Tuesday 1st October
Lyon: AirBnB link.
Address: 16 Rue Saint-Polycarpe, Lyon, Rhône-Alpes 69001, France
We were heading to Lyon today but driving via Beaune. Beaune had been mentioned to us by a number of people as worth visiting. It is another walled town with origins dating back to Roman times and is considered the wine capital of Burgundy wines.
The drive from Dijon took under an hour so we were at the tourist office in Beaune by about 10 am. So, armed with a map and some suggestions, we set off.
Once inside the old town, as with Colmar a few days ago, we noticed there was a little tourist train and, given we had only a couple of hours to explore Beaune, we decided to take this 40 minute trip.
The commentary on this tourist train was hard to hear and understand what they were saying, even though it was in English, but the ride was worth it to get a good view of the town; and we even did a loop out through the vineyards.
The most noteworthy part of the train trip though was that we saw one of Marks old work colleagues, as we were riding along. Mark called out, and then Mike‘s wife, Monica, called out. Rather, she screamed quite loudly. This alarmed all on our train as we were the only ones who spoke English. The other people on the train have no idea what was happening and were quite alarmed. The train driver too! It was all rather amazing and amusing at the same time. Not only that, but at the end of our train trip, Mark and I went to have breakfast and as we were sitting in the cafe we saw Mike pass by us once again!
So Mike, Monica and their two kids joined us and we had a chat over a cup of coffee.
This only left us an hour or so to have a quick look around Beaune before we had to depart for Lyon. So we walked along the narrow lanes, checking out all the shops, and had a quick look at the Cathedral before heading back to the car. It was, yet another, Notre Dame.
The trip from Beaune to Lyon by car took about one hour 45 minutes and we made it in good time and without much issue. That is apart from trying to navigate the very narrow streets in Lyon and with numerous road works blocking access. We found our apartment quite easily though and our host, Michel, as well. Michel helped me to the apartment whilst Mark returned the car to the rental outlet.
It was 4 pm before we ventured out from the apartment. This was rather poor timing because it had been fine all day but, as soon as we stepped out the door, it started to rain. Anyway we walked 20 minutes to catch the funicular up to Fourvière to see the Basilica Notre Dame. This is well worth doing. The inside of this Notre Dame Cathedral is the most beautiful of any church that I have ever seen. It has the most spectacular mosaics along its internal walks that make this Cathedral so appealing. There is a panoramic viewing platform just to the side of the cathedral and this offers great views back over Lyon.
To the other side of the Cathedral, just a short five minute walk away, there are very well preserved ruins of a Roman theater that are also spectacular. The rain was threatening again and so we headed back down the funicular to stroll from Lyon Old Town. And, of course, we just had to stop off so Mark would have a beer. After that, it was back to the apartment with a stop off to buy some supplies for a home cooked dinner; one with some vegetables!