13 December 2009

quarante (forty) reasons why i fell in love with lyon… with quarante photos as well

lyon. oh, lyon. you make me tick. a city full of everything i adore: beautiful patisseries, plenty of bookstores (an english one and  a cooking one plus all the french ones), tons of light, a place to climb to see all of the city, two rivers…

but because this entry so image heavy, i’m going to keep the text light by simply listing 40 reasons why i love lyon.

lyon01un// a basilica. on a hill. with gorgeous patterns inside. and a gorgeous view outside.

lyon02deux// hidden passageways that have shortcuts that link the city to the river.

lyon03trois// patisseries and their vitrines (shop windows)

lyon04quatre// a miniature museum. with the cutest little model of a silk winding machine. (i think)

lyon05cinq// the tartes aux pralines roses – i have so much to say about this, but that’s for another day.

lyon06six// the everything else aux pralines roses… those hints of red just make me swoon.

lyon07sept// macarons, old style.

lyon08huit// rice pudding mixes. aren’t they so wonderfully packaged?

lyon10neuf// eating local specialties of lyon and the rhone-alps in a restaurant with the perfect ambiance.

lyon09dix// two things lyon is famous for: the creamy and oh so runny st. marcellin cheese + the rosette de lyon saucisson.

lyon12onze// shared bike system. can’t wait for the day that this becomes popular in america…

lyon13douze// more pâtisseries.

lyon14treize// silk museum… with a special exhibition on “intelligent” fabrics. and look, they even decorated the entrance for the festival!

lyon15quatorze// laundromats that are into the spirit of the fête des lumières.

lyon16quinze// ferris wheels. at night.

lyon17seize// christmas trees.

lyon18dix-sept// buzzers for lists of tenants which will remain lit even when the festival is over.

lyon19dix-huit// dramatic clouds.

lyon20dix-neuf// the iciness of the color blue at night.

lyon21vingt// boats which pass by and give me gorgeous reflections. they’re kind of like tears, no?

 lyon22vingt et un// live music. i didn’t realize how much i missed austin until i saw this band playing in the street. i stayed here for a good hour because it just felt so good being around music that was real and not coming from speakers.

lyon23vingt-deux// spirals of light hanging in the trees.

lyon24vingt-trois// tartiflette – food for those who ski: potatoes, bacon, and cheese! unfortunately, i don’t work out enough to justify eating this.

lyon25vingt-quatre// light shows projected on important buildings.

lyon26vingt-cinq// vin chaud. spiced hot wine with apples and pears. you can’t leave lyon without succumbing to at least one vendor selling hot hot hot cups of deliciousness.

lyon27vingt-six// i love how there was a constant theme of time in all the projections.

lyon28vingt-sept// yet another mesmerizing projection. tick tock. and a liminal space.

lyon29vingt-huit// the lovely house from the 1930s that i stayed in. top right, do you see that odd silver circle? it’s the doorbell! you turn it, and it makes a click-click-click-click noise. instant love for me.

lyon29bvingt-neuf// brioche saucission. tartilette. clementines from la corse. made by my lovely host who is also my twin in terms of our passion for eating and cooking.

lyon30trente// christmas market with a traditional guignol puppet show.

lyon31trente et un// meats to buy, but no room in the stomach to eat.

lyon32trente-deux// fireworks. when are fireworks not magical?

lyon36trente-trois// neon blue and neon green.

lyon33trente-quatre// lights. floating. on a river.

lyon34trente-cinq// purple and red

lyon37trente-six// lights, lights, and more lights!

lyon35trente-sept// blue and yellow.

lyon35atrente-huit// rings of light under a bridge mimicking drips of water.

lyon38trente-neuf// patterns. on light. lots of them.

lyon39quarante// water + light = love.

making a spontaneous trip to lyon for a weekend was one of the best decisions i’ve ever made. as usual, the same things happen each time i travel:  i met wonderful people. ate wonderful things. saw wonderful things. and just fell in love.

ps: if you know me at all, and if you know lyon at all, you will notice that there are two very important things missing: bernachon chocolate and les halles. don’t know what i’m talking about? don’t worry – i’ll be back again in lyon next week, and i’m going to go visit those two places and report back! the first visit was for the festival, and the second visit will be for the gourmand in me.


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Lyon is a beautiful town! I love that place and it's food!

Gorgeous pictures!



donna said...

forty smiles : )

Lizounette said...

So glad your trip to Lyon was magical. Lovely lovely photos!

PS - what sort of service do you use to pair up with your "hosts"? Are you a member of SERVAS?

cathy said...

@rosa: thank you :)
@donna: 40 mercis!
@lizounette: i'm not sure what servas, but i participate in couchsurfing. it's amazing, and i've met so many wonderful people through it. check it out: http://www.couchsurfing.org/

Celestina said...

Hey Cathy, your blog is sheer delight, its inspired me to take up baking. If you know me, you would know that cooking and me cannot fit rightly in the same sentence! I love your posts on macarons and Im obsessed with them right now! I think I will invest in that book of 40 recettes and materiel to succeed. Keep up the excellent work! mille bisous. C

Sarah said...

Hi, I've been lurking on your blog for a while, my excuse being that I'm applying to be an assistant in France next year and need to research what it will be like. :) Anyway I love your blog, and I put Lyon as my first choice (with Reims second, and I'm still not sure about third...) so I am very excited you're writing about it! It sounds like you are having such an awesome experience, I'm hoping I can learn your tricks before I cross the Atlantic!

cathy said...

@celestina: yay!! good luck with macaron making - it can be tough but its oh so worth it when it works.

@sarah: i was in your same spot last year! best of luck with applying, and i hope you get in + the region you want. and if not, it is super easy to travel around :)

Thadoniousmonk said...

Beautiful pictures and descriptions. I just spent the past 4 months studying abroad in Lyon and absolutely loved it!