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About mid of March when returning to Southern France from a short trip to Germany we made a stopover in Lyon. We had a whole Sunday for discovering Lyon resp. a small part of it.
We stayed in a hotel near the main station, Lyon-Perrache, which is located on the peninsula between La Saône and Le Rhône. We didn’t walk southbound towards La Confluence, a modern and stylish quarter (as I read …), where La Saône and Le Rhône merge into each other, but started northbound.
At once after having crossed a broad parc area, La Place Carnot, with La Statue de la République.
Straightforward you’ll find your way in the main shopping area … All streets lined by impressive buildings from the 19th century or even earlier.
It was Sunday morning and there was a small market on La Place Carnot, mingling with the tables and chairs of the inevitable bistros, cafés, brasseries … The market booths offered vegetables and fruit as well as cooked (or roasted) meat, fresh French bread and lots of delicacies, savory and sweet. It’s easy to assemble your lunch or dinner from this plentifulness.
We turned to the left heading for La Saône. The whole quarter consists of lots of these great old buildings with up to 5 to even 6 storeys, elaborate small balconies and stuccos. Almost all buildings seem having been whitewashed recently gleaming in light colors.
We strolled along the bank and finally crossed La Saône towards L’Église Saint-Georges and entered Vieux Lyon. Compared to the quarter filled with monuments of the 19th century we were now in a quarter going back to the Middle Ages.
We explored the alleyways later … now we headed to Le Funiculaire, a rack railway where small red trolley car enters a tunnel and takes you to the top. The first impression you get when leaving the underground is the overwhelming Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière.
… and then there is the view over Lyon!
Near La Saône there is La Cathédrale Saint-Jean founded in the 12th century. An early impression we got from the top, then in front of the cathedral. From the bank of La Saône we also had a gorgeous view of the basilica – getting a feeling for the distances when looking through the open doors of the cathedral.
Afterwards we strolled along the cobblestone alleys and alleyways of View Lyon.
It’s a quarter all tourists will like. Not only the pittoresque houses as well as the houses with flair lining small passages are lovely – also there are lots of restaurants, brasseries … inviting you to stop and have some café or a glass of wine. There are opportunities for shopping … Cars are largely banned.
Finally we crossed again La Saône and found in front of us L’Église Saint-Nizier. We strolled along the streets until we arrived at L’Hôtel de Ville, a majestic building, guarding a large square with an impressive fountain.
… and then there is Le Rhône … (We didn’t cross La Rhône – it was by now late afternoon!)
We walked back to our hotel – tired, but happy. In-between we had some stops at cafés having a café resp. a noisette, a glass of beer … a glass of wine … It was a fine day with blue skies and a glaring sun – nice and warm.
Late afternoon we found some bistro whose kitchen was open. So we had a big snack … French people like to have lunch from about 12:00 to 14:00 and dinner starting earliest at 19:00. In between almost every restaurant/brasserie/bistro … closes its kitchen.
A last view of La Place Bellecour!
We really enjoyed our walk in Lyon during this Sunday. However, we only got some glimpses of this beautiful city. I’m sure you may spend 2-3 more days here.