Friday, June 15, 2007



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"


Peter said...

I can just confirm your different statements here:

I know Sofitel and the top floor.
Eating is excellent (I have even tried Paul Bocuse - of course just outside Lyon)... and the you have all the "bouchons".
Nightlif is active.
Bellecour is the biggest (just slightly bigger than Concorde).

... and you are close to the Alps, to the Mediterranean coast!

Not a bad place!

lyliane six said...

Merci pour votre souhait de bienvenue à Lisbonne. A Lyon je n'ai visité que Notre Dame de Fourvière, pourtant j'y suis passée des dizaines de fois pour descendre sur la côte d'azur à Bormes les Mimosas où ma maman habitait (moi aussi pendant 3 ans) et où ma soeur a toujours son appartement, qu'elle loue pour les vacances.

isa said...

Oh, you left me wanting for more...

If and when we get back to France, Lyon is on top of our list of places to live for an extended period. Would you recommend it? (we lived in Paris, Provence and Cote d'Azure previously. Would that be a logical progression?).

BTW - Are you sure you did not make up the Munatius Plancus name? ;-)

Anonymous said...

I love going into all those churches.... they never fail to amaze me.

CaBaCuRl said...

Your night photos of the cathedral are wonderful, well, all the night shots...always a bit tricky to photograph I think , unless you have ALL the equipment (which i don't ). Did you visit Kakadu NP when you were in OZ? The rock art there has to be seen to be believed.

Aditi said...

the shots taken at night especially made the place enchanting

Anonymous said...

St. Bartholomew's Day Massacres??
oh ive learned it at high school..
dont remember clearly thoo :)
wat an awesome historical place!!
thanks for sharing!!

Peter said...

I saw from your comment on my blog that you had not yet been to Vietnam. I was surprised; thought you had been everywhere! Well, then I would clearly recommend that you go!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the confirmation. Collonges-au-Mont-D'Or surely deserved a gastronomy specific reference; lucky guy to have been there. Alternatively, the Brasserie Georges 1836 will do, and will keep Shionge interested...
The discussion about the size of the plazas is amazing. Some sites place Concorde first and Bellecour fourth (but first pedestrian...); others place Quinconces (Bordeaux) first, even in Europe, and Concorde, second; finally some others mention Prato del Valle (Padua), Ceské Budejovice (Czech Republic)... I give up!
Vietnam is on the list; but now I’m somehow stuck...
Enjoy your weekend. I’m heading for a wet wedding!

Je ne me rappelle pas d’avoir fait un arrêt à Bormes les Mimosas ; je suis allé à Saint Tropez bien sur (BB obligeait...) et à St. Raphael, mais pas à Bormes; peut-être un jour, quand je retournerais en Provence et sur la Côte, j’y ferais un détour!

After Paris, Provence and Côte, I’m not so sure Lyon would be a logical «progression»...; but it’s true that people I know who live there, love it!
No make up for Lucius; but he’s known to be one of the classic historical examples of men (like Talleyrand) who managed to survive very dangerous situations by constantly shifting their allegiances... ;)

You have a lot to see in Lyon; I just showed the Notre Dame de la Fourvière Basilica and the Cathedral of Saint Jean.

Thanks. You’re right about those night pictures; they are always a bit blurred as I was taking it without the needed paraphernalia... That’s why I am thinking of getting a new high or ultra-sensitive camera (but compact) to avoid the blur... Any suggestion?
Unfortunately I was only for a very short time in Darwin, and didn’t visit Kakadu NP; another spot to see in this not so small world!

Aditi, Niki thanks!

Dsole said...

I like the night shots the most! A great lighting makes a walk as an unforgetting experience!
Hey i see your rain is now in madrid! Oh my it's pouring now! Damm it we have a rainy weekend >:(

Ele ^_^ said...

Lyon is a very nice town, I saw that place maybe five years ago.. And I sleepped in a hotel called "Matitone" for its shape..

(Excuse me for my bad english! ^_^)

Anil P said...

Never been to India?

Anonymous said...

Thanks. Our rain is still here, and fog also; it should have gone now, as I've to get out for a wedding, but it must be covering the whole Peninsula... :(

Ciao. Tanti grazie per la tua visita e commento. Sì voglie, potrai commentare in italiano; io capisco. Il mio problema è di scrivere in il tuo bellissimo idioma... Ci vediamo qui!

Anil p,
Thanks for the visit. India, not yet. But I'll go...

Kalyan Panja said...

WoW...some terrific shots from Lyon. The night shots are wonderful...well done!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Kalyan!

Cuckoo said...

The night shots are enchantingly beautiful.

Come to India sometime. Be our guest. :)

lv2scpbk said...

That's a neat looking hotel at the entrace. I like the statue. It looks to be half man, half lion on the one. I'm not sure what it represents but I like it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks. I'm fighting to get some time off to allow me to visit India. Would love to go...

Thanks. The statue represents the Rhone River (one of the two rivers in Lyon; the other is the Saone).