Lyon is a city in the Rhône-Alps region of France, only two hours southwest of Geneva. I've wanted to go to Lyon for a long time, mostly because I was intrigued by the fact that Lyon is the second oldest and the second biggest city in France, and the gastronomical capital of the country, and some say even Europe. Ironically, the only thing that disappointed me about Lyon was the food.
We once again took advantage of the couchsurfing network and contacted Antoine, who had a wonderful apartment right on the Prèsqu'Ile, or "almost island." In addition to giving us free lodging and lunch, he took us on a walking tour of Lyon. Score!
We saw Old Lyon, the two hills of the city, one of which used to be the silk-weavers quarter of town, the other of which housed the wonderful Basilica Fourvière. After months in France, I had been sick of churches, cathedrals, and basicilias. This basilica restored my faith, so to speak. It's a more modern cathedral, built around 1870, but the inside is gorgeous.
Lyon is a big city, with lots of interesting architecture on every corner. It's a lot like Paris, but cleaner and less stressful. For dinner, we ate in a traditional bouchon. Lyon is known for its meat crazy food. Tripe, blood sausage, brains, and feet are some of the specialities of the region. We decided to try something a little tamer, and Andrew had leg of lamb, though he unintentionally ordered diced sheep feet as an appetizer. I had a breaded pike served in a lobster sauce, which was very, very rich and not really to my liking. I had the Lyonnaise salad for an appetizer, which is a plain salad with a poached egg on top. Again, not really my thing.
There are many Roman ruins in Lyon, including this amphitheatre, where Andrew snapped a picture of me mid-jumping jack.
The next morning, Andrew left early for his seven hour ride to the Pyrenées, where his summer camp is located. I spent a little more time in Lyon and visited the Lumière Museum, where the brothers Lumière lived in Lyon and where they shot the first motion picture ever. The house was very pretty, but unfortunately I didn't have a lot of time to visit because I had to catch a train to my summer camp that afternoon.