A GALLO-ROMAN SETTLEMENT - MAY 2005
After Paris and Marseille, Lyon is the third largest French city. However, if you take into account the metro area, it becomes the second, so they say... It seems that it was founded on the banks of the Rhône and Saône rivers, surrounded by the Fourvière and Croix-Rousse hills, to serve as a safe haven for the Celts. However, the main starting point for its development was its foundation as a Roman colony in 43 BC by Munatius Plancus, a lieutenant of Caesar! Almost two thousand years later, the UNESCO inscribed the Historic Site of Lyons in the World Heritage List. Lyon, which was a scene of mass violence against Huguenots in the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacres in 1572, houses nowadays the seats of Interpol and Euronews. It is also the home to my friend (and predecessor in former international responsibilities) Ron, surprisingly thinner since he’s living in [one of] the capital[s] of French gastronomy...
"SOFITEL HOTEL - Arriving on a weekend with no lodging reservations might be cause for trouble, but we were fortunate enough to find rooms at the Sofitel. That's why Jean-Pierre and the two cousins look so happy..."
"FROM THE TOP - The views from the «Les Trois Domes» restaurant at the Sofitel, where Chef Alain Desvilles (a Michelin star) offers a high quality menu, are great. But the view from the terrace next to the Notre-Dame de Fourvière Basilica, built between 1872 and 1876 high atop the Fourvière Hill, is magnificent!"
"THE RHÔNE is represented in bronze at the bottom of the Statue of the Cheval de Bronze (Louis XIV) in the Bellecour Place. The Place, measuring 312m by 200m, is, according to Wikipedia, the fourt largest square in France (after the Concorde in Paris, the Pâtis in Montargis, and the Quinconces in Bordeaux), but the largest clear square (i.e., without any kind of obstacles) in Europe. When we crossed it there was a Petanque Tournament going on"
"CLOCK TOWER, Place Carnot"
"AT NIGHT the face of Lyon is transformed with multi-coloured lights decorating more than 200 sites, monuments and bridges! The magic of Lyon's nightlife provides a wonderful sight during the annual Festival of Light on December 8, dedicated to Virgin Mary"