Read more about the article Lyon – France
Lyon - France

Lyon – France

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Capitale des Gaules

As if we were planning this on purpose but it’s just a matter of coincidence, it’s been a year since our last visit to France. Past year February and March were our French visits, and this year it happens to be the same. Probably because it is when the air fares to certain parts of France are the most economical, even though we did not fly directly to Lyon but to Geneva instead, some 150 kilometers away. In any case, while most of the people is flying to the region for sky during the winter months, we took the advantage of having our usual city break in low season, with very few other tourists hence enjoying the most out of it.

Lyon is the second largest city after Paris, city proper-wise speaking. If including the metropolitan area, then the second would be Marseilles after Paris, with Lyon in 3rd position. Bearing this in mind, the city is quite large with plenty to see and do. A weekend is not enough to fully explore it, and if you have only a bit less than a day and a half as we did, you will need to prioritize and it is impossible physically to get everywhere. In our case, we had to scrap everything from the Roman era in the Fourvière Hill (as the theater, the odeon), and other points elsewhere in the city as the remains of the amphitheater. After all, Lyon’s old town is one of the largest urban areas inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites List, so prepare to see a lot.

An unique architectural feature in Lyon are the so called Traboules. You will find many around the Vieux Lyon, not to mention is most of the postcards you will see at least one. These are narrow corridors connecting two streets through a building. Very easy to spot as are the ones having the tower containing snail staircases. Pay attention at the plaques indicating the historical buildings, some of them will have the door open where you can enter and see. (more…)

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Read more about the article Geneva – Switzerland
Geneva - Switzerland

Geneva – Switzerland

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Medieval Pagus Major Genevensis

Not even a month since our last time in Switzerland when we used Zurich as our base airport for visiting Liechtenstein and Lake Constance, we came back but this time to spend the weekend in Geneva and Lausanne, cities that we did not visit before and that we were looking after a while awaiting for a good flight deal to come. Well, basically booking flights elsewhere, as it was always cheaper going to other countries and cities than coming to Geneva.

Knowing that Geneva is pretty small and that for sure we would visit everything on the first day, the plan for the next day was to reach Lausanne. Coincidence-wise, another weekend by one of the greatest lakes in Europe. First, Lake Constance a month ago, then Lake Garda merely 2 weeks ago and now Lake Geneva. All of them with something in common, the Alps. Same landscapes and same beautiful small villages all around.

Geneva is the second largest city in Switzerland and also one of the most important ranking among the top 5 for the highest level of life of any other city in the world. Having that in consideration, you can imagine how expensive everything is. We already had our experience in Zurich and Basel previously, but here in Geneva seemed to be even more expensive than the others. Bear this in mind as this won’t be a cheap weekend. The worst part comes the moment you need to find something to eat… Well, McDonald’s was thankfully there to our rescue. Lunch and dinner on Saturday, dinner on Sunday. A variation for Sunday lunch? Burger King. Well, obviously not everything in their menus is bad and unhealthy. It is either that or paying almost 25£ for a ridiculously small Margarita pizza in the cheapest place we saw! No thank you, for great pizza at normal prices I can go elsewhere in Europe and of course Italy for the best. (more…)

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