Saturday, 5 January 2013

Lyon - "food central" for France

This morning we left Paris and after 2 hours on the TGV were in Lyon. At the post office we had an interesting conversation with a postal worker who directed us to a nearby award-winning "bouchon" (traditional Lyonnaise eatery).

With only very simple English and by bringing some dishes from the kitchen the waiter and waitress helped us select dishes. Not all gestures were correctly understood. Paul assumed that rubbing the belly indicated a delicious and filling meal. The waitress showed him the dish at a nearby table - it looked and smelt good, so Paul ordered it. Paul found it delicious but couldn't work out what it was. It was a sausage made of cow's stomach wrapped in ham. It was a really good meal and the owner gave us a booklet and shared a cognac with us. They picked out a place for us tomorrow night.

After lunch we walked to some sites in Lyon and went past the specialty market named in honour of the renowned chef Paul Bocouse. It was an eye-opener. Stalls were very fancy and the food on display was just amazing (some images follow). Poultry, cheeses of hundreds of types, pates, conserves, fish and shellfish, snails, pastries, cakes, macarons, glace fruits, chocolates, wines and breads of all shapes and sizes were on display, and often being consumed on site. It was amazing and mouth-watering.

After the food it was time for history and architecture. We saw streetscapes of beautiful buildings, a cathedral and an unusual basilica (image below) completed in mid 1800s. We've booked a walking tour of the old city tomorrow, our last day in France.

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