I have planned a trip to Lyon as a surprise for my husband.
Lyon was my aim because it is one of the French cities closest to the Swiss border. It is famous among other things for its gastronomy. I thought it was a perfect destinition for a long-weekend trip to relax and enjoy good food.
When looking for a hotel I studied the map of the city. I have discovered an enormous park on the bank of river Rhône. My choice has fallen on a hotel located just at the edge of the park: partially because of a good price but also because I was intrigued to discover this ocean of green.
This decision was a very lucky one and brought us much more fun then I have ever expected.
We have discovered that our hotel is a part of a newly built district situated between the river and the Parc de la Tête d’Or. It is called Cite Internationale and it includes a theater, a cinema, an art museum, a casino and a congress center, as well as some cafes and restaurants. Oh yes, and Interpol. Interpol is also there (nevermind).
What I have found extremely interesting is that the car trafic is completely cut off from this district. Public transportation would deliver you to the edge of the park. And there the fun begins. At every entrance to the park there are rental bikes. You can just fetch one and make the rest of the way pedaling through the green. When you arrive at the other side of the park you just leave the bike there.
I am not a great cyclist and I do not dare go out on the road side by side with cars. So this was my unique chance to enjoy myself. When we have seen most of the tourist attractions in Lyon we have found ourselves spending most of the time in the park. Cycling, watching the animals at the local zoo watching the ducks by the lake.
With more than a 100 ha total area there is enough to do and to see. It is a classical XIX century park with broad green lawns and tall beautiful trees. There are also some great elements showing a lot of environmental awareness, such as an amphitheater of insect houses.