Saturday, September 12, 2015

Lovely Lyon

We successfully negotiated our way into Lyon to our hotel, situated along the Saone River, with lovely leafy walks along the river:

It was an incredibly compact, well designed modern room, very comfortable. We arrived at 5:30 and took a 2.5 hour walk around Lyon in the warm evening. Lyon sits by two rivers, the Saone and the Rhone, and we crossed the two rivers to get to the old town. 

We admired the beautiful exterior of Saint Jean church (not too impressed with the interior):

Then we took the funicular to the top of the hill to see the Basilica of Fourvieres. Thiss has a long history. Devotion to Mary started back a couple of centuries ago. Townspeople had made the trek to the top of the hill begging to escape the plague, then to escape cholera, then the worst effect of the 100-year war (I think that was it). When Lyon was spared all three scourges, they decided to build a basilica in thanks in the 19th C. It has a commanding view over the city and is an ornate majestic masterpiece.

The exterior side wall was also filled with carvings

and there was another turret with a statue of Christ looking over the city (nobody said this church was noted for sinplicity)

The inside of the church featured detailed mosaics:

There were other beautiful buildings as we crossed the two bridges back to the hotel, like the Chamber of Commerce:

By the time we returned, our appetites were pleasantly stoked for the free aperitifs at the hotel. By this time, we're so full of French meals, we were content to have just this for supper, thus forgoing dinner out in what is supposed to be the gastronomic capital of France. Sigh.

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