Grabbing an hour of culture before dinner

Even though I was on my annual childless overseas Betwixmas bender (this year in Lyon), I thought it would be a good idea to try and slot in a spot of culture between eating and drinking. I’ve long been impressed with the stunning metal and glass structure (reminiscent of an 70s movie spaceship) that houses the Musée des Confluences based where the Rhone and the Saone converge in Lyon – and when I found out that entry ticket price drops to just €6 after 5pm and we had a window of free time before dinner it was a no brainer!

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The Musée Des Confluences claims to present a ‘journey through time and across continents’ and it certainly does that. To be honest an hour really is no way near long enough to check out this museum which is basically highlights of many great historic things/periods/etc without dragging any of it out too much (unlike the Rijkmuseum in Amsterdam!).

We jumped on the tram and arrived at the museum at 5pm when the price drops – and yes it seemed that many other people had the same idea as we were left queuing in the cold (and it was bitingly cold) for a good (or should that be bad) half hour. We then entered the building, paid our money and ascended the escalators up through the centre of the impressive glass atrium.

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The museum plays host to both temporary and permanent exhibitions. Unfortunately for us there was a big queue for the main temporary exhibition – a brilliant looking exhibition about Antarctica So we had a quick look at the temporary shoes exhibition, which was great, and then went up another level and checked out the permanent exhibitions.

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The first room was reminiscent a highlights of the Natural History Museum – a quick sweep browse assured me that I would have to return here with my kids and look at it all properly (tho I am particularly proud of my selfie with a mini sphinx). Another room showcased some amazing gadgets from past and present. Basically there was everything on display from fashion and space to bugs and butterflies.

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We then whizzed to the top floor to check out the roof terrace – amazing view, nice cafe (but sadly no time to sample the goods), and freezing wind! Then went back down to the temporary exhibition space to check out the possibility of visiting Antarctica – still too busy unfortunately. That left us just enough time to pop into the temporary African pots exhibition before heading off to meet friends for dinner a little later than scheduled.

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It was well worth the visit but an hour was nowhere near long enough, so I will definitely return with my kids when I have a bit of spare time.

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