The second week of our holiday had some very changeable weather. It was often very cloudy and showers always seemed in the offing.
However, that didn’t stop us getting out and about and visiting a few more places. One place that impressed us so much that we visited it twice was Lyon.
Once you get through the virtually continuous traffic jams and negotiate the labyrinthine road systems of the city, Lyon is definitely worth visiting.
The main sites of interest are the Roman remains on the hill of Fourvière, the old city (Vieux Lyon) on the west bank of the Saône and the Presqu’île, the part between the Saône and Rhône rivers which is the real city centre and which dates to the 15th and 16th centuries.
In Roman times Lyon was known as Colonia Copia Claudia Augusta Lugdunum or simply Lugdunum. It was the capital of the province of Gallia Lugdunensis and was one of the most important cities in the Roman West.
The theatre complex is very well excavated and there is a museum on the site which contains many interesting finds.
Like on many other Roman sites, later ages used the buildings as a source of dressed stone and apparently many of the buildings in Vieux Lyon have Roman stonework incorporated into them.
The Presqu’île is probably where most people are likely to visit, it stretches from the former cloth-working district of Croix-Rousse down to the confluence of the two rivers and is centred around the Place Bellecour, with its equestrian statue of Louis XIV.
The Presqu’île is also where you will find all the fashionable shops and designers. The Rue de la Republique to the north and the Rue Victor Hugo to the south of the Place Bellecour are pedestrianised and make a pleasant window shopping expedition.
Lyon is celebrated in France for the quality of its food and the area around the Rue Mercière and the Place des Jacobins is full of bars and restaurants. Lyon is famous for its small traditional restaurants known as “Bouchons” and these serve traditional Lyonnais delicacies.
The city has some fantastic delicatessens, known as traiteurs in France. The food in these is always superb and superbly presented too.
Just to the north of Lyon, on the banks of the Saone is the small town of Collonges-au-Mont-d’Or, almosta suburb of Lyon really, where the famous 3-star Michelin chef Paul Bocuse has his restaurant.
The place is a monument to the great man, but to my eye is a bit gaudy and overblown. Anyway, judge for yourselves;
There are plenty of more photos of Lyon (and lots of other things too) on my FlickR photostream.