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Chris & Lindee see the world

In to France

FRANCE | Thursday, 29 December 2016 | Views [248]

Rhone River

Rhone River

December 27-30, 2016

That's enough pampering for us. No more tour guides, we're on our own. First, a regional train from Geneva and across the border into France. Our safe arrival in to Lyon had us a fairly short walk from our little hotel. Still a challenge, though, lugging suitcases across cobbled streets. Our first task was to find somewhere to buy a new camera as mine had died in Switzerland and we weren't keen to spend a small Swiss fortune on a new one. So a small French fortune had to suffice. 

Lyon is a beautiful city, very cold, but very beautiful. This area, like so many throughout Europe, I guess has ancient Roman origins. And as we walked about on our first full day we came across original city walls dating back those many centuries. We climbed high to the beautiful Basilica that watches over the city and the two rivers that converge near it's centre. We climbed back down to the cathedral of John the Baptist on the banks of the Saone and felt the peace of it's sanctuary. Then, on the square that it, and the statue of it's namesake, rests in, we enjoyed a tasty meal as we watched the world pass through to the oldest part of town. The Lyon that closes around you with history, with smells of crepes from street carts, and the promise of a warm and hearty hot drink from every doorway. Oh...and some of the doorways...!

Lyon has surprised me with the ups and downs of it's hills. And we've walked many of those ups and downs. Discovering the mix of ancient, new and not quite so ancient. We found an ancient Roman Forum and just down the hill from there a modern rail network in amongst narrow cobbled streets that led to a thriving modern city.

Our second full day and we were searching for a "Pharmacie" as my system succumbed to an uncomfortable cough and head cold that seemed determined to slow us down. However, we ventured across the Rhone to search out Monsieur Paul Bocuse's gourmet food hall. What a gastronomic treat! (Paul Bocuse was probably the world's first "celebrity" chef, and a champion of French culinary hopefuls with his school and attached restaurant in central Lyon.) So much to choose from...like a totally gourmet farmers market; if only we'd had an apartment to fill with some delicious purchases.

Nearby was a Galeries Lafayette (think Myer/David Jones) with a lovely little cafe and the most helpful staff where we enjoyed quite a good coffee and snack before hoofing it back across the river to our cosy room And a chance to thaw out (and ease my coughing) for a couple of hours before heading our for some dinner (a cute little Asian restaurant just down the road with some of the best spring rolls I've had outside of Thailand!

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