Join Trevor and Paulene on the next leg of their fabulous holiday…
The flight from Singapore was long and tedious. Two seven-and-a-half hour flights via Dubai made even worse by delays at Dubai airport — circling for 45 minutes going in and then queuing on the tarmac on way out, again for another 45 minutes. I’ve never seen such a long line of aeroplanes chaffing to go.
We arrived in Lyon, feeling tired and stiff, to a cold crisp evening. Our hotel was nestled under the walls of the old jail, and by night it did not look very welcoming or comforting. However, by daylight the next morning it seemed much improved and its convenience to the city made it a good place to stay.
Lyon is a most interesting city, the second biggest in France, after Paris; it’s seen by many as the gastronomic capital, with several famous Michelin chefs there. We explored the old city, losing ourselves in the quaint cobbled back streets.
Major warning for France: watch the pavements carefully — doggie bags are non-existent in France and carelessness can get nasty!
We discovered that tram and train transport was very easy to use in Lyon, and a daily pass (which you can purchase at your hotel) allows you to use the transport all day long, at the very low cost of €5 per person—very good value.
We loved the Easter decorations. The shops were adorned with the colours of green, orange and yellow, spring colours, and filled with chocolate eggs, rabbits, ducks and everything imaginable.
We were in Lyon on the first day of spring and I was amazed to see daffodils, primroses, etc. flowering even though it was cold and the trees remained bare of leaf.
We caught the funicular up to the amazing Basilica Fourvière and explored the area, loving the views all over the city.
Another highlight was going to Les Halles—the food market made famous by Michelin chef Paul Bocuse. The quality and choice of foods was stunning. We had a tasty degustation meal there, comprising of charcuterie and fromage, (various types of sausage and cheeses) with matching wines.
Lyon was a major Roman city in ancient times, and there is much evidence of this. Up above the old city we explored an exceptionally well preserved amphitheatre, which would have seated 13,000 people. Even today it continues to be used for theatre productions.
The adjoining museum holds many treasures and we spent a few hours lost in history, together with many boisterous school children. It was great to see their reactions to hands-on history.
A visit to local restaurant Brasserie Georges, recommended by our taxi driver, was a disappointment, with my plate swimming in butter, swamping not only the duck and potato, but also the beans. This restaurant proudly proclaims 2000 people attend every day. Not recommended by me!
We decided to walk to the confluence of the two mighty rivers: the Saone and the Rhone, close to the centre of Lyon. There two rivers merged into one, the joining waters forming a small wave as they mingle together. Quite a spectacular sight.
On the way we passed a group of ladies of the night, though very visible in the day in black skirts (mini), black boots and black leather jackets—it was one of those times where I was happy my understanding of the French language is less than perfect; Trevor, with less understanding than me, flushed red!
Check back next week for the next leg of Paulene and Trevor’s journey.