The Frogmarch

"I've got to pull up my stakes and roll, man." --Jean-Jacques Libris de Kerouac

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Travelin' Riverside Blues

The lower part of the Lyon Presqu'ile, just above the confluence of the Rhone and Saone, was for centuries the port district. When the city opened a new, modern shipping port further downstream on the Rhone, the entire area (essentially everything south of Perrache train station down to the confluence) pretty much dried up. Warehouses, truck terminals, freight yards and harbor cranes sit mostly silent. Still, it's an interesting walk if you like postindustrial ruin--which I do--so let's go to the photos.

[photo] This is the old sugar refinery (Sucriere), now used as an art exhibition space for the city's Bienniale d'Art. Some graffiti artist put in a big installation here... wish I could remember the guy's name though.

[photo] The lower end of a city park/garden on the banks of the Saone near La Guillotiere, with crumbling balustrade and moldy Virgin in a grotty grotto. This place was closed up (I shot through the bars of an iron gate) so I didn't really get to poke around.

[photo] Former hotel/restaurant/nightclub/something in the (very slow) process of being razed. Currently home to vagrants, junkies and other assorted CHUDs...

[photo] ...and graffiti artists.

It's not all wasteland, though; there's a big development going in on the Saone side, surrounding a newly-dug yacht basin, with ritzy new condos and office buildings. [photo] I really took this picture, though, because I dug the live-on barge in the foreground with the big picture window cut into the side. Despite how it looks, the Range Rover is not parked on the deck--some live-on barges do carry cars, but mostly of the Fiat 500 variety.

[Photo] Southbound train leaving Perrache yards and crossing the Saone via Pont Mulatiere. That's a regular TER train, not a TGV... the TGVs are even pointier. I gripe a lot about my camera's glacial shutter lag, but I nailed the timing on this one. Blind pig/acorn.


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