We were in Lyon for about 2 days. We arrived by car share and made our way to a metro stop Croix Rousse, with one of the car share passengers who happened to be going to the same stop. We met our Couchsurfing hostess, Helene, at the street level of this metro stop with merry-go-round. We walk to a bar nearby and have a beer with Helene and her friend Jaques. We then stroll the neighborhood market and pick up a few things for dinner.
We arrive at Helene’s apartment and we are taken into another world! Her apartment is so colorful and eclectic, decorated with lot’s of exotic little things to admire. We both love the space and immediately feel at home. She is an amazing woman, has lived in Lyon much of her life and has hosted many Couchsurfers. We have a lot of interesting conversations with her and after a lovely dinner, she brings out guidebooks and maps so that we can plan our next day’s journey.
The next morning, we decide to begin our day at the market, it begins not far from her home and goes on for over 7 blocks! It’s an incredible Marche with so much to offer, John and I walk the length of the market to check out prices and selection before going back through and picking up items for lunch, dinner, snacks and tulips for our hostess.
We bring our goodies back to the apartment and make a nice big lunch before going out to sightsee…
Lyon has 2 main hills and 2 rivers, where we are staying is on top of one of the hills and between the 2 rivers. We walk down the hill to the river in search of the roman ruins. We cross over the river towards the mini-Eiffel tower looking structure, Tour metallique de Fourviere. We walk up a lot of stairs, stopping multiple times so that I can catch my breath!
I guess the million stairs were worth it because now we have a view of the city! We are standing next to Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviere.
Inside, the church is beautiful with ornate paintings and wood carvings along with stained glass.
The roman ruins are just steps away and we wander over to check them out. We climb all over them, through tunnels and over walls.
There are 2 very well preserved Roman amphitheaters and we spend a lot of time walking around the grounds.
There was a science fair going on too, we really wanted to go in this planetarium but we were too shy to ask!
We walked down the hill and back to the river, we see a cute little store, Les Ateliers de Marinette, and decide to check it out. The store has all kinds of little vintage things, all made in France. Most of it is dead stock (items that are old but unused) and refurbished awesome old things! We loved it!
By recommendation of the shop owner we decide to go next door for a coffee. La Limonade de Marinette is such a cute little place as well, it’s made up like a grocery store of the 50’s-60’s, the walls are covered with French products of yesteryear making the place super colorful and the perfect place to sip coffee at a formica table, out of little vintage cups and read the walls! Happy little stores!
We continued on our walk, reached the river, crossed through the Place Bellecour, one of the largest open squares in Europe. There was music being played and crowds of people as we walked through as the sun was going down. Before we know it the sun is gone and we are getting very hungry so we go back to the apartment to make the dinner we had planned!
After getting a little bit lost we finally reach the apartment, use our keys to unlock the door and oh no! The lock we don’t have a key for is locked and Helene isn’t home, she absentmindedly locked it, we waited for a while on the steps and then decide we will just have to go out for dinner! After some hungry searching we find a place and have a fancy dinner (I don’t think it’s possible to have an un-fancy dinner in France!) We walk back to the apartment stuffed and thankfully the lock is unlocked because we are exhausted!
Just for fun, here’s some street art we saw throughout the city…