LYON: the Confluence Metropolis! 

During most evenings we continue to travel down the Saône, negotiating the many locks and squeezing under the many low bridges which cross the river as we travel to Lyon, one of France’s largest cities, positioned at the confluence of two rivers, the Saône and the Rhône. From here we will join the Rhône to travel further south through Provence and the Carmague.
Along the river there are countless photo opportunities capturing ancient buildings and the Beaujolais regional vineyards before we anchor at a quay, in an area of Lyon, referred to as ” The Confluence”. The area is the focus of an urban renewal project, providing an ultra modern contrast to the mediaeval towns and villages which have been the focus of much of our tour so far. The Confluence area is marked by some jaw-dropping contemporary architecture, housing colourful modern office buildings and apartment blocks, hotel accommodation and a sparkling contemporary shopping mall. Nearby is also a stunning architectural masterpiece, the futuristic Musée de Confluences which houses a brand new science, anthropology and technology museum.
The following day we also explored the old town- a UNESCO World Heritage area featuring a collection of Renaissance buildings. here we explored the Traboules, buildings built in covered passageways and arcades, some with hidden inner courtyards. Later we took in a ‘birds-eye’ view of the whole city from the terrace adjacent to the magnificent Notre Dame de Fouvière, built on the highest point in the city and intended to rival Sacré-Coeur in Paris.
In between our excursions into the city we also enjoyed some of the entertainment on board including a fabulous presentation by one of the local guides on France during WW2, the Vichy Government and the role of the French Resistance. Absolutely fascinating. I had recently read ” The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah which is a fictional account of the French Resistance but am also keen now to read the autobiography of Nancy Wake, ‘The White Mouse’ – the Australian woman who was an active member of the Resistance.
We also had the opportunity to share a degustation meal with a small group of passengers in the lounge on the front deck. The meal was delicious with each course served with matching local wines.

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