Photo Diary: Traboules, Bouchons, and Beaujolais in Lyon

Last month Dan and I joined my parents, Dan’s parents, my aunt, my sister, my brother-in-law, and my cute little 17 month old niece for a week-long family holiday in Lyon, France. Located at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers and surrounded by some of the best wine country around, it’s also considered the gastronomic capital of France and thanks to Eurostar can now be reached directly from London.

Boasting neat museums such as the Lumiere Museum (which tells the history of early filmmaking) and the Puppets of the World Museum, old Roman ruins, and fantastic cuisine, the hilly riverside city makes a perfect long weekend city break destination. In Vieux Lyon, the oldest part of Lyon, pedestrian friendly cobblestoned-streets are lined with charming pastel-hued boutique shops, boulangeries, patisseries, and small bistros called bouchons serving up amazing dishes such as salade lyonnaise, green lentils with sausage, local whitefish, and delicious fruity Beaujolais wine. A quick funicular ride will take you up to Fourvière Hill for panoramic city views and to see the stunning glimmering white Notre-Dame Basilica as well as the remains of an old Gallo-Roman amphitheater (more on that in the next post!)

Hidden, covered serpentine passageways called traboules serve as shortcuts for locals (and visitors!) in the know to connect Vieux Lyon and nearby La Croix-Rousse hill. Look for the door plaques as you wander along to find the few traboules available to the public. Hint: the longest one links up #54 Rue St. Jean to #27 Rue du Boeuf.

Our week in Lyon showed us that the city is not only a feast for the stomach but the eyes!

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