La Vie à Lyon

Living, learning and loving in Lyon !

Archive for the tag “Oullins”

Grande rue de poo…

We’re getting a makeover. Well not us exactly, but our main street, the Grande Rue d’Oullins. The Grande Rue, although a typically narrow French street, is a major thoroughfare and connects Lyon with its south-western suburbs. There are at least 5 major bus lines, not including school buses, plus the numerous people who drive it every day.

Pictured, from left to right:

The Grande Rue in November 2013 – yep, purdy…

The Grande Rue now – outbound lane and bus stops closed, citybound traffic only, detours galore, no parking, frustration and tooting level even higher than normal…

It’d better be good !

Bisous !

PS. Apologies to those who received the first few sentences of this post – yes, published when I should’ve saved !

Braderies, brocantes and empty attics

Spring is here! That means that the outdoor braderies, brocantes and vide-greniers (empty attics) are here too!

There’s a braderie in Oullins today (as well a a huge thunderstorm and associated downpour – dommage!), and the Grand Rue is closed. Shopkeepers set up market stalls in front of their shops and sell last seasons’ products/slow moving products/complete junk they’ve had out the back for ten years at heavily discounted prices.

Braderie d’Oullins.

Balloon man at the braderie d’Oullins.

Brocantes are more like second-hand markets (one can actually make a living being a ‘brocanteur/brocanteuse’) and vide-greniers are open to anyone and everyone – think garage or car boot sales.

My sweet lil bird bottle opener – 1€ from a brocante

There’s a great website that tells you when and where the braderies/brocantes/vide-greniers are in the Rhône-Alpes region. Check it out here:

Happy shopping!


Oh la la in Oullins

Sim’s having a course of injections for his knee, administered by Lionel, the same nurse who came to change his dressings after the op. Lionel was late tonight. He’s French, he usually is, but tonight he was late even by French standards! When he arrived, puffing and panting, he declared:

Oullins est un bordel ce soir, or, Oullins is a total mess tonight !

France is in election mode. Politicians everywhere, posters everywhere and yes – protests everywhere. Even in little ol’ Oullins ! So after his injection, Sim and I went out to have a look.

Turns out, Jean-Marie Le Pen came for dinner at the Oullins mairie. Now, he’s no longer in politics but his daughter, Marine, has taken up right where he left off. That’s the Front National – extreme right. So the Front de Gauche – left, but not extreme – came along to say hello ! And a lot of other things, but they were in French so I didn’t really understand them all !

The Fascists.

The Communists.

And of course, there were the teenage hooligans in their blue or red tracksuit pants and black puffy jackets, trying to cause trouble by provoking the police. Police in full riot gear, mind you. Sim was a bit worried but I pointed out that we’re in France – the police can just shoot them. Now what regime does that come under ?!

Bisous !

The city of lights

After an entertaining hour watching the AC/DC tribute band, Be Angus, at the Oullins mairie on Thursday night, we headed into Lyon with Seb and Clo. We ate German hot-dogs at the Marché de Noël and traipsed around the city, taking in La Fête des Lumières. I don’t have much to say about the night, except for some extremely complimentary adjectives, such as amazing, magnificent and spectacular. Breathtaking is another. I’ll let the pictures do the talking!

Our window sill.



On Rue Victor Hugo, with Place Bellecour in the background.


The Japanese parade, Les Lanternes Fukono.


‘I Love Clouds’, and Louis XIV, at Place Bellecour.

Merci Marie.

Cathedral St Jean, as it’s not been seen before!

Giddy up!

At Place des Terreaux.

We’re heading back into town tonight, to check out the ones we missed, so stay tuned for some more photos. And adjectives!


La Fête des Lumières

Ahh, the Festival of Lights. One of the two things I knew about Lyon before I met Sim.

December 8 is the day when Lyon thanks the Virgin Mary for sparing the city from the plague in the 1600s. It’s tradition for the people of Lyon to burn candles on their window sills tonight.

Getting our ‘bougies’ on.

Although the tradition still stands, technology and tourism play a major part in today’s festivities. The festival goes for 4 days now, and spectacular light shows are held around the city. Lyon will see around 3 million tourists from all over the world this weekend. The inner city is closed to traffic from 5pm each day. The public transport is free on the first night, and a reduced rate fête ticket is available on the rest.

Sim and I will head into town tonight, after checking out the festivities in Oullins. Which include the candles, of course, but also an AC/DC tribute band playing at the mairie! Maybe they know there’s an Aussie in their midst!


Onze / Onze / Onze

It’s Armistice Day today, and a national holiday. The French wear a blue cornflower – le Bleuet de France – but not to the same extent we wear our poppies. There was a televised memorial service at the Arc de Triomphe on TF1 and lots of related bits and pieces on other channels, including Sky News International!

I went to the war memorial at Oullins to see what went on at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month but, as you can see, not a lot! Perhaps I should’ve gone to the mairie.

Flowers, yes. People, no.

In any case – lest we forget!


Work in slowgress

I mentioned that Metro B is extending to Oullins. A little snap of what the worksite on the Grand Rue looks like at the moment. Including my least favourite wall painting!

Work in progress…


Public transport

I don’t have a car in Lyon, nor do I want one. The public transport system is just fine. Plus, there are the driving issues mentioned in a previous post! Our main street heads straight into Lyon, so is a major bus route and has lots of stops to choose from. You must wave to the driver (and hope that they’re looking!) if you want them to stop and pick you up, otherwise they really do just zoom on by!

Bastille Day bus!

Lyon is much smaller than Melbourne – we have just 4 tram lines (T1, T2, T3 and T4) and 4 Métro lines (A, B, C and D). How’s that for simplicity! Oullins is serviced by buses and trains, and Métro Line B is in the process of being extended to here. Ready next year. Or the year after!

T1. Or is it T2?

Lyon also has a great bike hire system, Lyon Vélo’V. It’s like the Melbourne Bike Share System. Unlike the MBS though, helmets are optional. There are over 300 bike stations around the city. Not in Oullins though. Maybe when the métro line is finished!

Vélo’V station at uni.


Bunny sitting

Sim and I are bunny sitting this week. Meet Tutcho. He enjoys chewing the table legs, playing under the couch cover and eating salad – although, when I had to shoo him out from under the bed before, he looked like he was enjoying eating the dust. A literal dust-bunny.

Tutcho hanging out in his cardboard corner!

I mentioned in an earlier post that the Oullins pet shop has cute bunnies, but I’m not allowed to have one. Hopefully this little lapin will be such a charmer, man of the house’ll change his mind. Now, how to get him to stop jumping up on the couch and scaring said man…


Petites photos

Everyday images of Oullins.

Oullins Mairie

Èglise St-Martin

Lyon has many painted walls; Oullins is no exception.



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