Only in Lyon would I:
- task myself with eating entrails when there were perfectly good duck options on the menu;
- find a new passion for pink;
- sneak beer into a youth hostel to calm my nerves.
After a few working days in Paris and a medieval adventure in Pérouges, I set out to explore France’s third biggest city Lyon. This city has been a dream destination of mine ever since I read that it is considered the gastronomic heart of France. Impossible to reach by train in a weekend from my previous little home of Périgueux, I actually found it was easier to visit from London. Lyon doesn’t feel big (but it quite obviously must be, what with the great metro and restaurants and shopping areas) and retains the charm of a smaller city if you stick to the Presqu’île, the Croix Rousse and Vieux Lyon areas around the centre of town. I spent a day and a half wandering the town, eating the food and visiting the Roman Theatre and Museum, which are both incredible. I even attended mass in the Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière on the hill – something I haven’t done for years and which I found quite intriguing in French.
I also sacrificed duck eating opportunities to knuckle down to a three course meal in a Lyonnais Bouchon; a typical restaurant serving unmentionable parts of animals with copious amounts of potato. I do my best for the blog!
My favourites: Markets on Sunday along the river Saône; the evening lights of the Hôtel-Dieu reflected in the river Rhône; the pralines roses that are a specialty of the region and in every pastry.
My least favourites: Being harassed on the streets multiple times sending me retreating with beers and cheese into my hostel for the evening; pied de veau; the fact that it wasn’t Bordeaux…I have a soft spot (emotionally and physically – French food will do that!)
Goodnight France for now!