After four good days of cycling it was nice to have time off.
Lyon is one of the few cities I would like to revisit. I was well impressed – the old city invites you to explore every nook and cranny. There’s a story behind every sight. New and old.
I suppose the entrance to the city along the Saone river bank made for a pleasant introduction to the third largest city in France. The meandering Saone had me pushing harder on the pedals to see what was beyond the next bend. And suddenly I was in the centre.
It’s a city dripping with history, with colour, and full of friendly people. It would take at least three days to really get to grips with it.
Some of the highlights for me were finding the hidden Traboules. These famous covered passageways which lead from one street to the next via corridors through residences, superbly hide renovated architectural treasures: inner courtyards, covered Italian archways and spiral staircases. They were originally built I believe to allow the silk workers (canuts) get from their workshops to the merchants without their beautiful silk work being damaged by rain. Some of the earliest worker revolts were by the canut workers of Lyon. And they were used to great effect during the Second World War to stop the Germans gaining complete control of the area.
And of course Lyon is considered the food capital of France – an accolade not easily won! At night the city streets are alive as restaurants spill out on the pavements and are thronged with locals and visitors alike. Terrific food and a great place to simply people watch!
Well worth the extreme effort of climbing all the steps is a visit to the Basilica Notre Dame de Fourviere. It’s a helluva climb but it is stunning and the views down the hill across the city are breathtaking. And it’s a beautiful sight from below.
Everyone to their own. These guys enter aimed me for a good hour – they are super fit!