A number of months ago, we made plans to go to Lyon, France the first weekend in December for the Festival of Lights – an annual event in the city that draws huge crowds. Even in September, booking.com showed that the hotels in the city were 95% occupied. There were several of us planning to attend, so we had to choose a place outside of the centre in order to accommodate all of us. And of course, the high volume meant that all hotels had to be pre-paid.
Fast forward to the week following the terrorist attacks in Paris. The city of Lyon made the executive decision to cancel the Festival of Lights. I want to believe there were legitimate reasons for canceling and not just paranoia. But either way, we were really disappointed. The others in the group hadn’t been to Lyon before, but for me, I was only going because of the lights.
Our hotel made no concessions on our reservation. They weren’t willing to refund, and as of now, they haven’t conceded to reducing our nightly rate. (Mind you, they charged DOUBLE the average weekend rate due to the festival.) It may be a bit dramatic, but I feel like they totally exploited the situation for their own gain. (And believe me, my email to the hotel manager as well as my reviews on multiple websites explained this in detail.)
You may remember from my first visit to Lyon earlier this year...Lyon is a city where you will eat well. We started the day at Les Halles de Lyon. It is a food hall full of beautiful and delicious food! And some freaky things, too…who doesn’t want the feathery head of the chicken?
We stopped in St. Bonaventure church while strolling down the street – just because it looked beautiful. It had one of the most stunning stained glass windows I’ve ever seen. The colors were so vibrant!
We spent the day meandering through the crowds, shopping, enjoying the beautiful architecture and some food and drink along the way.
Dinner was one of the highlights of the day for me. We ate at La Gargotte, and it was amazing! The staff was wonderful, and the food was fantastic! We really enjoyed our three-course meal!
On Sunday morning, we walked through the market along the river to get to breakfast. We experienced a couple of firsts –
- A French restaurant that was out of bread (and basically every other possible breakfast item)
- An Arkansas Razorbacks bar outside of Fayetteville!
I’m still not over the disappointment of the Festival of Lights cancellation, but it’s hard to complain about a leisurely weekend in a beautiful city. I guess with more than two years of constant adventuring, there’s bound to be some disappointments along the way. Thankfully, I have a very exciting month to look forward to!