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0434 When the Romans Ruled Lyon (France 050—new)

Lyon Travel Blog

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Next morning, I woke up back in France again.  This time I’m in the beautiful city of Lyon.  I was kind of starting to think that, after 49 French cities and towns, I should just focus on other countries for the rest of this trip… but then again, there’s still plenty for me to discover here.  Besides, since towns are so small, I can rack up towns a lot faster here than anywhere else…

 

I head out from the station north to explore the city a bit before booking  my next ticket.  Lyon is situation at the meeting of two rivers, thus dividing the city into three sections.  To the east is the sprawling more modern area and suburbs. Between the rivers is an area a few blocks wide where the Mairie is and an area rich in history. West of the Saone River is an even older neighbourhood, and then the steep hillside with a beautiful cathedral on top. 

 

For now I just explore the center, and take, of course a picture of the Mairie and check out the various monuments and fountains… then I follow the Saone south again back to the station to book my ticket.

  My next bus isn’t until tomorrow. So it looks like, after 5 nights of sleeping on buses, I’m going to have to stay overnight in Lyon…

 

I guess I could camp like I did around Paris, but I’m kind of out of the camping mode now, so I decide to check around for a hostel.  At the helpful tourism office they give me a map and point out a hostel--  halfway up the steep hill…

 

So I head across the bridge through the narrow, fascinating alleys of Vieux Lyon and up the hill… Soon I reach a H.I. hostel with a great view of the city.

 

“You got lucky” I’m told “there’s just one bed left…”

 

20 Euros is more than what I’d like to pay for a hostel… but, as I said, I’ve gotten out of the camping routine…

But there’s no time to relax… I’ve got a city to discover…

 

I decide to go ahead and go uphill and check out the cathedral at the top…

 

Then I come across a cool surprise:  Roman ruins!  Several clusters of old buildings and a full sized amphitheatre…

 

See Lyon, was actually the regional capital back in Roman times, as it’s situated in a strategic position.

  I completely forgot about that--  so coming across these ruins was completely unexpected…

 

I clamber around for a bit and of course take my Roman amphitheater video clip and continue on up the hill…

 

At the top the cathedral, a magnificent structure, different from any other cathedral I’ve seen:  Shining white with four hexagonal towers on each corner, arched pillars in the front and an amazing complexity of decoration both inside and out…

 

Definitely worth the climb up the hill…


Doesn’t seem like there’s a whole lot else up here, so I decide to go ahead and head down the hill again… this time down the stairs and winding paths of a park, and back to the city again.

 

I head back across the bridge to the center part of town and head straight north.

  There’s more to see here in Lyon, but I’m kind of itching to add a few more notches to my belt…

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photo by: spocklogic