Saturday, December 8, 2012

October 22nd: Lyon

After getting up and dressed, we decided to wander through Vieux Lyon to try to find someplace fun to have breakfast. Turns out Lyon is much more of a night city...EVERYTHING was closed! We made our way back to the hotel and had breakfast there, where I actually used a little bit of French without freezing up.

Before setting out, I decided to get a little exercise up on the roof of the hotel.   :)

We made our way across the Saône river. This is looking back toward Vieux Lyon; the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière is on the left.

We walked through a really cool looking square (above), then made our way to the Musée des beaux-arts de Lyon.

A tiny Statue of Liberty. It was a little surprising to see at first until I remembered oh yeah, France gave us the real one.

 They had a neat collection of sculptures.

There were groups everywhere! We had to keep trying to get ahead of them or dawdle behind. I don't remember this many groups at the Louvre, but the Louvre is also big enough where you could easily lose groups if you wanted to. At one point we were walking through a room with a lot of Egyptian things and there was an actual mummy head and hand in a display case. Crazy!

There were a couple works by Picasso...

...and Monet, too.

After wandering around the museum for a little while we grabbed lunch in a cafe and walked around the more commercial shopping area of Lyon. We eventually made our way back to Vieux Lyon.

Lyon Cathedral again. We kept going through Vieux Lyon up the huge hill behind the shop. It was STEEP, but we eventually made it almost to the top, rounded a corner, and saw...

...Roman ruins? This wasn't what I expected to see in France!

The Ancient Theatre of Fourvière sits up on the hill. The first part was built in 15BC, and it was finished up sometime in the second century.

The coolest thing is that you're allowed to walk right through all of the ruins!

Looking down at Lyon from the top of the amphitheater..

We spent a little time wandering through the corridors and around the amphitheater...

...and eventually made our way out of the ruins and further up the hill.

 The Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière is at the top of the hill. Since we made it all the way up here, we were definitely going inside!

They were doing a little restoration work inside but you could still see a lot of the mosaics and artwork. 

The view of Lyon from the top of the hill was pretty sweet.

I love the colors...Lyon is definitely a pretty city.

The front of the Basilica. I love how detailed all of the churches and cathedrals are.

Rather than walk back down the road to Vieux Lyon, we cut through a neat garden with steep paths and eventually made our way back down the hill. Since we had walked past it so many times, we figured we'd take a quick peek in the cathedral in Vieux Lyon.

The sun was shining through the stained glass.

The square in front of the cathedral. We must have walked through this a dozen times.

The neat thing was on the backside of the cathedral: ruins of a Roman church dating to 150AD! I'm surprised so much of it (relatively speaking) is still standing.

We eventually made our way back to the hotel, grabbed a snack, and hung out on the balcony while we planned out the next few days of our trip. With the language barrier, we decided that winging it like we had in NZ last year wasn't necessarily the best idea here, so we booked hotels for the next few nights.

We decided to try a different place for dinner and man, am I glad we did. It was one of the best meals of the trip! The temperature outside was perfect, the food was excellent, and that was the best crème brûlée I'd ever was warm and crispy on the top, and the inside was perfectly smooth and cool. If I ever make it back to Lyon I'm coming back here!

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