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The French don’t muck around with cheese.

Evade Magazine Travel writer Nicole Schembri travels to Lyon, France, and gets real about family, culture and most importantly, food!

For my month holiday this year I travelled to Europe, visiting six countries catching up with friends and family and one of the destinations was France. In Evade’s first issue I wrote an article of my adventure through North India where I met Alexandre, who at the time was doing a student exchange in the South of India for 6 months. Almost a year later we caught up in his hometown in Lyon and I got the opportunity to stay with him and his family. Alex had prepped two jam packed days full of exploring the city of Lyon.

On the first day we explore the two main hills in the city. The first hill we went to had the Basilica of Notre-Dame and on top of the Basilica there is a gold statue of mother Mary. Alex was telling me back when the plague was spreading throughout Europe, the city of Lyon had the statue of the mother Mary placed on top of the Basilica and in the evening the people of Lyon would light candles and place them on their window sills and the plague never entered the city. Every year around the 8th of December the city shows their gratitude towards Mary by having the “Fete des Lumieres” (The Festival of Lights). What is usually a four day event with colourful projections projected on their historical buildings as well as many other activities.

I just missed out. However, from the images and videos I saw they looked spectacular would highly recommend it. From the Basilica there is a great view of the city and five minutes away by foot you can walk through some Roman ruins that used to be a theatre. You can find many roman ruins throughout the city of Lyon. I was very surprise we could just walk through these ruins at no cost. In the summer they have live art productions in the theatre.

We walked down the hill into the old city where you come across the aroma of fresh bread and delicious treats in the old city. Everywhere you turn in the old city and pretty much anywhere in Lyon has an amerce amount of beauty. We walked up the other main hill known for as the working area the locals on this hill have some lovely little views of the city from all edges of the hill.

The next day we went to where the two main rivers meet. The architecture in this area is fairly modern and every building looks different to each other. One of the buildings used to be a sugar factory that they turned into a museum. If you are looking for somewhere to eat out or have a drink there are plenty of trendy bars and restaurants in the area on the riverfront and it was something my local guide recommended. Just a word of advice these restaurants don’t open of Sundays as well as many other shop in town something that I’m not use to. My last stop of the day was at the Parc de la Tete d’or, which is somewhere I would definitely recommend if you like roaming around parks and animals as it is a botanical garden with many green houses, rose garden but also there is a zoo inside all for free.

I was spoilt with some delicious food in the streets of Lyon as well with Alex’s family. I got to try some tartiflette, which is a French dish made of potatoes, reblochon cheese, lardon and onions. I also got to try some mulled wine at the Christmas markets and my last evening I was spoilt at Alex’s home with great wine with a variety of cheese and cured meat with French bread.

I had a lovely surprise in the morning the day I left as it snowed properly for the first time in about 8 years. I would have to say Lyon is a lovely city to have a relaxing weekend away.

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