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Of buses and boats

Updated: Jun 26, 2022

Wednesday 22nd June 2022

So the first thing to do was to find breakfast (the hotel does breakfast but in a dismal "breakfast room") and I'd much rather find a local cafe.

Le Dandelion Cafe is very close to the hotel and met several points on the brief; small local business, fab breakfast and brilliant wifi. I was able to upload photos and post yesterday's blog whilst enjoying a great breakfast of cafe, jus, granola et un delice sucre.

Our plan for the day was to do a bus tour - just a great way to get a "mental map" of a city and decide what to see on foot. Lyon is the second-largest city in France but the main central area is relatively compact. The journey up the steep, winding streets above the old town in a double-decker bus was interesting at times! We also saw the Musee des Confluences - memories of school geography returning that Lyon sits at the confluence of the Rhone and the Saone. Evidently the Rhone is masculine and the Saone is feminine and this is depicted in a sculpture on the Pont Bonaparte. Apparently French children spend a lot of time learning the genders of all the various rivers (and countries).

In the afternoon we took a boat trip on the Saone and then we wandered in Vieux Lyon - it doesn't appear to be the full tourist season yet when I would think the streets would be packed.

Thunder was threatening so we headed back to our hotel - just in time as the heavens opened! This severely curtailed our dinner options and so we ended up in a bistrot three doors away (once the deluge had abated somewhat) which offered more modern French cuisine rather than the incredibly repetitive Andouillette / Perchon / Boudin / Tripes in most of the restaurants in town. Given that Rick Stein says Andouillette is not for the faint-hearted (it's a sausage made of intestines) we had decided to avoid it (and we are confirmed haggis-eaters!!) The cuisine in Bistro Compa was just what we like - with lots of vegetables.

After dinner we had a walk around the Place Carnot as the rain had finally stopped. We read of inondations in other parts of the city, and there is likely to be more rain in the days to come which may affect our plans.

Hoping for a dry-ish day tomorrow to see the Roman remains at the top of the hill (reachable by funicular), as well as the basilica.

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