I'm relieved the rain has abated today I really want to explore Lyon and ideally not get too wet in the process. The winding little cobbled streets are flanked by coloured houses just begging to be photographed. The view from my hotel has a fine cluster of these houses overlooking the River Saône.
Lyon’s fortune was made in silk weaving and now Lyon is famed for the food. You cannot fail to see, smell and taste the importance of gastronomy to Lyon on every corner, in every street. There is a surfeit of cafés, brasseries, restaurants, patisseriers, boulangeries, and other eateries wherever you look. For a late lunch meandering through the tiny streets I settle for a Breton crêperie and a buckwheat “complete”. I want to conserve my appetite as Lyon is home to Paul Bocuse and I'm very keen to sample his wares on my visit.
I've been spoilt with excellent fine dining on our luxury barge, so I eschew the ’proper’ eponymous restaurant and make a reservation for his “Le Nord” restaurant instead. Now to spend the rest of the day building up an appetite. There's shopping to be done, I spotted some interesting sparkly things through the windows of the very shut shops yesterday. And Sonia Rykiel is having a sale, it would be rude not to! Armed with my new goodies I cross the pedestrian suspension bridge and explore more hiddley, piddley cobbled streets. In my enthusiasm I've left it late to return to the hotel to freshen up and try on my new purchases but I squeeze it in and head for the very typical French brasserie of Le Nord.
I'm not disappointed and certainly don't go home hungry after tucking into a couple of local specialities - Lyonnaise Frisée Salad with the meatiest chunks of lardons ever (possibly an entire pig cut into slices) followed by Veal Escalope with Macaroni Cheese.
As I discovered last night in the rain, walking along the Saône back to my hotel, that Lyon is also beautiful at night. The clearer weather has brought more people out and the steps leading done to the river are dotted with couples enjoying some alone time under the stars. Last night here, I’m determined to make the most of it.