To read from the beginning use this link – Barging in Burgundy
Day Fifty – 16th August 2017
Turns out the canny French took advantage of the public holiday and took an extra, extra long weekend. Most restaurants and small shops were closed. They place a notice in the window informing people they’re away on holiday. Not all of them do it though. We specifically hunted down a vegan supermarket and a few eateries, only to find them all closed. Our Airbnb host gave us suggestions for sight-seeing. But not before he plied us with a French breakfast. Croissants, coffee, French bread and confit. How they keep slim on a diet like that baffles me. There’s the old city. Which is actually the very, very old city. Ruins going back to Roman occupation. And numerous beautiful places of worship including the basillica, which I have to say is more beautiful than any I have ever seen.
I love Lyon. It’s much brighter, cleaner and friendlier than Paris. It’s also the gastronomic capital of France. Last time we visited Lyon, I clocked just over 30 000 steps. This day I got to 27 403. It’s not hard to do. So much to see. Back at our Airbnb accommodation we rested our legs, then settled at a spot next to the Rhone for a drink. I’ve said this before, going to say it again. The French know how to behave. They are free to drink in public places. Along the banks of the river, hundreds of folk settled on the steps or on the grass with wine, beer or whatever their drink of choice. Not one incident. No loudness. No bad behaviour. Nothing untoward. How do they get it right?
We went to an eatery called YAAFA – You Are A Falafel Addict. They make the most amazing salads or wraps. After that amount of walking – fair to say – we had a good nights sleep.
Day Fifty-One – 17th August 2017
Our Airbnb host served us breakfast on his balcony overlooking the Rhone. We had a local delicacy called a Praluline – a brioche with pink praline. Very nice. But probably not the healthiest. I was glad to try it as I could not bring myself to buy one. We also had freshly squeezed orange juice – a bit of goodness to offset this decadence. One of the things I liked about our host is he gave us so much local info and stories. Which foods are from the region. I loved the story of how the Festival of Light which originated on 8th December has developed over the years. It’s now a global festival encompassing light. Laser, candles, fireworks, you name it.
We managed to miss the food market previous days, so this was our chance. It was smaller than usual as many of the vendors were away on holiday. Note to self – avoid France during the holiday season. Shoulder seasons are best. And cooler. I wanted a hat as mine was left behind on the boat. Won’t lie, I love to window shop. Real shop sometimes too. *bashful face* It was a great excuse to drag my other half though the shops. Am so lucky he is patient with me.
We tried to go to Cafe Vert again but alas it was definitely closed for a while. So we had lunch at a veggie place our host reccommended called Solene. Wish we had gone there sooner. Glad we got to experience their food. After 8 hours on the our feet the day before and 4 hours this day, we thought a post lunch snooze or relax was not exactly an indulgence. It’s hot in the middle of France. Like 30’C plus, plus hot. An airconditioned room was most inviting.
Our last night we had a picnic (pique-nique) on the banks of the Rhone, like veryone else seems to do in Lyon. They have loads of ex-barges which have been turned into bars and restaurants on the side of the Rhone. And seating on the quay. It’s lovely. Have I said how much I like Lyon? It’s a special place. It lacks the busyiness of Paris and the industrial feel of Marseille. The Rhone is the route from the north to the south. North France to south France. But also northern Europe to the Mediterranean countries. I could sit and watch boats passing by forever. We had a last pot of wine at one of the barges next to the river. Lyon is the only place that calls a carafe or pichet of wine – a pot. Not that we can pronounce it. Have to point it out on the menu. Apparently there are 3568 restaurants in Lyon. And a population of 2.5 million. More Michelin star restaurants per head than anywhere else in France. I can well believe it.
See more – here.