As our first month abroad was coming to a close, it was time for us to head north a bit. We rented a car and drove to Lyon, by way of Millau, which was a stunning drive and a really fun way to be surprised by the fact that, I really had no idea what France looked like outside of Paris and the sea.
Lyon is one of the largest French cities, and it is a gastronomical capitol for the country. The food did not disappoint, especially our first bouchon experience at Le Val d'Isère, where the mushroom sauce was so rich, I thought for sure I'd been tricked into eating meat. We also found great vegetarian options in Lyon, including the veggie burger at Yabio and vegan fare near the old town at Toutes les Couleurs.
Our Airbnb was very near the Parc de la Tête d'Or, which was a serious treat. We spent two days biking the paths, exploring the zoo, and picnicking in the gardens. The neighborhood itself was really nice and friendly to walk around, full of parks and lots of local shops. Edith even ordered and paid for her own baguette at the boulangerie, all in French, and boy, did the shopkeepers get a kick out of that!
We found the community in the old town to be a little less warm, but the sights made up for it. We took the cable car to the top of the hill to Notre Dame de Fouvière. It was stunning inside--and out, with endless views of Lyon and winding garden paths down the hills. We were on a big hunt for the silk tunnels which run through the historic portion of the city; but in the end, we discovered they were less like secret tunnels and more like hallways from block-to-block. Pretty, but not exactly the mystery we'd been imagining.
At the end of our time in Lyon, we caught the high-speed train to Paris, and even the Lyon train station was clean, beautiful, and easy. I really enjoyed our time in Lyon, and if you want an amazing city to explore history and food in France, it is definitely worth the stop!