I’m currently on my way home from a glorious weekend in Lyon, which started as a class field trip to Yoplait and extended into a few days of vacation. We were only there for a few days, but I’m already scheming ways to get back for longer. It’s such a beautiful city, with not one but TWO rivers (and good running paths along them!) and a stunning hilltop church visible from almost everywhere in the city. Add in the charming old city with winding cobblestone streets and I’m totally hooked.
Lyon is known as the gastronomic capital of France, and we did our best to sample as much as possible in the short time we were there. The highlight for me was a “quick lunch” at Les Halles de Lyon-Paul Bocuse that ended up taking all afternoon as we wandered the endless bounty of gourmet food stalls. We were lucky enough to snag a table at one of the restaurants, where we feasted on butter and cream with varying accompaniments: snails (!), ravioli with smoked salmon, andouilette gratin, and cheesy potatoes. It was incredible. The whole place was super busy, with chefs from various stalls chatting over a charcuterie board and a lively bar next to us–I loved everything about it. It took an absurd amount of restraint to keep myself from leaving with food for the next month.
Other culinary highlights included daily ice cream (I even found pumpkin! I was a little too excited) and these praline almonds turned into every kind of baked good imaginable. I wasn’t sure what to make of them at first, but they’re surprisingly delicious.
I was clearly won over by the food, but I also loved the feel of the city. People seemed friendly and chatty, not traits typically associated with Parisians. We happened to arrive just in time for the celebration of the new Beaujoulais, which apparently includes brass bands and dancing in the street. We also stumbled on an art market this morning and wandered through adorable shops with locally made clothes, bags, toys, and crafts. It might be because of the ways it reminded me of Portland, but I’m smitten. Until next time, Lyon!