Today I played dumb American tourist-- and i had a great time at it. The city of Lyon is full of history an culture. A short walk from the island, across the Sohne river, puts you right in the middle of a historic district of Lyon. We walked around and viewed several large cathedrals as well as two more Roman amphitheaters. The mid afternoon was amazing: we went to individual stores to buy: breads, cheeses, cured meats (thanks to Carl for not letting us purchase 500g of the 120 Euro/kg ham) , meringues (my personal favorite) and lots of wine---oh and Jiri purchased a melodica. All of these elements combined at the fountain in the square in front of St. Jean's cathedral to form a perfect afternoon experience. I must admit, I was really inspired by the surroundings and culture (and even that dumb melodica)-- so much to the point that I want to write a suite about these experiences-- who knows if that will ever happen. Long Story short: very much walking in what turned out to be a great city= tired legs.
At night, the band headed to a jazz club in Lyon to give a combo performance and participate in a jam session. I had a great deal of fun, for some reason I felt particularly at home in this club, although I couldn't quite put my finger on the explanation. The bartenders were friendly and generous: the entire band had an open tab for the entire night-- of anything we desired. The clientele of the bar were particularly friendly and willing to speak English to the Americans. Some great players showed up to play- including a great "Django" influenced guitar player from Paris as well a very sweet jazz singer from Lyon.
One more point: at midnight, I officially became old-- the date turned to my birthday, July 9th-- 25th birthday-- what a great place to be! Another travel tip: don't drink french tequila, no matter how great of an idea it seems like at the time, it isn't like Mexican tequila, it doesn't taste good, and you wont feel well afterwards, enough said. Special thanks goes out to several new friends, Lucas, the bass player who fully embraced my inability to say his name, Derek, the American singer from California, oh, and especially Francois, the exceedingly wonderful lawyer from Lyon, who was so gracious and willing to talk about French culture. I wish we had another day in Lyon. Tomorrow off to Germany!