Exploring Historic Lyon

Returning our rental car in Lyon this morning was quite a challenge. So many of the city streets were blocked for road repairs that our car’s GPS sent us in circles. Thank goodness for our mobile phone. We were able to call Enterprise and get directions to the 6th floor of a parking garage. This garage like all garages here required skill to maneuver around tightest corners. “You live in a place with wide open spaces,” said  Chris, the owner of our accommodation in Sarlat. ” If you had learned to drive here, you would find it easy to squeeze a car into the tightest of spaces.”

The metro system here in Lyon is very modern and from the metro we boarded an old world funicular to the top of the town. The Basilica Norte Dame is very ornate with mosaic tiled floors in a floral pattern and enormous mosaics on the wall showing bible stories and stories from French history. The stained glass windows in the front all have the most beautiful shade of blue like the sky on a clear blue day or water in the Caribbean. I cannot define this color, but have seen it everywhere in France this trip. I am hoping to find a simple bracelet or necklace to remind me how pretty it is here. 

Feeling hungry we hiked down the steep hill into the old town on what seemed like a thousand steps. People hiking up stopped every few steps for gulps of water out of bottles they carried. I did not envy them. It seemed like climbing Mt. Washington yet children dashed up the steps as if it was nothing.

The old town is so pretty. It was once financed by the silk industry in the 16-19th century. We followed an organ grinder down the street and were treated to a taste of life here long ago. 

Taking the funicular back up the steep hill, we visited the Roman Theaters and Gallo Roman Museum. Lyon was first settled in 43 CE. The museum features prehistoric and Roman artifacts all found in the area. At Thoreau we tell the fourth graders how many archaeological discoveries today are made by accident. Between 2002-2004 while excavating the land for an underground parking garage by the river they found statues, the remains of boats, and even part of a brass horse statue. 

Outside the museum are the remains of two Roman amphitheaters which once held 10,000 people. Today you can explore them and even attend concerts there.

Heading back into the old town there was almost a party atmosphere. People were trying limoncello in a small shop and children dashed through water misters that seemed to magically appear out of the sidewalk.

 It’s been a great day. The Fitbit reads 8 miles today.  I think it’s time to head off to bed.

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