Friday, March 7, 2014

A few days in Lyon

Wanting to explore France beyond Normandy, we decided on Lyon as one of our destinations for Riki's upcoming two week break.  We had heard nothing but good things about Lyon, and after some quick research decided that it would be the perfect long weekend getaway.  Lyon is France's second biggest city, and is known for their food and light.  The city (and Lumiere brothers) basically invented moving pictures and cinema as we know it today.  It was here that the first ever motion picture was filmed all the way back in 1895.  Even at only 50 seconds long, audiences were enthralled and the rest, as they say, is history.  Lyon still celebrates this heritage each year with it's famous Festival of Lights.  

Its also pretty much the hottest city in France right now when it comes to gastronomy (yes, even beating Paris), and some even argue its the current food capital of the world.  We enjoyed ourselves, but my over zealous eyes would eventually catch up with my stomach.  I'll leave it at that.

It was also bone chillingly cold and damp...the kind of humid cold that you cuts through your clothes- the kind you feel in your bones.  The weather sucked, and quite frankly it was no fun to even be outside at times.  Not a good combo when you're trying to enjoy yourself.  It was unfortunate, because I'm sure Lyon is absolutely gorgeous in the spring and summer.  That being said, now that I've seen Lyon, I'm good...I have no real reason to go back.  

If you ever find yourself in Lyon, you'll no doubt enjoy yourself.  But it's this humble traveler's opinion that there is no real reason to seek out Lyon if you've got limited time in France or in Europe.  Hit the big cities and small countryside villages, and know that Lyon is there if you ever need to see the in-between.  Enjoy the photos.

If you do happen to ever find yourself in Lyon, definitely check out the Musée Miniature et Cinéma. It's a movie lover's paradise.  They had everything from full sized film sets to the actual masks and costumes that the actors wore.  

Harry Potter's actual wand. 

Some cheesy photoshop...

I would love to say that I explored all of these great places, but alas, they were just miniature models.  But the detail was insane, and still fun to photograph.

The beef tartare...

The Lumiere brothers, Auguste and Louis, were scientific and technical geniuses.  Every one who considers themselves a photographer or cinematographer owes a huge debt of gratitude to these two.  They invented everything from the first motion picture and movie house to the first process for 3D and color photography (and hundreds of innovations in between).  They were revolutionaries in every sense of the word.  Check out the first movie ever below, shot in Lyon:

The Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière dominates the hill overlooking Lyon.  It was only built in the late 1870's, but it was definitely one of the most intricate churches I've ever seen, and in Europe that's saying something.

The Roman theatre, circa 15 B.C., seated more than 10,000 people in it's prime. 

So long Lyon...

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