Friday, January 9, 2015

Lyon #1 analogue walking tour

illustrated map of Vieux Lyon
my first attempt to make a ink + watercolors travel sketch 






we arrived in Lyon in the evening, it was dark already, shops were closed and most people was busy dining and warming up on the inside. still, a wave of good vibes hit us, and it hadn’t stopped hitting us until we came back home, three days later. choosing a place to eat did nothing but increase the warm feeling of coziness and wellbeing: dozen of bistros, tapas bar, restaurants, bouchons, good wine and intriguing gastronomic offers.  

the view from Fourvière 




waking up in Lyon did not change the first impressions. the city was filled with light, bicycles and life. we stayed in a airbnb flat near Hotel de Ville / place des Terreaux, that has proven to be a good base to explore the surroundings. Hotel de Ville has also a metro station but I have to say we took it just to come and go to the airport, as walking and cycling were the best solution to move around.


our walking tour started from Vieux Lyon, the Renaissance quarter. we rent two audio guides from the Tourist Office {place Bellecour}, it may sounds very 90s, but we actually found them interesting and helpful, as they give you the freedom you don’t have with a “real” guide, plus the fun in finding the right directions on the map. 

Hotel de Ville - Lyon city hall



Bartholdi fountain in place des Terreaux

garden of the musée des beaux art 


i loved Vieux Lyon! shops, windows, streets, decorations, gardens, colors… i picture the word “french” in my mind just the way this district looks like.


detail of  flower shop window in Vieux Lyon

in the past the different souls of the neighborhood were organized around three churches, and now the architectural style of buildings still reflects the original purpose : St. Georges, the most southern, was the home of the artisans, St. Jean, with the beautiful gothic style cathedral, dominated by high clergy and aristocracy, and then St. Paul, area of upper middle class, financial and commercial center, that reminds me of Italy somehow.

looking at Fourvière from place St. Jean | herbalist's shop in place St. Jean
Vieux Lyon stands between two hills: Fourvière and Croix Rousse, which were once called “the praying hill” and “the working hill”. the first one is dominated by the big and white Notre Dame de Fourvière, and the second one is the famous silk district {the two main activities in Lyon were silk and typography}, where the canuts {silk workers} lived and worked. 

stairs 



the canuts were the original users of the most peculiar {and loved by any tourist, i suppose} among Lyon’s features: the traboules. they are passageways that connect the districts of Vieux Lyon and Croix-Rousse passing through inner courtyards, buildings, stairs, spiral staircases, tiny streets. the traboules allowed the canuts to transport textiles and move around the city in a quicker way. most traboules are on private property, that you have access to by the front door of someone’s home {and you have to ring the bell}. anyway, more than 40 of them are still open to public, and find them is part of the fun.
besides the traboules, you can also find a miraboule, which means a traboule with no exit.

more stairs

i hope you liked this stroll around the historical part of Lyon!
to read all posts about the city click here 
Lyon rooftops

20 comments:

  1. Spectacular! Such fine weather and beautiful colours... But above all I LOVE that illustrated map!

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    1. thanks polly, i'm so glad you like it! it's the first time i'm trying to make something like that. :)

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  2. I miss Lyon... and you captured it so well! Thank you for sharing!

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    1. i wasn't expecting such a lovely city! i was amazed! ♥

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  3. Lovely! I wish I'll have a Europe trip someday :D

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  4. The illustrated map is so cute!
    And Lyon is on my list for quite sometime. It really seems fascinating. :)

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    1. thanks thais! lyon is lovely, and i feel lucky to live within such a (relatively) close distance. hope you'll have the chance to visit it someday :)

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  5. ok, devo andarci!

    ps. bravissima, la mappa è adorabile! [devo ancora ringraziarti per il bigliettino, è stato un regalo bellissimo!]

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    1. grazie valentina! vi ho pensati mentre giravamo per il mercato (le foto saranno in uno dei prossimi post) secondo me vi piacerebbe un sacco!

      sono contenta che tu abbia apprezzato gli auguri di carta ♥♥♥

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  6. First of all, LOVE the watercolor!

    And how amazing are the traboules! Walking in this city seems like such an adventure.. :)

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    1. ♥ thanks katie
      i was amazed by the traboules, too! i'm sorry i couldn't take photographs in there (way too dark for my camera)

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  7. I have never imagined that Lyon was so beautiful!! and going during fall was a nice decision, colors are so pretty

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    1. it was really a pleasant stay! it seems to me that Lyon is a wonderful place to live in.

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  8. Gorgeous Silvia! I haven't been here for so long - but your work has really a new dimension to it with the water color! Lovely!

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    1. anna ♥♥♥
      glad to see you back here.
      i was ready to do something new, so i tried. now i really want to experiment more *time permitting*

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  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  10. Lyon is a small city in South of France.What pulls in you the most is the rich green landscape in transit from Lyon airport to the city.We took a walking tour to the traboules or the mystery passages made for the silk traders to spare their work from rain.Old Lyon is the best in any case.

    @Kathy Brooks.

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