Lyon, France is part culinary destination, part university town, and part scenic get-away in the Southeast portion of the French countryside, complete with an “Old Town” and a bustling city center between two rivers. I’ll go ahead and admit, however, that I didn’t spend nearly enough time here — and thus, my short stay will also only necessitate a short post. Hopefully, things will work out such that I’ll be able to return and give this great little gem of a city the time it deserves.
On my constantly changing mental itinerary, I’ve had Lyon penciled in as a place to visit 2-3 weeks down the road. However, I found myself staring at a map of Europe a few days ago in the tickets office of a train station, looking for a way to break up the 3-solid-days of transit that would be necessary to get transport myself by train from Madrid, Spain (where I flew back into after Morroco) to Prague, Czech Republic (where I needed to rendezvous with my brother, who was coming to join in on the fun of my little adventure for a few weeks). And wouldn’t you know, Lyon happens to be right smack in the middle of the two. Thus, after a day-and-a-half of travel and night train, Lyon is my destination, right before I embark on another day-and-a-half of travels, again, with a night train involved.
Being a foodie town — and only having about a day to check it out — I made a beeline for what is supposedly one of the foodiest places in one of the foodiest towns in one of the foodiest countries: Les Halles de Lyon. Essentially a collection of high-end restaurants, culinary shops, and a few markets all enclosed in one indoor space.
Though the budget traveler side of my personality didn’t allow me to take seat next to the business men in designer suits and blow an week’s salary stuffing seafood into my face, I did manage to come away with a few sweet treats in the form of macarons, so all was not lost:
Besides being home to some of the best cuisine in the world, France also happens to be one of the best wine destinations in the world. Though, if you’re anything like me and have just come off of an airplane from the continent of Africa, several metro lines, 3 day trains, another metro line to switch stations, and then an overnight train to get here, nothing sounds better than a nice, refreshing pint of ale.
Luckily, however, through a feat that I can attribute to nothing other than my ninja-like stealth and fox-like cunning (with a little help from my guidebook, too), I was able to locate the one micro-brewery that exists here:
And eventhough I had to skip lunch at Les Halles, I couldn’t leave Lyon without indulging in at least one great meal. So after a recommendation from a few folks in my hotel, I headed towards a restaurant that serves typical Lyonnaise food (or that which hails from Lyon), and ordered what the waiter recommended as his favorite. Though they used a bit more of the animals than we may be used to in the USA, this was still a great meal that I enjoyed quite a bit:
As mentioned above, I’m hoping I’ll be able to swing back for another pass through Lyon, as my time spent here was both on very short notice and all-too-brief. But for now, I’m continuing my journey traversing half of Europe to meet up with my brother for a few days, with Prague being the first destination, and Vienna, Austria on deck. A votre sante, from Lyon!