Monday, July 15, 2019

World Cup in France and foot status

I'll start out with my foot since it affected my trip to see the World Cup in France (go USA!!!).  I finally got to the point where I thought I could play soccer - so I did!  My first game lasted all of 10 minutes.  I did a sharp cut to the right, felt a pain and it didn't go away anytime soon so I stopped playing.  I did email my doc about the whole thing just in case.  After a few days the foot felt better so I did another training session (I was doing those before I started playing and they never caused my foot to hurt so I thought I was good to go) and then played most of a full game of soccer (bad me!).  My foot was still bugging me so I let me doc know that.  He had my come in for a check, did an xray and noticed that my bone density was not where it was before surgery.  He also was able to squeeze my foot in various places that shouldn't hurt - but they did hurt.  He was worried about a small stress fracture so he put in an order for an MRI and told me to start wearing the boot again.  I was able to get the MRI done just before I headed to France and it showed inflammation in the bone marrow and bursa area of the bone.  So I went off to France with an request to not walk too much (that isn't possible to do in Europe) and to wear the boot if my foot started bothering me.   Hear I am in Lyon with the stupid mascot that was chosen for the Women's World Cup with my boot on.

So with that depressing news in hand I headed off France to see 3 quarterfinal and the 2 semifinal games for the World Cup.  I had a busy itinerary - land in Paris, decompress a day, then head to Le Havre for a quarterfinal game - England vs Norway, then back to Paris for the USA vs France quarterfinal game, then off to Rennes to watch Sweden vs Germany in their quarterfinal game.  Then we had a few days rest in Paris before we headed to Lyon to watch the semifinals.

Here my friend and I are in Paris to see the Arc de Triomphe. She added a funny filter to the picture :)
And then we were off to Le Havre ... Here we both are at their beautiful, wave shaped stadium.  England played very well so it wasn't a surprise that they won.  I did wear my Norway team jersey that I got last year during my soccer trip to Norway.

And here is a picture down a big walkway/waterway with wonderful lavendar plants and a bridge in the background.  We enjoyed walking around the city and checked out a cathedral, historical house, some cardboard creations and more.  Le Havre was the only place where the weather was not super hot.  It still got pretty toasty in the afternoon, but not as hot as it was getting in Paris, Rennes and Lyon.

And we headed back to Paris where we took time to visit the Eiffel tower, Champs Elysees (and a Nike store with World Cup gear from all the teams) before the game that night.

Here are some pictures from the USA vs France game.  It was a good one! And, of course, we had to dress up for the occasion!

And we met up with another friend who was there during halftime for a photo shoot.  A LOT of our soccer friends from San Diego were in France for the games - along with over 20000 other USA fans.  It was a great game and I was sorry that France had to play the USA at this stage since the loss eliminated them from the World Cup. 

Next we were off to Rennes for the last quarterfinal match - Sweden vs Germany.  We stayed in a fabulous 2 room suite in its own little tower and, of course, there was a nice spiral staircase to go up.

Here is a picture from the game.  We were surprised Germany didn't play better.  Sweden won. 

We didn't leave Rennes until the late afternoon so we spent the morning wandering around sight seeing.  Unfortunately the trip planner didn't notice that our "off" day was a Sunday and all the stores were closed.  :(  Had we known we would have headed back to Paris in the morning.  But here is a part of the "old" city with the traditional Normandy style architecture.

And then it was back to Paris with some time to relax ...  We visited Notre Dame, more souvenir shops and St. Chapelle.  The stained glass is just gorgeous!

Next we were off to Lyon and it was HOT.  My friend had to head back to the USA before we did so she stayed in Paris and watched the USA vs England game on TV (enjoying some nice French cheese, crackers, baguette and Normandy apple juice).    I really enjoyed Lyon and would love to go back when I can walk more.   I only found out after we left that they have secret passages through buildings so you can get down to the rivers faster.  Those and Roman ruins are just 2 of the things I want to see if we get back there.

There were a LOT of Americans in Lyon for the semifinal and final match!  So many that it made the local newspaper.  :)
And, as we stood in line for the tram, not a single England supporter was in sight.  You can see that the tram is full of people as far back as the eye can see

 And, much to my hubbies dismay, a selfie with both of us :)  A friend who was also at the game found me!

The game!  USA vs England
The next day we did some sight seeing in the "old" area of Lyon.  I spent all day in the boot since my foot got a bit cranky the day before.  We took the Funiculaire up to visit their Notre Dame and enjoyed the area.  In the pictures below is the gorgeous interior of Notre Dame and in the city picture the stadium is the white roof you can barely see between the tall buildings.

Hubby and I hanging out above the city and the front of Notre Dame.

We went back down on the funiculaire and went in search of a lunch spot.  It's always a little challenging to find someplace to eat if I'm not in the mood for salads.  We walked by this little cafe, Katimavik, and it smelled DELICIOUS and they had a lentil dish which I could easily make vegan but hubby wasn't so sure if he would like something so we continued looking.  Everywhere else in that area had only salads for me to eat and I had my salad fill the day before.    So we went back to Katimavik and had a delicious lunch.  Even better for my hubby is that they had chocolate lava cake for dessert and it was the best he had had on our trip!  After we finished eating the ladies explained that this cafe was run by a charity, all the workers were volunteers and all the money went to The Arche which helps mentally disabled individuals.  So if you're in Lyon for a visit stop by Katimavik for lunch!  Their normal hours are 12-2PM.  We were fortunate that they stayed open longer (we arrived just before 2) to accommodate the many tourists who were in town. 

This door is across the street from Katimavik and I liked it because it was interesting looking.  Well, as I later found out, the door next to it is an entrance to one of the secret passages!!!  Little did we know at the time.  And, finally, a picture of the Rhone river and the beautiful city and bridges of Lyon.


We also saw the second semifinal, Sweden vs Netherland, but that game wasn't nearly as good as we thought it would be.  We were pretty disappointed in the level of play as were some French fans behind us.  Here is a picture from that game.  And action shot when the goalie was about to catch a corner kick.

And no travel is complete without some souvenirs :)  Soccer ball keychains and tshirts from the USA semifinal.

And, if you didn't notice, my friend and I are wearing red/white/blue soccer ball earrings to all the matches.  :)  You can get them in my cserpentDesigns online shop.

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