Honeymoon 007 \\ A bientot, Lyon

On our final day in Lyon, we majorly slept in. As a seasoned traveller, I likely should have realized we weren’t on European time yet, but I guess wine clouded my judgement & I didn’t set an alarm. I still had a few things I wanted to show N, so it was a bit disappointing to realize we’d missed so much of the day.

I’d promised my coworker I’d stop by Starbucks again so that was our first stop once we got moving. He was in a meeting, but snuck out for a quick chat. My old store manager was also there, so it was fun to say hi to her as well. Soufien & I made tentative plans for later on as the clock was ticking for N & I to get a real lunch.

Unfortunately, one of our maps placed the restaurant in the wrong location, so we wasted precious time on a wild goose chase. When we finally arrived at the correct location, they had stopped serving lunch. Instead, we made a dinner reservation & headed to a more touristy spot in Vieux Lyon for a traditional style bouchon lunch.

This is the type of meal you tend to waddle away from. Traditional Lyonnais food is heavy. It’s full of the type of things you’d find at Grandma’s, if your Grandma is a French woman who enjoys butter & offal. My starter salad was mostly bacon with a side of greens & a hard boiled egg. We managed to find back to Place des Terreaux for a tour of L’Atelier de la Soierie by one of the artists. She was taking a break from the free-hand floral designs she creates. The shop was also in the middle of filling a large order of beautiful silk scarves so we saw a bit of that process. I highly recommend a visit if you’re passing through Lyon. The shopkeepers are friendly, helpful, & always willing to explain a bit of the historic process they continue to use. They’re one of the last shops to still use this method, so it’s a pretty unique experience.

The square was getting busy so we decided to join some of the locals for a few beers at Café Leffe. Place des Terreaux was one of my favourite squares to grab a drink & people watch. There’s always so much going on as it’s a major thoroughfare for locals & the site of many events. It also gave us a chance to use free wifi to make plans with some of my friends for later that evening – the joys of being without cell reception.

Our dinner that evening was another very traditional Lyonnais meal. Café Comptoir Abel is said to be the oldest & most authentic bouchon in the city. We went for some very traditional dishes including veal, kidney, andouillette, & paté. If you want to be adventurous, this is the place to do it. & while many of those foods probably aren’t in your regular dinner rotation, I highly recommend giving them a try in Lyon. These dishes are typical of what was cooked regionally by the 19th century middle class, when many women began working as cooks. (You can read more about the Lyonnais “mothers” & this simple style of cooking here.)

It was a beautiful evening to sit outside on the patio. In typical A&N fashion, we ordered way more food than necessary, especially considering these dishes are on the heavier site & we’d had a big lunch. This is a definite theme when we travel.

If you ever ask N to take your photo, he’ll take about 15. By the end, I always look like this.

After dinner, we met two coworkers from my Starbucks days at a little pub on the Presqu’île. It was fun to catch up with them & properly introduce N. We reminisced over how much had changed in the last six years (& how much really hadn’t). I can’t imagine a better way to wrap up our time in Lyon then with great company, a few drinks, & a beautiful night on a patio.

The next morning we boarded an early train for Italy. It was bittersweet to be moving on from France, but exciting to prepare for new adventures in Italy. Genoa was next on the list & the beginning of our weeklong cruise.

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