On our first morning in Lyon, the USAC staff arranged a walking tour (both French & English) of Vieux (Old) Lyon. This was a lovely way to be introduced to the history of the city. We covered a lot of ground, literally and figuratively, in two hours, more than I could pack into one blog post, but here are some highlights:
The view from the Basilica Notre Dame de Fourviere:
(More on the Basilica and on Fourviere later, because we will go there again.)
Traboules: these are fascinating passageways — complete with courtyards, stairways, and balconies — hidden between buildings. Some of them were created intentionally as shortcuts and others were created as a by-product of construction. They turned out to be very important over the centuries for the safety of the locals during times of conflict and war. Townspeople saved many church treasures during the religious wars by hiding them there, and the Resistance used them for hiding during the Nazi occupation of World War II. Now, they serve as both tourist curiosities and as entrances to private residences.
And after that, it was time for our first traditional 3-course lunch. The stripes on our faces are to show that we are rooting for France in the World Cup. Neither of us actually cares about soccer, but the game was a big deal here. Later that afternoon, when we were back atop Fourviere, we could hear a collective cheer rise from the city when France won the match.