lights festival in Lyon

Written by Donovan December 14, 2014 Category: Europe, France Tags: , , , , , Comments
In the mood of Christmas and because I’m bored of writing for my thesis, I’ve decided to write more articles about my travels in Europe last autumn/winter.

Today we feature: Lyon, the gastronomic capital of France.

giant feris wheel lighted up for the lights festival in the city centre of Lyon
in front of hotel de ville
the efficient train that takes you between Grenoble and Lyon and other parts of France as well
this is an interesting exhibit, it was like walking through silk curtains

In December, the city is transformed into a fairetale land with beautiful bright lights. Me and my friends took a train from Grenoble to Lyon, about one hour long, to catch the light spectacle. It takes place for four nights in a row, usually during the first week of December, after 1800h. The best thing is that this festival is entirely free to the public!

The Festival of Lights showcases the exceptional heritage of Lyon, monuments, parks and rivers using different exhibits spread across the city which make use light, video, sound design and performing arts to captivate the audience. The city centre has the most spectacular exhibits and shows which would leave children and even adults in awe. The lights festival promises to evoke strong emotions, poetry and spectacular magic several routes that accompany the visitor throughout the city.

The important sights that you can take in include the Saône and Rhône rivers which are the two rivers running through Lyon, hidden alleyways and the slopes of the Croix-Rousse. Along the way, discover monuments and emblematic places of Lyon: the Place Bellecour and Bartholdi fountain Bellecour.
On the other side of the Saône, the quays of the Vieux Lyon (old Lyon), the Renaissance district and its famous cathedral are also some of the places not to be missed. Most athletes climb the Fourvière hill to look at Lyon from the Basilica, a symbolic site of the tradition on 8 December. An alternative for the less physically fit is to take the funicular that connects the Old Lyon Fourvière from the base of Vieux Lyon to the top of the hill. Finally, take a stroll along the banks of the Rhone, where you can admire the tranquilness of the river, its bridges and light exhibits that mark this serene journey.

Besides the lights festival, you can also enjoy the gastronomy of Lyon which is well-known for having long lunches and “bouchon lyonnais” – basically it is traditional Lyonnais cuisine, Beaujolais wine and a friendly atmosphere! Go during lunches where there are set menus, so it is cheaper than dinner. The terraces are usually facing the road which makes it interesting to people-watch as you enjoy your meal. My host brought me out to “Le Petit Flore”(19 Rue du Garet, 69001 Lyon, France) which serves typical lyonnaise cuisine. I had a chicken in creamy sauce baked in the oven, served with potato gratin and for dessert I ate this pinkish tart which I forgot the name. The pink colour was from a fruit and it was not too sweet. Overall it was a very delicious meal and we paid about 20E each for the set lunch including a bottle of wine.

Only Lyon – it has been nothing short of a wonderful trip and I would love to go back again to sample more lyonnaise cuisine. Actually I visited Lyon almost every week while on exchange, that was because I always went to Lyon St Exupery airport to catch my flight to some other part of Europe during the weekend. If you count only the times that I visited the city itself, then it would be three times only.

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