Lyon, Part Deux, Docking Overnight

Just a couple of days after taking the train out of Lyon, we arrived back via river cruise. I was half kicking myself in the butt for planning to spend so much time in one area, but my concerns faded immediately upon arrival.

The Mr. and I signed up for an afternoon bike ride through the downtown area of Lyon, along the Rhone river ending in a tour of Parc de la Tete d’Or. Eighty percent of this endeavor was on a bike path right next to the river, however, the first leg was right through downtown Lyon, across skinny strips of cement posing as sidewalks next to heavily trafficked roads. In hindsight it still makes me feel part awe and part terror. To make matters worse, this was an excursion on a river cruise – not exactly a ship filled with the young and athletic. If you ever want to make yourself feel young and alive, risking your life and winning, usually does the trick! We discovered on the ride back, we could have stayed on the bike bath nearly all the way to the ship and avoided the city traffic altogether. We wouldn’t have felt nearly as accomplished had we done that though right?

Despite the tiny part of the ride that was a bit scary, I am so glad we did this! We saw a side of Lyon that I would have completely missed. I loved Vieux Lyon and the historic district, but the bike ride gave us a view into modern day Lyon and a completely different view of local life.

Parc de la Tete d’Or reminded of New York’s Central Park. There was a zoo, a war memorial, a lake where boating can take place in warmer months, a gazebo where we witnessed a live, impromptu concert, and a botanical garden, The park is named after the large golden entrance gates that glow like magic in the sunlight. I should’ve taken picture upon arrival, because by the time we left the light had changed and although beautiful, it no longer looked like an earthly version of the Pearly Gates.

My only regret about this bike excursion is that we were lead by an activity director from the cruise ship, and although he was lovely, we did not have the time I would’ve liked to stop along the bike path and take pictures. Such is cruise life I guess.

The following morning, we still had our hearts set on finding the St. Antoine market. I’m happy to report, that this time, we succeeded! Of course the cruise was providing an excursion to the Les Halles du Lyon, and I do regret not getting to see that. It turns out, that even with all of this time to explore Lyon, I still fell like I missed out on something!

FOMO didn’t last long as the street market was a delight for the senses – absolutely gorgeous booths of olives, vegetables, flowers, cheeses and meats, quail, even pigeon!

We bought a few things to have for lunch back on board the ship with a bottle of wine we had been carrying around since our first night in Lyon. The absolute best thing about a river cruise is the wall of doors that open across the entire cabin. Unfortunately there was an unbelievable heat wave sweeping through and so this lunch was one of the few times we enjoyed this feature to the fullest.

We also stopped at a chocolatier on the way back and procured ourselves a little desert. This morning and the resulting lunch was one of my favorite days in France.

We set sail around lunch time but I was so glad that we had this opportunity to explore Lyon further. One thing that we did miss on foot was seeing the murals of Lyon, for which they are quite famous. On our way into the city, we were able to see this one from our boat.

Not the best picture, but you can still see that mural is very real looking.

We really enjoyed Lyon. Although not as easy to navigate as Paris or Nice for Americans who speak very little French, the people were lovely and helpful. Have you been? Tell me your favorite things!

4 Comments Add yours

  1. We LOVE Lyon!!! Fortunately we had a friend that lives there that took us all around and to some AMAZING restaurants. The food and wine was delish, but I haven’t found a place in France that was bad. One memorable spot was at a restaurant where everyone at the table had to agree to play “the game”. There were 12 of us and they brought out 8 courses with wine pairings and we had to guess what we were eating and drinking. In between each course they would let us know and it was so fun to see who guessed correctly!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sounds absolutely amazing!How awesome to have a friend who lives there so you can visit like a local!


  2. robincgc says:

    Ah…I am living vicariously through your post! What a delightful visit! That cheese looks amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Robin that St Antoine market was just gorgeous!


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