Lyon – the food capital of France did not disappoint. The local cuisine, wines and pastries proved to be a gourmet delight, and reasonably priced at that. Lyon is at the boundary of the Beaujolais and Rhone wine growing regions. However, it proved hard to find a bar that offered wine flights. We eventually found a wine bar, and had to buy full tastings! Wine is so reasonably priced, that we ended up buying bottles that were “expensive” by French standards but cheap by our standards.
Lyon was founded in the Roman times, and still has an old amphitheater that has been restored and used for outdoor performances. Its strategic Rhone river location and nearby Fourviere hill, now home to Notre Dame Cathedral, were primary settlement areas from 2000 years ago. Today, old Lyon is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and has a lots of historical buildings, restaurants, churches and other tourist spots of interest.
We visited our niece Erin, who was studying there for the fall semester. WE spent most of our time visiting food related areas, but managed to see the cinema museum, as the Lumiere brothers were instrumental in inventing the movies. We also walked around to the various neighbourhoods, checking out the stores, markets and churches. Large open areas used for public gatherings, such as Place Bellacour, provided open space to see the surrounding vistas. One of the more unusual parks north of the downtown has a large OnlyLyon sign with a lion. It was similar to the IAMsterdam sign we saw in Amsterdam, but not nearly as crowded.
Lyon is the second largest city in France, and 2nd most important urban area for innovation in France. It is also the world headquarters of Interpol, as well as some chemical companies, video games companies and banks.
The exposure to the French wine in this area prepared for our next stop – Beaune in the heart of Burgundy.