Our first taste of France

Trip Start Aug 17, 2010
Trip End Sep 16, 2011

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Flag of France  , Rhône-Alpes,
Friday, July 15, 2011

We are only spending a couple of days in Lyon before we join the Tour de France. Our luck with the weather is holding and the sun is out as we stroll around the town. Set on along the banks of the Rhône river Lyon is a very pretty city with grand French apartments along the river and yummy restaurants and cafes lining the streets. Jim is delighted to discover that Lyon has a funicular – and we add to the "Funiculars of the World" tour that we also seem to be doing, we have certainly ridden a lot of them on this trip. At the top of the hill is some of the original Roman settlement. A large amphitheatre that is still in use today, Jim and I wander around while crews set up for a performance later that night. We then head to the Lyon Cathedral, admittedly we were not that interested as we have been suffering a little from church fatigue – Europe sure does have a lot of them! But to our surprise Lyon was well worth the visit. The cathedral is lovely and distinctly different from the Baroque explosions that we have been seeing in Spain. We then meander down to the gorgeous old town to find a place for a well deserved coffee.

Continuing our fitness bent we decide to go for a run around Lyon city park, created in the 18th Century during the heyday of park promenading. The Lyon park is really wonderful with lots of lovely paths and little lakes, you can almost see the 18th Century carriages driving through.

Our luck with the beautiful weather seems to have finally run out and this morning its teaming down. Undaunted we head out, we have been told that Lyon is a gourmet's heaven but as we are joining The Tour we have been saving ourselves, but we can’t resist taking a tram up to the top of Lyon to the large open air food market they have on a hill overlooking the city. Well we imagine that views are wonderful – unfortunately we could not see a thing through the torrents of rain. We bought some cheese and terrines and soggily went back to hide in our hotel.

To all our friends based in Europe I would highly recommend Lyon as a long weekend break, tres bon!
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