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The day of the lights and meeting Bernard again

Lyon Travel Blog

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Looking out the hotel balcony

When Maxime and I woke up around 9 AM, we were still full after the dinner at Paul Bocuse the day before. It must have be one of the fullest meals I ever had. I probably had calories for a full month; it actually felt like that.

We discussed a little about what to do this morning; we knew that we were meeting Bernard and his wife Danielle at the Côté Cuisine in the Hotel Le Royale and situated in the middle of the city on Place Bellecour. One thing we wanted to do from the start of this day was to find the metro.

We left the hotel without having breakfast; naturally and head with our city in the wrong direction! It was not that bad but we went a little the wrong way.

Towards the train station
We started to walk to the River but quickly found out that we had to walk toward Place de Paris where we could find the metro at Gare de Vaise. The shopping at the market was already in full bloom; there were loads of shoppers and vendors making it a nice and fun place to start this long day full of experiences.

We went down to the metro station, bought our day tickets and entered the unmanned metro train that would take us to the city centre. We didn’t realize it at this point but we were extremely lucky to live close to this unmanned metro line because all other public transportation was on strike in Lyon; on the biggest day of the year for Lyon’s transport system. This was and I am sorry to say it; typical French. Whenever you can hurt people the most the unions will use it; it is not the first time I meet this in France and probably not the last as well.

Being lucky and sitting in an unmanned metro made us move fast in to the city centre of Lyon.

Walking the river front
We got of close to Place Bellecour in order to identify where we were to met Barnard and Danielle in a couple of hours.

The Place Bellecour is a huge town square measuring 312 m by 200 m (62,000 m²), and it is the largest clear square, without any patches of greenery, trees or any other kind of obstacles in Europe and also the largest pedestrian square of Europe. It is the third biggest square of France, behind the place des Quinconces in Bordeaux which measures 126,000 m² and the place de la Concorde in Paris which measures 86,400 m.

After taking some pictures of the big wheel and the statue of king Louis XIV mounted on a horse, we walked towards the Saone River via Place des Célestins and the beautiful Théâtre des Célestins.

The Célestins Theater is one of the oldest theatres in France.

View to the river
Only the Comédie Française and the Odeon have been longer active. The Celestins theater was founded in 1792, exclusively dedicated to dramas and popular comedies. Some of the most famous plays by Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas where performed here.

Here we decided to enter Brasserie des Célestins, which is a nice little café and a place where the interior actually match the cozy impression from outside.

We were at this seeking a place where we could get a cup of coffee to heat our hands on. Seen from the outside this place looks like it has a long history, even thought the modern outdoor furniture speaks a more modern history. Two large vases were marking the ends of the cafés territory; they were decorated with branches and large green leafs, and some sprayed with silver.

When we entered things looked like the probably had done for years.

Colourful old Renault 4
The owner; a friendly smiling man with a large corpus was in charge of the ordering. On this day he looked like he had been out all night partying to the early morning, but what do we know?

He directed us to one of the first tables just inside the door and let us sit down before he took our orders, which he then gave the waitress who was a beautiful femme fatale; anyway that was our best guess because she was on the phone all the time talking to a girlfriend about her last night with some guy.

The chairs were the typical wiener ones in black and they were all quite new but fitted well in the rest of the environment. The tables were small and square and all were decorated with red flowers. The long bar was made of wood and painted red with a black granite or marble plate. The classic old fashion beer taps fulfilled the picture of a nice bar.

Behind the bar there was a wonderful old stone wall with two large arches that had been fitted with huge mirrors and glass shelves; this opened up the bar and gave it a more spacious impression, because fact was that it was not a large bar.

Street views

We got our coffees made by the beautiful waitress and handed over by our jovial café owner. While we were sitting there he had started on a project making a Christmas decoration in the two large vases outside the café. I was impressed that he was standing out there in the cold with a short sleeved T-shirt, while we still kept our jackets on inside.

The coffees were good and just as we wanted them and after 20 minutes we left; paying the waitress while she was standing behind the bar taking to a friend on the phone about man from yesterday.

We had still one hour before we were meeting Bernard at a restaurant and therefore headed towards the Saone River. We walked the river all the way to Rue Sala which we followed.

Flower market close to our Metro station
Here we found a small funny restaurant; Gustave which we decided to visit that evening and have our diner at. We turned towards Place Carnot following the busy shopping street Rue Victor Hugo.

At Place Carnot there was a huge Christmas market which we avoided; it was way too crowded and there were people everywhere. Instead we walked back towards Place Bellecour along the nice Rue Auguste Comte which had really nice design shops and antique vendors. While we returned to Place Bellecour it was time to join Bernard and Danielle at the Côté Cuisine in the Hotel Le Royale.

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Looking out the hotel balcony
Looking out the hotel balcony
Towards the train station
Towards the train station
Walking the river front
Walking the river front
View to the river
View to the river
Colourful old Renault 4
Colourful old Renault 4
Street views
Street views
Flower market close to our Metro s…
Flower market close to our Metro …
Fresh veggies and fruit
Fresh veggies and fruit
The butcher was there too
The butcher was there too
All in nice colours
All in nice colours
Bell tower
Bell tower
Did anybody say; chicken??
Did anybody say; chicken??
Fresh but dead
Fresh but dead
Metro tickets
Metro tickets
Down to the un-maned Metro
Down to the un-maned Metro
Wheels were spinning
Wheels were spinning
Flowers were not for sale yet
Flowers were not for sale yet
Getting ready for the big night
Getting ready for the big night
Riding high!
Riding high!
In memory of last days of WW II
In memory of last days of WW II
Nicely decorated
Nicely decorated
The theater
The theater
The giant porche
The giant porche
A coffe please - it is so cold
A coffe please - it is so cold
Inside the café
Inside the café
Table decoration
Table decoration
Yes Maxime it is early
Yes Maxime it is early
Inside the café again
Inside the café again
The Basilica on top of the city
The Basilica on top of the city
The bear guy
The bear guy
Who is the most happy
Who is the most happy
Nice building
Nice building
They dont make it like this anymore
They dont make it like this anymore
A big Dane in the corner
A big Dane in the corner
A church! I guess
A church! I guess
A part of the old town
A part of the old town
Nice fence to the neighbour
Nice fence to the neighbour
Great door
Great door
Love this old things
Love this old things
All covered in for the night
All covered in for the night
Open me
Open me
The Christmas market
The Christmas market
One lonely tree
One lonely tree
Wonderful house - once a gift to t…
Wonderful house - once a gift to …
Staying putt!
Staying putt!
Nice shutters
Nice shutters
Hmmm - great food
Hmmm - great food
The flower guy had open again
The flower guy had open again
The Belfrey of Lyon
The Belfrey of Lyon
The square almost ready for the ni…
The square almost ready for the n…
Over looking the town
Over looking the town
Blue sky and the wheel
Blue sky and the wheel
Turn me
Turn me
Walking the line
Walking the line
Lunch plate
Lunch plate
Good wine
Good wine
Maximes dish
Maximes dish
Danielles dish
Danielle's dish
My fish
My fish
Main dish of Danielle
Main dish of Danielle
My fish again
My fish again
Bernards last course
Bernards last course
Last dish of Danielle
Last dish of Danielle
The restaurant
The restaurant
Bernard in all his beauty
Bernard in all his beauty
The kitchen
The kitchen
Same picture another light
Same picture another light
Christmas tree at the Hotel
Christmas tree at the Hotel
Hotel lounge
Hotel lounge
Back at the square
Back at the square
Snack bar preparing for the evening
Snack bar preparing for the evening
Ready for tonight??
Ready for tonight??
The wheel
The wheel
A Sit-down
A Sit-down
Still on his hourse
Still on his hourse
Crossing the river
Crossing the river
River view
River view
Nice corner tower
Nice corner tower
Getting there ??
Getting there ??
Almost Italian
Almost Italian
Street lights covered up with red
Street lights covered up with red
Etrance to the Cathedral
Etrance to the Cathedral
Looking up hill
Looking up hill
Maxime and Danielle
Maxime and Danielle
Wonderful streets
Wonderful streets
Mirrowed
Mirrowed
Streets were already crowded
Streets were already crowded
Signs - love them
Signs - love them
Going down to the cellar
Going down to the cellar
Shopping wine
Shopping wine
Danielle and Bernard
Danielle and Bernard
Antic Wine - a great shop
Antic Wine - a great shop
Tall narrow houses - old part of L…
Tall narrow houses - old part of …
Small streets
Small streets
Up hill - in yellow
Up hill - in yellow
Here the mountain came down
Here the mountain came down
Sliding hill
Sliding hill
In memory of ....
In memory of ....
The Cathedral
The Cathedral
The oldest house in Lyon
The oldest house in Lyon
Walking to the car park
Walking to the car park
No body!
No body!
Nice view
Nice view
Sheep head
Sheep head
Another resto
Another resto
School petition
School petition
Old rock in the parking
Old rock in the parking
More light and sound (trust me) on…
More light and sound (trust me) o…
Lyon in light
Lyon in light
Lyon city of lights
Lyon city of lights
The blue front on the hill
The blue front on the hill
Lights changing all the time - fas…
Lights changing all the time - fa…
The wheel of Lyon was a cinema scr…
The wheel of Lyon was a cinema sc…
Lights at on of the hotels
Lights at on of the hotels
Walking down
Walking down
Inside a bar
Inside a bar
Last light before going home
Last light before going home
Gare de Vaise - the end station an…
Gare de Vaise - the end station a…
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photo by: spocklogic