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Report from Lyon


Post by Charlotte Schatz

[Ed. note: Philadelphia artist Charlotte Schatz made a trip to Berlin, Lyon and Paris this spring and wrote these lively reports on her visit. This and the next post cover her time in France. The first four cover Berlin.]

Peruges France
Peruges, France (all photos by Charlotte Schatz)

Yesterday we were taken to the countryside by a friend of Joan and Bob Menapace whom I am visiting. We drove to Peruges, a village settled by people from Perugia and later by the Romans. It’s an old, beautiful hill town where we met some folks at the Marie (City Hall) celebrating the end of WWII – May 8, 1945. Heard stories of the German occupation, the American GIs and the Maquis(resistance fighters). A man dressed as a GI was driving an old US Jeep.

The people are very friendly, eager to share experiences with us Americans. We also had a delicious lunch. I had a wonderful piece of pate and we had the local Galettes for desert.
Celebrating VE Day in Peruges

Then as we walked through the cobbled streets, we went into the shop of a ceramic artist who digs up her own clay, cleans and colors it and produces beautiful, sculptures and sculptural vases.

We also went into a Foundry studio with haunting paintings and menorahs and mezuzahs. I asked the artist if they were about the Holocaust and we shared our heritage as Jews. We exchanged emails. She spoke of her background and her attempts at finding her family. Here’s her site.

The old Lion by Joan Menapace
The old Lion by Joan Menapace

It turned out that Joan & Bob’s friend who drove us around yesterday, is also a Jewish woman. She is an English teacher. She is studying Yiddish in a class where there are only 2 Jews!

La croix rouge in Lyon
in Lyon

Today we are going to pick up my ticket for the TGV for my trip to Paris on Friday. Bob just told me about the firebombing of Sarko’s headquarters here in Lyon. Did you know that 85% of the population voted in this election? Not like our democratic elections in the US!!!

Lyon is a lovely, cultured city. It is edged by the Rhone river on one side and the Soane river on the other – just like Philadelphia except that Lyon has managed to develop beautiful waterfronts with barges on which there are clubs and restaurants. On the shore (berge in French) there are biking and hiking paths and garden paths.

Charlotte Schatz is a Philadelphia painter and sculptor. Read Parts 4, 3, 2 and 1.