Quest for Catrin: Adventures in Gaul (Part 2)



Lugdunum Roman Gaul  (Lyon, France)

Unshaken, resolved to find the archaeological excavation of the arena where gladiators fought in Lugdunum Roman Gaul (Lyon, France) in APOLLOS’ RAVEN, I continued to ask storekeepers, waitpersons, any friendly person on the street, and even my husband back in the USA, “Where’s the other amph…fitheater?” Overemphasizing the enunciation of amphitheater didn’t seem to help.

Toward evening, my daughter said, “We need to return to the hotel before it gets dark.”

Finally, we trudged along the Rhône River to our hotel located next to the botanical gardens, Tete d’Or Park.


Botanical Gardens (Lyon)

Tete d’Or Park (Lyon, France)

At the hotel, I asked the French concierge, “Where’s the amph…fitheater?”

Like all the others, the concierge gave me a puzzled expression. “It’s next to the Gallo Roman Museum.”

I insisted. “There’s another.”

At last Sonja asked in exasperation,” “What are you trying to say?”

“The amphitheater where the gladiators fought…an arena,” I said.

Sonja clarified. “You mean coliseum.”

The concierge’s face lit up. “Amphithéâtre des Trois Gaules.”

“Yes, that’s it—the Amphitheater of the Three Gauls!”

The concierge whipped out a map, marked a route between the Rhône and Saône rivers, and circled the spot. Luck smiled on me. Sonja was a skilled map reader.

Rhône River Hillside

Saône River Hillside


Rhone River, Lyon

Rhone River Swans Lyon

 Quest: Amphitheater of the Three Gauls

The next day, there was not a cloud in the sky and the sun showered its rays on Sonja and me. But first, we planned to visit the four-towered Basilica of Notre-Dame on top of the Fourviere hilltop overlooking the city. Waiting for the funicular railway to the top, I ask Sonja for the city map. She handed me the map and I took a glance. As we rode up to the top, she asked for it back. I searched through my purse and pockets, but it had disappeared.

“I don’t know where it is,” I said.

“What do you mean? I just handed it to you.”

“I can’t find it.”

“That will be the last time I give you a map….and I won’t buy another!”

That day, my daughter rediscovered I always headed in the wrong direction. Easily distracted, a bus almost hit me as I stepped off the curb. Luckily, Sonja grabbed at my shirt and pulled me back to safety.

Alas, all ended well. I bought another map, in Français (French). My daughter guided me up the winding roads of the La Croix-Rousse hill between the Rhône and Saône rivers. Sadly, only a fraction of the amphitheater, which at one time seated up to 20,000 spectators, remained. The rest was swallowed by modern roads and buildings. Only a section of its walls, a gate and some of its foundations remained. Nonetheless, I had completed my quest.

Coliseum Lyon

Amphitheater of the Three Gauls (Lyon)


(To be continued—Quest for Catrin: Adventures in Gaul)


4 thoughts on “Quest for Catrin: Adventures in Gaul (Part 2)

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