The end of the year is getting close, and I still have some days off to spend. This is the reason why I’ve decided to take advantage of two of them and go back to Lyon for a four-day long weekend.
As I’ve already written several times on this blog, Lyon definitely is the only place on earth where I feel home wherever I am in the city. I’ve grown up there, and I know every cranny and nook of the city. Every square, every park, every street, every bridge… almost everything in this city can instantly awaken memories from the past, some happy, some sad, memories that let me realise where I come from, and who I am now.
One of the many places where I can recall so many memories is the banks of the Saône river. I used to live in Vieux Lyon, the Renaissance district of the city, located on the banks of the Saône river. Oftentimes, I would come back late at night from Hôtel de Ville, located on the opposite side of the river, and walk along the river, in the solemn calmness of the night. I would cross the numerous bridges spanning over the river, then follow the river down to the Cathédrale Saint-Jean, turn to the right and take the narrow streets that led to my home. It’s a walk I’ve always enjoyed. In summertime, when the nights are hot and short, many people gather on the banks of the river, play music, sing, often drink, or just have fun together, sometimes until the early morning. But when autumn comes, and then winter, the banks empty, and the river becomes the place where I can throw all seasonal pains and sorrow away. The waters of the river take them far away, and all that remains in the morning are the reflections of the colourful Renaissance buildings surrounding the river. All the agitation thrown into the river is gone.
Having walked along the Saône river at night once again, I can say I really miss Lyon. Sure, Paris is an exciting city, but somehow, I have the feeling that it lacks this solemn intimacy I find along the Saône river in Lyon.
In any case, Lyon definitely is a city you should put on the top of your list of cities to visit in France and in Europe.