They say opportunity knocks on the door once. I say opportunity itself is a door! These doors however are of all sizes, shapes, have their peculiar characteristics mirroring their persona. What is common with all of them is that they have a story awaiting right behind them and later be re-told and re-lived in nostalgia! Just like the doors/ gates, I happened to discover at Lozanne, simply out of ‘luck by chance’.
It has so happened that on one Sunday of June, daughter dear was to attend her first-ever Chess tournament in France which was to take place at Lozanne. Her cautious father was to join her as she was to be ferried to/fro the venue by her Chess club authorities in a car along with other players from the club. I on the other hand was to accompany my son for Lyon city explorations, as he had come for a brief stay with us.
You plan for something and something else awaits. Has it happened to you? It did for us that day! After about half an hour that the daughter had left, we received her call. She informed us in a hurry that we all should come to Lozanne because it appeared to be a beautiful place. Posed with a choice, we chose Lozanne as it offered the four of us an opportunity to be together.
On our way to Lozanne, I solicited Google Baba. Lozanne I learnt was a small commune covering a 5.5-kilometre square, about 20kms North-East from Lyon and with a population of hardly 2667 (as per 2007 census) situated along the banks of a small river L’Azergues. This knowledge made me sceptical about it being worth a day’s adventure, providing any facility to feed us, etc.
While I was lost in doubt and digging out information, we reached the venue of the competition. The first glimpse of the place impressed me immensely, knocking off the ‘doubt’. There stood a huge sports complex on my left and an impressive building of Marie (District / Commune’s administrative office) with an interesting make-believe mural. And when I turned my back to them the stream of L’Azurgues river with two bridges over it on my right and left along with its green banks captivated my attention. Love at first sight!!!
To begin my explorations, I took “Chemin de la Rivière” (River Road) on my right, downstream. Walking along there was a ‘Passerelle de Lozanne’, a small footbridge, which was built especially for school children as the main bridge, ‘Pont Sur L’Azergues’ (bridge on Azergues) was deemed very unsafe for them because of traffic, to reach the school that was on the other side of the river. Once I crossed the bridge and walked a few meters ahead I came across the Town Hall and the school premises which were juxtaposed. The commune of Lozanne is very proud of its soldiers who lost their lives in various wars. And it was evident from the plaque with the names of the martyrs and a decorated war memorial erected in front of the town hall.
It was now time for a green escape. I was delighted with a stroll in the Balad’ Azergues. It’s a stretch of green lawn sandwiched between the main road on one side and the Azergues on the other, dotted with tall and huge trees along its path, a hedgerow of wild shrubs skirting the riverside as well as some benches to retire and relax. The balmy sun of the early summer, the pollution-free surrounding, musical notes of the rapids and currents of the river punctuated by the calls of the birds and chirping here and there made for a calming walk which I wished should never end!
There were multiple avenues where one could have a rendezvous with the river leaving the walk for a brief shenanigan with little fishes in the stream!
Resisting my urge to stretch my leg and relax, I decide to visit the settlements which were bang opposite the Balad. My excursion was guided by a tower, leaning over from behind the melange of old and new styled houses.
How about a stroll in a narrow alley with me? Click here
At the end of the alley was a church, which turned out to be a St Maurice and St Catherine Romanesque Church built in the 13th century! The statue of the Virgin at the church is a copy of the original, installed in 2008. The view from the church was endearing, featuring Beaujolais mountain as the backdrop.
The biological clock rang the hunger alarm. To satiate it, there was a melange of cafes and restaurants right behind the sports complex, bordering the ‘la place’ (an open place within the district/commune). There was an ancient/old fire brigade station (Salle de pompier) on the other side of ‘La Place’. Over lunch, I caught up with all the actions on my daughter’s front. She was progressing well and chances were bright to look forward to a great finish!
Post lunch, I ventured upstream, on Chemin du Montgilloux, on the left side of the main bridge, Pont Sur L’Azergues. The other side had a surprise to offer apart from a different view of the river. I was lucky enough to wave goodbye to a train that rumbled down the line first and later an engine that hooted while it emerged from a tunnel and entered another at the distance. If you wish to witness the action click here
I spotted a few beautiful petit bungalows along that way as well as some flora and fauna. I bet the place has much more to offer to eyes during the spring!
Absorbing every sound, sight, and fresh smell of the place, I decided to relax and enjoy life as it happened around the banks as families by now had gathered to have some fishing fun or enjoy the place’s solitude. It was going to be evening soon.
We left for Lyon by train from Lozanne station after the tournament was over and the results declared. The rustic charm of the lazy looking, quiet railway station added to the brownie points of Lozanne.
A chance visit to Lozanne had left a lasting and serene impression in my mind. Daughter dear had qualified for the 2nd level of Championnats De Ligue Jeunes 2021 though it was her first-ever tournament in France. The phrase, ‘Luck By chance…Lozanne’ lurked in my mind as I bid adieu to the beautiful commune only to promise myself that I will return here often to submerge myself in its simplicity and serenity!!!