Cobblestone paths. Narrow lane ways. Old Lyon is magical. Sitting in a cafe sipping a cappuccino after a full day of tourist activity is a welcome reward. I love France. I try to put it on my itinerary whenever I go to Europe. I could live there.
Lyon is especially beautiful. Although a city, it has the feel of a small town. My favourite area of Lyon is the old historical town centre. On my last trip to Lyon, I only had one day to explore before my train left for Paris. So there was so much to do and so little time.
Lyon is old. It was founded way back in the 1st Century BC by the Romans. Following the spread of political, economic, military and religious influences the city soon became a major European centre for the silk and textile trade, with its famous “canuts” – the weavers.
I love the small cafes and bars that line the street. Outdoor dining under an umbrella with tablecloth covered tables makes you feel a part of the French way of life. To sit and sip a coffee while people watching is my favourite activity in France. It is also a writer’s dream where new ideas are explored.
The modern side of Lyon also has its own charm. Take a walk through the shopping precinct to the Place Bellacour. Here you can see a statue dedicated to Louis XIV or just take in the view of the city around you.
Also worth a visit is the Musee Des Beaux Arts de Lyon (fine arts). Spend an afternoon wandering through the exhibits of fine art and sculpture from not only France but around the world. Be sure to make time for the gorgeous paintings of Monet and Rubens.
France is where I get my energy and inspiration from. There is something magical about the country that gives me a new energy to be creative.
In some ways France is my escape world where I can relax, recharge and re-energise for a return to the real world back in Australia. So when back home in Australia, I attend the Alliance French Film Festival held in March each year. There are always a wide variety of films to choose from. Although only films, they allow me the opportunity to immerse myself back into French culture and provide me with beautiful memories of France.
Lyon, famously known as the city between two rivers – Rhône & Saône – is one of my favourite French cities because of the blend of old meets new split by the river. Beautiful panoramic views are visible as you climb the stairs to reach the gardens above the old town. Stop for a moment to catch your breath as you gaze across the rooftops of the new town. Lyon is a mix of Gothic and Renaissance architecture and has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you have an afternoon free, it is well worth taking a walk along the banks of the river Saône, and explore the maze of streets and courtyards full of hidden architectural treasures.