Friday, October 3, 2014

Lyon Part Two

Drove down to Place Bellecour (GPS not helpful due to narrow streets and high buildings), parked and caught the Hop-on-hop-off bus tour up to the Roman Amphitheatres on the hill on the east side of the Saone.  Lyon was settled by Romans 2000 years ago, who naturally fortified the hilltop and called it Lugdunum.  A strategic location, Lyon sits astride the confluence of the navigable rivers Saone and Rhone.  The stunningly intact amphitheatres (one small, used for music and the other larger one used for plays and spectacles) are still the scene of summer concerts today.

Then back on the bus for a brief but uphill ride to the 1870 Basilica of Notre Dame de Fourviere.  Another unexpected (albeit relatively recent) masterpiece, the church surprises with its richness of decoration and plethora of mosaics.  There is a church downstairs, one upstairs and two more adjacent ones which we didn't have time to visit.

Back on the bus and downhill to the Old Town where we were lucky to find a quick-service Cambodian restaurant (called appropriately "Quick Food") and grab lunch.  Then to the nearby riverside and onto the cruise ship for a glide on the river Saone.  Lyon is quite an attractive town, colourful and with an eclectic mix of Medieval, Renaissance and Belle Epoque architecture.  It also has a sense of humour, viz; it's city motto is "Only Lyon".

Finally, it was home through Friday afternoon rush-hour traffic for a pizza.

Place Bellecour

Larger of two Roman Amphitheatres

Four-towered Basilica with one of the adjacent churches

Unexpectedly glorious interior

One of many mosaics

Altar and nave, basement church

Canadian canal boat converted into a Houseboat

Colourful riverside homes and businesses

More of the same.

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