Let me just start by saying it would be possible to spend MUCH more time in Lyon. BUT if you only have one day, it is absolutely still worth going, as we learned on Saturday. Here are some suggestions on what to do if you're crunched for time in Lyon and don't know what's worth seeing (based on our experience).
After visiting some cute little shops and listening to the hustle and bustle of 10:00 AM, we made our way up through the Jardins du Rosarie to get to Fourvière hill, which had amazing views of the city. The hike up was fun even though we were definitely sweating when we got to the top.
You don’t have to be religious to appreciate the largest cathedral in Lyon, the Fourvière basilica. The architecture was impressive, the mosaics mind-boggling, and the colors everywhere made it hard to decide where to look next. We must have been there for at least a half hour because the place is HUGE.
From the left hand side of the cathedral, we started making our way down the hill on the cobblestone streets. We soon reached the Roman Amphitheatres, located on rue de l’Antiquaille. They are over two thousand years old! In the first century BC, Lyon was called Lugdunum and was capital of Gauls under the Roman empire.
We walked back through the Rue des Antonins and eventually came out at the Rhone canals, which we had walked over earlier. We sat down for a while, listening to two musicians from Argentina who had been traveling together for 7 YEARS (!) as we bought the return bus tickets back for 8:30 PM. From there, our initial plan was to head to Tete d’Or Park to enjoy some green... but we got distracted along the way.
La Fresque des Lyonnais
Not only did we enjoy some beautiful views of the Saone Canal, but we also bought refreshing drinks to cool off as we sat under a bridge enjoying the scenery. What a catch!
After about an hour of reading on the Fleuve (what is my life) we made our way to Rue Neuve to get some dinner. We saw neat stuff along the way, including a bookstore. We had a rude waiter, but it didn’t matter because we were enjoying ourselves too much to notice. We headed back to the bus station and were on our way back to Grenoble about a half hour after expected.
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