Lyon & quality time with our kind hosts
Lyon & quality time with our kind hostsApril
Allor! We made it to Lyon!
Before we made it to Lyon we were already excited. Arriving at Lyon meant a stay with some recommended hosts, Patrick and Claire. We were connected via our warmshowers.org host, Arnaud in Arras. Patrick and Claire were cousins with Luc … who was friends with Arnaud! Amazing how this trip works out…
Anyway…Lyon…this meant a day off the bike, a day to explore and of equal importance – a shower, a meal and a bed!
Lyon has delivered more than we expected, largely because we didn’t really have any expectations, but mostly because of the people we stayed with and the wonderful city that it is.
We arrived in Lyon at about 2pm, a nice time to finish for the day. We grabbed a shower and unpacked our panniers – we had a floor to ourselves which is amazing as it just gave us a little space to relax! From 2pm we had some quiet time, washed our clothes then later joined Patrick and Claire for dinner. The plan was for Stew and I to stay in Lyon for 2 nights, giving us half a day to rest, one day to explore then we’d be back on the bike. We ended up staying 3 nights and we had the most wonderful time.
On our days off we walked around old Lyon, which is really beautiful: grand, old buildings; a stunning Notre Dame of its own and a Roman theatre – all pictured if you’d like to take a look.
In the evenings we met Patrick and Claire each night for dinner. Both Patrick and Claire worked hard and a typical working day for them is 8am – 8pm! This makes their time and offer or us to stay more generous and precious! Their working days did not impair the time they gave to us or their wonderful hosting.
On the second night we particularly enjoyed a dish called Galettes de Sarrasin Bretonne. This dish was chosen as it had some importance to Patricks family who spent a lot of time Brittany growing up. Galettes de Sarrasin Bretonne is a pancake made with buckwheat flour. It’s a savoury dish and it is served with ham, cheese and eggs – or at least that’s what we had. The dish originated in Brittany, France and Patrick’s family meet in Brittany annually for their holidays!
When we eat with the people who we are staying with we find we have the most interesting conversation, the most pleasant time and on this occasion we got a little taste, (literally and figuratively) into someone else’s family life – and it’s a pleasure to be involved!
On the final night, (the extra night), Claire headed to the north of France to be with her large family for Easter! She expected to see 20 of her family members for Bank Holiday fun and Easter Egg hunts!
Patrick suggested that he, Stew and I all eat out. The next night at 8pm we headed out.
Lyon at night is breathtaking. Absolutely beautiful.
The city has 2 rivers running through the centre. At night the streets are lit up beautifully and the ambience is wonderful – it’s very busy with hundreds of people sitting along to the river, there were people scattered everywhere enjoying the full moon and gentle evening breeze. There was a very peaceful atmosphere across the city.
Patrick picked our restaurant; along the riverside there are boats, some restaurants and bars – others nightclubs! Between us we enjoyed burgers, a platter and enough chips needed to feed the 5000, there was no worry about running out of energy the next day on our bike ride!
After food and a beer we walked around Lyon for miles, with Patrick as our tour guide. It really is breathtaking. Patrick showed us many of the most beautiful sites and buildings such as the Opera House, City Hall, monuments, Court House, some very luxurious squares, fountains and so much more. I’ve put the pictures in the gallery here,but they don’t do it justice!
This evening treat meant a lot to me and Stew. We really enjoyed the city and we would’ve overlooked so much without Patrick’s local knowledge. It was a real treat and we will remember how beautiful Lyon is. We didn’t get home until midnight, which was fine for me and Stew who had a short day on the bike, but Patrick – or should I say, our tour guide had a typically early start and a long day! This just shows how generous Patrick and Claire are.
Luckily we already have a excuse to go back…Lyon has a Fête des Lumières, or in English, A Festival of Lights. Just take a look here – we’re going back to Lyon for this one day without a doubt! The city is beautiful enough without this showcase, but I have to see this and feel the atmosphere in the city! Something else to add to the bucket list.
Stew and I can’t thank Patrick and Claire enough for their time, their kindness and for sharing the beautiful city with us. We can only hope to repay them someday!
We hope to meet again on our return journey, as Patrick and Claire might be able to see us in Arras!