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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Banging down the doors

While in France, I began a (small) photo obsession doors and windows.  I know, kind of strange, right?  Well you should have seen all the variety and age - I just couldn't help it!  Some neighborhoods had lots of doors with spikes above the door, some with lots of criss-crossed metal doors, and some ornately decorated wood doors.  I just couldn't get enough.  Some I really couldn't take pictures of however, as I would be practically in the dusk/dark.

You see, Lyon is famous for "Traboules", which are like short-cuts through buildings.  These originated back in the day when Lyon was a major silk producer.  The silk makers had to transport their delicate silks all over the city, sometimes in questionable weather.  These building shortcuts, which number in the hundreds, usually are narrow with high ceilings to accomodate the silk looms, and often stretch several city blocks.  Then another one would be just across a narrow street, and you can 'traboule' the several areas of old Lyon.  The entrances to these traboules look like just a standard door, so nowadays you need a guide or a map to find them (rarely locked).  As sometimes I didn't want to be total tourist with map outstretched, I would just walk around the old city, randomly pushing on doors.  You'd think I was crazy, but I was successful about one out of every four pushes!!

More info (in english):

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