Date: 24 – 26 July 2015
Modes of Travel: Eurostar, British Airways
Cast of Characters: Dan, Bruce, Carol and Iain
Hotel: Mercure Lyon la Part Dieu Hotel
Day 1 –
Well this trip was a few months ago and so much has been going on that we never got around to writing up our visit. We have a few today so they will be shorter than usual but with all of the info you would expect!
We booked this trip as Eurostar sent us an email saying we are now going all the way to Marseille and you should join us. Well you know us, we (Bruce and I) are suckers for an email offer. We invited Carol and Iain along and we booked it back in December.
Well the day finally came and I think of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song when he said “ I yelled to the cabbie yo homes smell you later” the nice man who got us there in one piece was a very smelly man. Saying that our only other issue with the trip was the flight home.
Whilst St Pancras was busy, they had a special area for the South of France train and we were through pretty quick with a special luggage tag and South of France guide.
We decided due to the almost 5 hour travel time to spring for the Leisure Select tickets which at £50 more per person ended up being a really good value. Not only did we get fed twice, but bigger more comfortable seats and less people in the carriage, which makes all of the difference on a longer trip.
We arrived and found the hotel right next to the train station dropped our bags and headed to the city centre, which was about a 20 min walk. Other than the heat (it was 30+) it was a lovely walk.
We decided to see what we could see and walked around the city centre a bit before finding an open top bus tour. Needless to say due to the early start and the fact I was in a moving vehicle, I fell asleep almost instantly, but the parts I remember I thought it was pretty good esp the tour of the bus station!
We decided on dinner at the best Mexican place in town (El Sombrero) and we were not disappointed!
It was a long day and we decided to call it a night after dinner, but we did have a nice walk back to the hotel.
Day 2 –
After a great nights sleep, we started our day at a small patisserie and then walked into to old town where we enjoyed a bottle of wine on the banks Rhone. As you know all of us love a good boat trip so we found the local river boat and took an hour tour and saw the sights. After a lunch at an Italian place, we walked around a local farmers market then headed up a funicular to the Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviere which provided an amazing view of the city from the outside and I’m told (everyone else went in) was amazing inside and worth a look.
After taking the funicular back down we went for a few drinks around the city and then tried to find a Lebanese place we read about. All was well until we actually found the place and it was closed for the month 😦 .
So at this point we were starving and decided to walk back to the hotel and see what we could find. It was slim pickings… Chinese or Indian. We chose Indian (Rose Indien) as it had been awhile and it was not a good choice. We looked it up before going in and it was ranked 7 in all of Lyon so we thought why not. First, they didn’t serve/allow alcohol 😦 and then the food was just not good. The did sell some authentic Indian sauces from India to take home with you.. Patak’s which whilst not a bad product is not authentic and I don’t think from India in my opinion. After the disappointing dinner we called it a night.
Day 3 –
Our time in Lyon was coming to a close and the hotel chucked us out, well not really we checked out on our own and crossed the road to the overpriced tram to the airport. The journey was comfortable and once we made it to the airport, it was a long walk from one of the nicest tram/train station we have been to.
Check in was not open yet and it was chaos! It was the end of the Tour De France and even the speedy line was packed with people. Once we started moving it was almost 45 minutes as each person in front of us had bikes they were taking back. Once checked in we made our way to the most shambolic security and immigration area I have ever been to.
Once we got through to departures, there was one little café, one small store and about 50 vending machines. The nice thing about the machines is the drinks were cheaper than the café or the store and it had the waffles I love!
Overall it was a great trip and the Eurostar was a lovely way to start the trip and if the return would not have been so late it would have been a nicer way to travel home as well.