Rothar Routes

Cycle routes & pilgrim journeys in Ireland and Europe …..

Archive for ‘November 9th, 2014’

In peace, some sons bury their fathers; in war, fathers bury their sons…

Dijon to Lyon

German War Cemetery, Dagneux

The simple true words of Herodotus.

I never expected to see a cemetery for German war dead in France.

In 2010 I had passed so many cemeteries of Allied war dead; row upon row of small white crosses in immaculately kept cemeteries.

Now on the pilgrim route to Jerusalem, as I took a right turn after Balan and headed towards Perouges, a sign post caught my eye for Cimetière militaire allemand de Dagneux.

19,847 dead young soldiers. All sent to their graves by the orders of their masters. For what?

Nothing brings home the futility of war like seeing these graves, whether Allies or German dead.

It was always considered a noble thing to die for your country. Much better to live for it.

The victims are always ordinary people going about their daily struggles and young men fed as cannon fodder.

No land is worth the shedding of a drop of anyones blood.

 

Via Jerusalem Day 5 Lyon to Meximieux

Route Map Lyon to Meximieux

Cycle Dijon Lyon

Crossing the Rhone

My goal was to look at the route from Dijon to Lyon via Cluny and see the great ruins of the Monastery of Cluny. That was achieved ahead of time but I had it in the back of my mind to try and push on past Lyon in the direction of Chambery.

Now Chambery was simply too far in the time allotted as I would have to back track to Lyon to catch my return flight to Dublin.

I always like to trust in local knowledge and if I were to get out of Lyon on my bike I would need a route that was safe. The solution was staring me in the face – a local suggested a bike path along the Rhone! I was a bit sceptical as this would mean heading north when I really wanted to go east but knowing the river looped south later that it might be worth exploring for future trips.

The Saone and mighty Rhone meet in Lyon, the city is defined by these two great rivers and the advice was to get onto the east bank of the Rhone, follow it to the Pont (Bridge) Winston Churchill and cross back to the west bank where I was assured there was a bike path.

Now there is a renowned bike path from Geneva to the Med, along the Rhone, but unfortunately it was on the eastern side and I was on the wrong bank!

On the wrong side of the Rhone

On the wrong side of the Rhone

Dijon to Lyon

The Rhone

Nonetheless I was following a rough path and was pleased with my progress. But for future reference, the path to follow is on the eastern bank.

For cyclists this can be a good way to get from Lyon to relatively close to Chambery. Worth investigating further.

There is a good website where you can download gps tracks – the ViaRhona.

It wasn’t a wasted day, it actually turned into a significant one with a visit to the beautifully restored village of Perouges, adjacent to Meximeux. Bit of a climb into the village but well worth it.

Maize hung from the rafters; used to keep flies outside

Maize hung from the rafters; used to keep flies outside

Perouges

Perouges

Dijon to Lyon

Street in Perouges

Dijon to Lyon

15th Century, Sainte Marie-Magdalene

Reluctantly I could go no further than Peruges/Meximeux and headed back by train (French trains are so bike friendly).

Heading back to Lyon though was a great way to finish this little bike journey. I didn’t appreciate in September how much I actually got done or how enjoyable it was.

Museum of Minatures, Lyon

Museum of Minatures, Lyon

Bird bath!

Bird bath!

There’s something about making a journey under your own steam, whether by bike or walking that makes it more meaningful. It’s a great way to really see the country in which you are travelling and lets you empty your head and just be in the moment. Add in the sights, sounds and history and it’s a pretty good way to go!

Lovely to see independent retailers thriving in Lyon

Lovely to see independent retailers thriving in Lyon

Anyone for Boules?

Voulez vous Boules?

The Camino Frances passes through Lyon

The Camino Frances passes through Lyon

Lyon at night

Lyon at night

 

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