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The little adventures of Jo! Travel with me on my overdue gap year around the world :)

Lovely Lyon

FRANCE | Tuesday, 11 June 2013 | Views [387]

Why visit a museum when the restaurants are all museums of Lyon's reputation?

There is a popular saying in France that Paris may be the heart of France, but Lyon is her stomach. The city has a reputation of being the gastronomical centre of the country and my main intention for heading there was to eat. I did not leave disappointed. Lunch was by far the best meal I've had in Europe, winning in many regards - great value, superb quality and terribly filling. Ten hours later, and I am still full. I settled for a menu du jour in a typical bouchon lyonnais at Place du Gouvernement, which included your choice of an entree, main and dessert for 11 euros. Needless to say, I went for options that allowed me to sample Lyonnais cuisine - salade lyonnaise (green salad topped with bacon, poached egg and lyonnais dressing), quenelle (pike dumpling) in a delicious lobster gravy, ending with a scoop of rich dark chocolate icecream topped with chantilly cream. You can tell how much I love food.

However, eating wasn't the only thing I did in Lyon. I had so much fun discovering and wandering through Vieux Lyon (old quarter) and Croix-Rousse (silkworkers' quarter). From taking a funiculaire up to the Basilica Notre-Dame de Fourviere and Tour Metallique (Lyon's Eiffel Tower), to traversing between buildings using traboules or "secret" passage ways (first used by silk workers to transport their material quickly around the city), it was a novel experience. The architecture in this city is amazing and unique, especially with the Basilica Notre-Dame de Fourviere. I was blown away with how beautiful it was both on the outside and inside. My favourite church I've visited by far.

I'm surprised there weren't more tourists in this city because I really loved being there. It's beautiful, very affordable, full of character, not too far from Paris by TGV and has some of the friendliest and most polite locals. To think I was going to skip Lyon in my French travels because it didn't really work out logistically - BAH! Even though doing a day trip from Avignon meant five hours on the train today, I am so glad I made it happen.

I would definitely go back to Lyon in the future.

Tags: cities, european adventure, food, sightseeing, trains

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