Only Lyon

Lyon July 10-14, 2013
A speedy and effortless 3 hour train trip  and we were transported from stunning alpine scenery of Chamonix to marvelous, summery Lyon. Some places you can tell straight away you are going to like and Lyon is one of those cities. We are staying in the 6th arrondisement so it is within walking distance of almost everything we wanted to do. And a bonus we discovered we were only a block away from Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocus, and indoor market dedicated to high end gastronomic delights. We went there for lunch just after we arrived and surprisingly it was very quite around mid-day, except for the Resto Halles restaurant, where we had lunch. The displays of cheese, chatucerie, seafood, pastries, spice and so much more are mind boggling to chose from, a French speaking foodie would have come in handy. On our third day in Lyon we went back and mangled the French language enough to buy a few items for our evening twilight ‘Pick Nick’ in Parc de la Tete d’Or.

We really spent our time in Lyon meandering through the old parts of town and eating, especially in the restaurants in the narrow passageways in the foothills of the Basilica Notre Dame de Fourviere.  Wonderful atmosphere outdoors as the evening twilight approaches, people outdoors enjoying the warm weather, sharing a few snacks and a drink, playing boules or having a drink listening to a casual outdoor performance.

And these marvelous tiny restaurants, called bouchons that seem to exist in most unusual places.  We were often so full after lunch that dinner has not been possible. As it is,  I think we will both be returning home with excess baggage around our waist.

On Saturday, by coincidence, the 14th stage of the Tour de France ended in Lyon, we had not planned to see any stages but very happy to again experience the buzz of the TdF first-hand. We stood on the road for hours and enjoyed the crowds and the carnival more than the cyclists who whiz by so fast it really is just a blur of colour.  In the morning there was a military parade near where we were staying to celebrate Bastille day – all pomp and ceremony with my favourite being the fire-fighters with a wonderful sounding name in French – “sapeur pompiers’

Lyon is such a beautiful city,  easy to get around, the food is marvellous, the climate sublime, people relaxed and friendly –  a wonderful place to visit and by appearances a wonderful place to live.