Weekend trips become something of a normality when you work 9-5 on an industrial estate, and one of my favourites amongst the many was our trip to Lyon. Only an hour and a half from our beloved Chambéry, this bustling place was well worth the visit, especially on the opening weekend of the Christmas markets.
After the usual hire-bike convoy to the train station, we boarded the next train out of C-town and trundled off through the valley to the Capitale des Gaules.
The city of Lyon is split into the new town, the old town and a peculiar ‘no-man’s-land’ which sits in between the Rhône and the Saône rivers. We headed straight up a hill to the Basilica of Notre Dame de Fourvière, a spectacular gothic cathedral overlooking the whole city. The interior of the basilica itself was breathtaking, and its high-up position offered not only amazing views, but also a great backdrop for group selfies of course…
The minor hike up the hill gave us quite the appetite for our lunch; a three-courser which we enjoyed in one of many bouchons Lyonnais. These marvellous establishments offer the most authentic French cuisine I have ever tasted, often in cosily cramped little restaurants with winding staircases and plaid tablecloths.
I would go as far as to say it was the best French meal I’ve ever had, and if you don’t believe me, just feast your eyes…
After this meal it’s fair to say we quite literally rolled out of the restaurant and into the streets of old town Lyon outside. The little winding streets have everything from chocolatiers to fancy jewellery boutiques, and if you don’t mind bustling crowds, it’s a lovely place to take a wander.
Finally, we found our way back towards the new town, but not without paying a visit to the recently opened Christmas markets on the way. Here we indulged in overpriced vin chaud, danced to and followed a festive marching band, and very nearly purchased a Christmas tree.
All in all it was a very great day. I would heartily recommend Lyon to anyone visiting the Savoie region and wanting a true taste of French culture. One day was definitely not enough however, I’ll be back soon!