L’île Barbe

Yesterday was a very lazy Sunday!

I am getting pretty tired of the cold weather… I know that “cold weather’ is relative  but from my very own perspective, I moved from Massachusetts to North Carolina because I could not stand spending time indoors for what seemed to be the largest part of the year… And I know that the weather in Lyon does not quite compare with the weather in Boston -my last winter there, we did not see the ground from late December through early April because it was either covered with snow or with ice- but still, I started wearing a coat over 5 months ago and I simply think that it is time to move on to warm sunny weather. I am ready for tee-shirts, sandals, and light jackets, and I am definitely ready to put away hats, scarves, and gloves…

So, after spending the entire Saturday outdoors, walking up and down the presqu’ile, trying to catch some sunlight on the Quai du Rhone, looking for traboules in the Vieux Lyon, and velo’ving back home late at night, I could not find the energy to be brave again on Sunday. My head and my hands had simply been too cold… So instead, I was lazy, watching TV, and taking a wonderful nap in the middle of the afternoon… Still, at about 4pm, I was already longing for some fresh air and I knew there was not going to be sun light for much longer… So we decided to drive northbound along the Saone River and check out l’Ile Barbe…

L’Ile Barbe is a small island in the middle of the Saone in the 9th arrondissement. Its name originates from the Latin name, insula barbara, meaning a barbarian island. Back in the Middle Ages, an abbey was built on the island and it housed the “Charlemagne Library.” Nowadays, it is mostly a residential area, where one can walk peacefully among some beautiful mansions.

And actually, most of the island does not seem to always be accessible as there are a few gates here and there, with signs stating about private residential areas. Maybe we were lucky since most of those gates were open… We were able to walk everywhere on the little island and look at all the stone walls and other beautiful windows and shutters… We did not end up staying long… Walking around the island does not really take more than 30 minutes but I am guessing it must make for a really nice day trip in the summer time, velo’ving from downtown with a little picnic… Although I am also guessing the gates might be closed in the summer time so that the island residents could also enjoy their little piece of paradise… Still, there is a public area on one side of the island where one could still go and play bocce ball all day.


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