Across the river, at the foot of Fourviere, the old town of Lyon dates back to the middle ages. The Gothic Saint Jean cathedral looms over the tiny streets nearby, and the pretty Place outside its old doors leads down to Rue St Jean, a long, wandering street crammed with ramshackle, medieval bakeries, bars and boutiques. It’s the sort of place that Disney could use as inspiration for an entire film, where the heroine would fling her shutters wide and sing a song about how many loaves she has to bake, as the hero passes the fountain and stops, struck by her bell-like voice. Passers-by push bicycles, waiters roll wine barrels, and crowds amble and peer into the tiny windows.
Halfway up is the charming Museum of Miniatures and Film Sets, where the original sets and scale models used on huge Hollywood films are displayed in all their dolls-house charm. In St Paul, further into Vieux-Lyon, 15th century merchants lived in grand townhouses known as Hotels Particuliers, which now house museums –one of local history and one, oddly, of puppets. The old town is famous, too, for its ‘traboules’- corridors which run through buildings, connecting one street with another. These hidden passages are an unexpected delight, all adding to the area’s curious and dream-like charm. Take the funicular up Fourviere, to the Basilica de Notre Dame, for a view right across the city; and the winding steps all the way back down.
In the Mood
The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Bocuse in Your Kitchen: Simple French Recipes for the Home Chef - Paul Bocuse
Bouchons : Brasseries & Restaurants Lyonnais [French] - Matthieu Flory.
The Unbearable Lightness Of Being- (partly filmed in Lyon)
The Essential Jean Michel Jarre (from Lyon)
Short Stories - Franck Avitabile (from Lyon)