Our vacation in France was all the way back in November, 2018, but at our usual non-real time pace, it’s taken nearly six months to wrap up the recounting of this trip on our blog.
Our last stop was a pleasure. Coming in with little in the way of expectations, we found Lyon full of art and big on cuisine. The city is definitely worthy of a repeat visit.
One of the Lyon’s favorite forms of art is trompe l’oeil. Instead of having graffiti covering the blank walls of buildings, there were inventive works featuring notable residents of the city, including the famous chef associated with nouvelle cuisine, Paul Bocuse. Click on the pictures below in order to enjoy more of the details of these amusing public works of art.
Part of our tour with Viking River Cruises took us to the old town, Vieux Lyon, where the long blocks featured secret passages called trauboles with their inner courtyards. During the day, most of them are open to the public. During WWII, they were used by the Resistance to help avoid Nazi soldiers, who were usually foiled by the multiple passages and exits.
One of the stops that we really enjoyed was a visit to Lyon’s Textile Museum, with a wide-ranging history of fabrics and textiles including a in-depth coverage of Lyon’s famous silk industry. Here is just one sample (a Napoleonic fabric) along with a card-driven weaving machine:
Lyon is considered as France’s gastronomic capital, and is especially well-known for its hearty local cuisine served in restaurants known as bouchons. We indulged in a simple, wonderful lunch at a bistro next to the museum. Very memorable!
Here is just a sample of some of the art works and architecture of Lyon; be sure to click on the pictures to expand:
Of all the sights in Lyon, this one really caught our eye. We’re not really sure of the significance of the sculpture, but it was definitely striking:
Our last stop before returning to our ship on our final day was at Lyon’s Christmas Market. Like all the seasonal markets we’ve visited, this one had its share of food stalls. In Lyon, there was a sister-city presence from Quebec where their stall featured, of course, poutine. There were a few vendors selling the Provencal-specific Christmas decorations known as santons, tiny terra cotta nativity scene figurines. During this trip we somehow managed to avoid getting sucked into collecting santons. After all, where the heck would you get started?
The French are generally less religious than the Germans, so their markets tend not to feature a crèche. In Lyon, however, they did have a Slutty Snow White with her Dwarves in attendance bringing her presents!
This picture of several other river cruise ships on the Rhône features other Lyon landmarks. The towers on the left with flags on top are next to a river-front indoor/outdoor swimming pool. The pointy skyscraper in the middle is nicknamed The Pencil, while the rectangular skyscraper to its left is of course known as The Eraser.
Here is the stern of the Viking Heimdal, the floating hotel for our week-long cruise, along with a tear-inducing parting shot as we left for the Lyon airport and our return flight home.
All good things eventually come to an end, but there’s no reason not to extend a vacation with champagne on the way home:
So, at last, this blog post concludes our recap of our November vacation. If you’d like to review our 20+ blog postings from this trip, you can visit our Trip Album page.
We have no big trips planned for the near future, so until we do we’ll mostly be posting either throwback stories or write-ups about any quick getaways that we might be able to squeeze in. We hope that you’ve enjoyed these posts!