Lyon Journals

A Long Weekend in Lyon

An April 2010 trip to Lyon by NiceGinna

Place Bellecour Photo, Lyon, France More Photos
Quote: We were lucky enough to find a home exchange to Lyon over Easter Weekend.Lyon is the second largest city of France, known as the Capital of French Gastronomy. Along with many world-famous chefs there are numerous "bouchons", typical traditional restaurants specializing in offal!

La Demeure du Chateau

Hotel | "A Comfortable and Friendly B & B"

La Demeure du Chateau Photo, Grignan, France
Quote:
Stopping in Grignan en route to Lyon, we stayed at La Demeure du Chateau, a townhouse along the route to the Chateau. Our host Bernard welcomed us and showed us to our large room with a balcony with great views toward snow-capped Mt. Ventoux. The room even had a sitting area for reading and a very modern and clean bathroom. I could have moved in for several days.

Bernard has an interesting wine cellar and sold us a bottle of wine which we sipped on the balcony while we watched the sunset. A full breakfast was included and Bernard joined us, talking of travel and skiing and wines. A lovely place to stay.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 7, 2010

La Demeure du Chateau

Grignan (in Le Drome area), France 26230
+33 04 75 51 86 16

Chateau de Grignan

Attraction | "We Stopped in Grignan en Route to Lyon"

Chateau de Grignan Photo, Provence, France
Quote:
Grignan is about half way between Nice and Lyon, so it made a perfect place to stop over. Once there, we toured the hilltop Chateau. It is unclear exactly how old the castle is but it was owned by the Grignan family until the 1500's and then taken over by Adhemars who expanded and improved it. Madame de Sevigne, an aristocrat of the court in Paris, traveled to Grignan in the late 1600's to visit her daughter who was married to the Adhemar of that time. She is famous for letters that she wrote to her daughter over a period of 30 years. When she visited she wrote letters describing the castle.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 7, 2010

Chateau de Grignan
Grignan
Provence, France 26230

Place Bellecour Photo, Lyon, France
Quote:
We were staying a bit to the west of the main part of town, so we bought a carnet (booklet) of tickets which worked on the buses and trolleys.

The first day in town we took the HOHO tour which really helped to orient us to the city which is split by two major rivers, the Rhone and the Saone. The main part of the city is located on Presqu'Ile (literally, "Almost an Island") formed where the two rivers meet. This is where you will find the Tourist Office in the main square, Place Bellecour. Across a bridge is the Old Town with Fourviere, one of the main churches, looming above. We found the HOHO tour to be quite helpful here.

Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière

Attraction | "Notre Dame is One of the Main Sights in Lyon"

Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière Photo, Lyon, France
Quote:
This church, perched high over the city of Lyon, was built in 1870 to thank the Virgin Mary for protection from the Prussians. It's rather an odd church, with 5 steeples that stick up in a manner causing the church to be called the upside-down elephant! The exterior is rather a mish-mash of styles, with a lot of Egyptian symbols. Inside the walls are covered with spectacular scenes done in intricate mosaic.

The views from the hill over the city are beautiful.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 7, 2010

Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière
8 Place De Fourvière
Lyon, France 69005
04 78 25 13 01

Cathedral St. Jean

Attraction | "The main church is the Cathedral St. Jean"

Cathedral St. Jean in Old Town, Lyon Photo, Lyon, France
Quote:
The Cathedral was built in the 12-15th centuries and has flying buttresses and beautiful Gothic stained-glass windows. The Archbishop of Lyon holds the impressive title "Primate of the Gauls" and is the leading archbishop in France. The most interesting thing in the church is the 14th century astronomical clock with its crowing rooster and heralding angels. It is set off at noon, 2 PM, 3 PM, and 4 PM. Entry is free.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 7, 2010

Fresque Lyonnais

Attraction | "Fresco Paintings Adorn the Buildings of Lyon"

Paul Bocuse, the famous chef, in the doorway Photo, Lyon, France
Quote:
One of the more unusual sights in Lyon are the fresco paintings that adorn several of the commercial buildings around the city. There are paintings of men and women famous in the history of Lyon and they seem to be enjoying the air on balconies or peering at you from a window or lingering in a doorway of a shop. Fascinating!

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 7, 2010

Le Jura

Restaurant | "One of the Best "Bouchons" in Town"

Le Jura Photo, Lyon, France
Quote:
If you go to Lyon, you must eat at least one meal in a "bouchon". These are traditional, usually family-run establishments; ours was founded in 1874. The specialty of the "bouchons" is offal - or body parts, as I call it - but you can find a steak or something if offal is not to your liking. The service is low-key and friendly. Local wine is served in a "pot" (pronounced POE), an unlabeled bottle. We started with a shared terrine de veau - a veal pate, a generous serving of two slices served with cornichon pickles and salad. Then David had with the "gateau de foie de volaille" ("cake" of chicken livers") while I had the andouillettes (pigs' intestines). This was a stretch for me but they weren...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 7, 2010

Le Jura
25 Rue de Tupin
Lyon, France

Musée des Beaux-Arts

Attraction | "The Museum Is a Great Stop on a Rainy Day"

Musée des Beaux-Arts Photo, Lyon, France
Quote:
On a rainy day, we headed to the Beaux Artes Museum where we wandered around viewing the very nice collection of impressionists and more. The Museum itself is a beautiful building, on Place des Terreaux where there is also the Hotel de Ville.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 7, 2010

Musée des Beaux-Arts
20, place des Terreaux
Lyon, France 69001
+33 4 72 10 17 40

Traboules St-Jean

Attraction | "Lyon's Most Unique Sight"

Traboules St-Jean Photo, Lyon, France
Quote:
One of the major industries of Lyon in ancient times was the manufacture of silk. The Traboules of Lyon are secret passageways and staircases which were built in medieval times to facilitate the carrying of silk from one building to the next for processing during rainy weather. They are towers with windows, and arched covered passageways, leading who knows where like a vertical maze!

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 7, 2010

Traboules St-Jean
Rue St-Jean
Lyon, France 69005

Roman Amphitheatre Photo, Lyon, France
Quote:
We love Roman Ruins. And Lyon has some very lovely ones, up on Fourviere not a long walk from Notre Dame, the large church up there. There's a large amphitheater where concerts are still held; it originally seated about 11,000 people and now holds about 4,500. Next to it is the smaller and more intimate Odeon where the Romans held musical concerts. The setting, high above the city of Lyon, is magnificent.
The fortifications at the entrance to Perouges Photo, Lyon, France
Quote:
Several friends had told us, when they heard we would visit Lyon, that we must go up to Perouges so we planned an outing for Easter Sunday. It's a charming medieval town with its Church of Mary Madeleine built in 1440 and well-maintained shops and restaurants.

Ostellerie de Vieux Perouges

Restaurant | "Easter Dinner in the 16th Century"

Ostellerie de Vieux Perouges Photo, Perouges, France
Quote:
I had found this wonderful restaurant on the internet and made a reservation for Easter Dinner. It more than lived up to our expectations! We were welcomed at the door and led in to our table near the huge fireplace which had a cheery fire burning. There were comfortable chairs, a beautifully dressed table, and waitresses in traditional costumes. We started with an aperitif of spiced wine, served from an ancient looking bottle. David started with a salad with foie de volailles with grilled apples while I had the cured salmon. Then we both had the lamb shanks with a 1/2 bottle of Tavel rose. Neither of us touched the potatoes and we even put a lot of the lamb, enough for a meal, in a zip-lock bag; ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 7, 2010

Ostellerie de Vieux Perouges
Place du Tilleul
Perouges 01800
+33 04 74 61 00 88

Pont St. Julien

Attraction | "Beautiful Roman Bridge in Use for 2000 Years"

Pont St. Julien Photo, Gordes, France
Quote:
As I've said, we really love Roman Ruins. If you are in the Luberon visiting Gordes, Roussillon, or any other nearby town, it is worth a look. It was built 2000 years ago without mortar and was in daily use until 2005! The Romans were amazing!

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 7, 2010