Lyon, France

December 7th, 2013, we arrived in Lyon

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Equestrian statue of Louis XIV by François-Frédéric Lemot.

After a quick lunch of soup and quenelles – a Lyonnaise specialty – which is frankly not my favorite

We crossed the Bonaparte bridge and headed directly to Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière.

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The grand basilica is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, who saved the city from the Black Death, a Cholera epidemic, and the invasion of the Prussian army.

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Each year, on December 8th, residents of Lyon celebrate their beloved protector by lighting up candles on their window sills. This tradition carried on and later became Fête des Lumières (Festival of Lights) – four-nights of creative sound and light shows that attract visitors and artists from around the world.

Notre-Dame de Fourvière has two churches, one on top of the other.

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The upper church is decorated with marble statues, stained glasses and elaborate gold and turquoise mosaics.

The lower church – dedicated to Saint Joseph – is simple with a beautiful mosaic ceiling.

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From the esplanade outside, one can get a panoramic view of France’s third largest city

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Le Crayon (shaped like a pencil) is the ninth tallest building in France.

And the old town below

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Cathédrale Saint Jean-Baptiste in the heart of the old town, and the giant Ferris wheel on Place Bellecour – the largest pedestrian square in Europe.

On a clear day, the majestic peak of Mont Blanc looms afar, like a cloud in the sky.

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At dusk, we strolled down Fourvière hill, passing an ancient Roman theater

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And stepped into Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste before night fall.

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