Visit Lyon by Mouse
Lyon is situated in the Rhones-Alpes Region of France north of Provence. It is 287 miles southeast of Paris, 140 miles north of Avignon and 92 miles west of Geneva, Switzerland. Just north of Lyon is the beaujolais wine area. Although it is a distance from the Mediteranean, the city' red tiled roofs and beige and pink walls give it a Mediteranean feel. And the olives and paella we saw in an open-air street market added to that feeling.
We stayed in a campground some distance from the city and had to take a bus and then a metro to it. The metro stop was very close to a large open square from which we could see what looked like a Cathedral shining white on a hill. We just just started walking toward the church, which turned out to be the Fourviere Basilica. Our route took us to the bank of the Rhone River. And just our side of the river there was that open-air street market. So, of course we had to delay our visit up the hill. We bought a roasted chicken and a few other things and had to carry it all around the rest of the day, which proved to be a pretty long and active one. We had a grand time seeing what was available for sale and smelling the foods that were cooking, notably roast meats and a giant Paella. And we were very happy with our purchases when we arrived home that night.
When we finally continued across a bridge we came to Saint Jean Cathedral, in front of which were many people milling about and a goodly number of men clad in black clerical garb. They obviously were waiting for something to begin in the Cathedral, but we did not discover what it was. By then it was time for lunch which we enjoyed in a street side cafe. After lunch we discovered that there was a funicular that went up the hill. It only cost one Euro. We gratefully took that. And at the top there was that beautiful white basilica. We went in. We have seen a great number of Cathedrals since then but none like that Basilica. We don't know how to describe the interior, so you will have to be satisfied with the frames from the video we took. Every surface was embellished with something, mostly mosaics in blues and gold. We thought it was beautiful. This is a relatively new structure, completed in 1896. It certainly has the stamp of the Victorian sense of design, which strikes us as exhuberant, even though this is France, not England.
After we walked to the wall overlooking the city and saw Lyon spread out before us from far left to far right. And over to the right, and just below us was a Roman ampitheater. We walked down to that and encountered an archeological museum on the way. Photography was not allowed but they have pictures posted on the internet. We visited that and were treated to a display of Roman artifacts from a dig in the area and a description of the Roman period in Lyon. Then we continued to the theater which we entered at the top, climbed down the stairs to the stage, stopping for a little sit-down where many Romans must have sat before. We continued to a street cafe where we had some refreshing ice and a coffee before taking the metro back to the bus that took us back to the campground--very tired, and very happy about the day.
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Fourviere Basilica Photos    Slideshow 
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