The tablecloths are red and white checked (bien sur) and the pot of wine is served with sturdy little glasses. The people in the restaurant all seem to be local, and all seem to know each other. Lots of cheek-kissing going on. We can't help but notice that the faces here are just so...French! We are both working on our journals, doing our best to speak only in French, a battle we're mostly winning. The patron is fussing over us just the right amount to make us feel welcome but never hurried.
This is pretty much exactly what I signed up for.