Lyon was the final stop of my tour of France and I fell in love with the city immediately. It was clean, quiet, and orderly. The architecture was different from Paris but still ornate and distinctive. Thanks to the Saône and the Rhone there was water everywhere, which always sets my soul at ease.
What I loved the most was the layout, particularly how the various arrondissements had their own distinct atmosphere. Once I crossed the Rhone into Presqu'île I could feel the energy of Rue de la République and I knew I was in the heart of the city. Then I'd stroll by Place Bellecour:
... and cross the Saône via Pont Bonaparte:
... and enter Vieux Lyon ("Old Lyon"), which felt like a completely different — yet equally charming — world of its own. Below is a short video I cobbled together to capture some of the essence of Lyon:
If I had to vote for the #1 highlight, it'd have to be the Fourvière area that includes an ancient Roman amphitheatre, the awe-inspiring Notre-Dame de Fourvière, and breathtaking views of the entire city.
This hasty video clip doesn't do it any justice, but nevertheless:
Sadly, I didn't get a chance to see Institut Lumière or experience the gastronomical bliss that Lyon is renowned for. But hey, now I have excuses for a return visit!
Not that I needed any excuses. I can honestly say that Lyon is the most charming city I've ever seen, and there's no doubt I'll experience it again in the future.
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