Lyon, Day 2. Fourvière

Up reasonably early and rustled up a bit of a continental breakfast before agreeing a plan of action for the day and heading out to put it into effect.

Rather than retrace yesterday's steps, we actually headed for the Saône rather than the Rhône, and investigated that. The weather was glorious, the river life was fascinating, and we ended up really enjoying our traipse along the riverside, all the way up to Place de Saint-Jean where we got the funicular up to the Basilica of Notre Dame de Fourvière which dominates the skyline from below. I have to admit to some disappointment. From down below, it looks like a fairy-tale palace with all its turrets and so on, but the basilica in reality is a riot of ornate over-indulgence, with every square inch covered in decoration of every form in every material. Not at all to my liking.

The views from the plaza in front of the basilica were impressive, though, and we were delighted that we'd ventured up there. Rather than just turn around and get the funicular down again, we explored a bit through the parkland around Fourvière, vaguely intending to get to Saint-Just and a second funicular which would bring us back down to the old town again. We stumbled on the Roman up at the Gallo-Roman museum, and dutifully admired the amphitheatre and clambered up the steep tiers of seating. It wasn't so much that we got lost or anything (actually, we sort of did), but what started out as a gentle ramble eventually became a long-winded and rather tiring tramp back down to the river. We searched in vain for a bar or a café where we could stop for a coffee or beer or glass of wine, but had to wait until we were back down at the church of Saint-Georges before we found anything.

Another beer stop, a wander through part of the shopping district, and an abortive attempt to get the metro homeward (technical problems) meant we set off to walk to where we could catch the tram home. We spotted Le Barge, a floating bar moored on the river, made a mad dash for there, and watched the sun go down in a really pleasant riverside setting.

We needed a bit of rest and recuperation in the apartment, and thought some TV might fit the bill. We quickly came to the conclusion that French TV is just as bad as what we get at home, and went back out at 9.30 to a restaurant we'd spotted from the tram, which turned out to be surprisingly close to the apartment. Not cheap, mind you. The secret is to go for a set menu. Ordering starter and main separately ends up costing more money for less food.

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