I undertook my second trip to Lyon all by myself. Once I got settled into my hotel room, I packed a small handbag and stepped outside to experience the city all over again. On my previous trip, we had hiked to the top of Lyon’s famous staircases all the way to the Fourvière Basilica, the highest point of the city with a bird’s eye view of the whole city sprawled below.
While we had hiked the last time, I decided to take the boat into town this time to try and find the Basilica again. I felt compelled to find it and behold it’s wonders, and to enjoy the city topical views once more. I also wanted to engage in my candle lighting ritual at the Basilica; it felt like I had a rendezvous with my beloved angels.
I was all by myself on the boat so it felt private. I loaded up on video footage as the water gushed up behind the boat leaving a trail mist. Once in town, I stopped to take some pictures then set about the task of finding the ‘staircase to heaven’ as I perceived it.
After a few missed turns, I finally, found myself on the right path, trudging up endless stairs for what felt like hours; it was an exhilarating trip up. I talked to myself, I talked to others, I skipped, I panted, huffed and puffed, until I had made my way back to the top.
Once again, I started with the basilica, repeating the same ritual of admiring the interior, moments of silence, then the lighting of the candles.
This time around, I focused more on video footage with very few pictures in-between, resulting in a three-part video series to cover the entire trip. The first video shows the Confluence Centre and the boat trip into Lyon City. The second video shows the trek up the stairs to get to the Basilique Fourvière and the view of Lyon from the top of the fortress. The third videos is more of a chit-chat with a brief outing to the Old Town area of Lyon to grab some dinner. Let’s go into a bit more detail for the places I visited.
Lyon Confluence Shopping Centre
This area is aptly named so because it stands at the confluence of two main rivers in France; the Saône and Rhône rivers. For accommodation, it houses the Novotel Confluence Lyon and one does not need to leave the building at all to indulge in some retail therapy or to grab a bite and the centre has all these in-house. I did all my shopping at this centre as it was convenient to not have to carry heavy bags from a mall further away when I could get all I wanted in the same building as my hotel. I then caught an hourly boat out into the city for a bit of sightseeing.
Notre Dame de Basilica Fourvière
When I came here in July, I had trekked up with the crew to this church and the memory had stayed with me thereafter. Going back there, I could not resist the urge to find it again, all by myself this time, to revisit the quiet church and to enjoy the view from the top once more. I got off the boat after the half hour trip and started with a bounce in my step, jogging upstairs feeling fresh and vibrant. Even to the best of us, these stairs are no joke.
Vieux Lyon (Lyon Old Town)
Located at the foot if the Fourvière Hills, Lyon Old Town is made up of three sections; Saint Jean, Saint Paul and Saint Georges. Here you will find cathedrals, academic institutions and museums. Situated across from the River Saône, Vieux Lyon is a thriving business centre full of eateries and beautiful open-courtyard residential areas that facilitate vibrant social gatherings amongst both locals and tourists.
Lyon is a 5-hour drive from Paris, or a 2-hour train ride, or just an hour by air. Should you ever find yourself somewhere in France, say Paris, I hope you make it a point to visit Lyon. Cheers, Grey xo