Staying the weekend at the campsite on the outskirts of Lyon meant we all could be tourists for a while, exploring France’s second city which straddles the Saône and Rhone rivers which meet at Le Confluence.
Lyon has an efficient and low cost public transport network of buses, trams, metro, funiculars and suburban rail network. For just €8 you get 48hour access to go wherever you please on whichever mide takes your fancy. It makes one green with envy when one has to endure the fragmented, inefficient and costly transport system in the UK that Government policy regards as a money making enterprise for business.
Our two days were packed with wanderings around many parts of the central area of this attractive city. A short walk to a local bus stop meant that we could be in the city centre in about 30 minutes in a ‘bendy bus’.
The weather was sunny and pleasantly warm for our stay and we were able to use a “hop on hop off” tour bus to help with our orientation.
An interesting feature of the city is the wonderful collection of tromp l’oeil murals scattered about – one utilising a blank wall to depict famous Lyonnaise residents through time, and another ‘Le Mur Canuts’, which particularly caught our fancy. It was created by a local arts cooperative that was commissioned to brighten up the area.
A huge blank end wall of an apartment block was transformed into a typical streetscape of the area. Not only that, but several iterations of the mural over time incorporated new characters and activities into the scene, even with some characters having been depicted as aging a few years!
Here are a few other murals we came across!
The Vieux Ville was very attractive with many buildings dating from the 16th, 17th and 18th Centuries. Attractive courtyards could be explored via narrow entrance passages, and the narrow streets were full of historic frontages and curiosities.
We explored the interior of the Cathedral, which, at the time of our visit, had an exhibition of some very expressive modern artworks of Christ’s Passion which were exhibited in the knave . We also enjoyed the stained glass, transmitting the powerful morning light.
The Basilica, reached by a funicular was pretty impressive on the outside, but we didn’t venture in since there appeared to be long queues at the entrance. Instead, we enjoyed the views across the city from the high vantage point on the plaza beside the Basilica.
Lyon, over the last decade or so, has transformed itself into a bit of a cultural hub. Taking advantage of a large area of derelict docklands, an area known as Le Confluence, a bit of a mini eco neighbourhood has been created, together with Le Musée Confluence (a sort of humankind/cultural/eco museum) with much bold architecture in evidence.
With an early start the following day to catch our early train to Torino, we had packed down our tent earlier in the day so that it could be stored in the motorhome alongside our tandem, sleeping bags and cooking equipment that Abi & Guy were looking after temporarily, whilst we continued our travels into Italy and Albania.
We slept soundly in their vehicle in the secondary sleeping area and managed to catch the early bus and tram connection to catch our train from Part Dieu Station to Torino.