LYON | THE CHARMS OF FOURVIÈRE

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A short but mesmerising trip to Lyon where we attended a gig in the 2000 year old Théâtres Romains de Fourvière. A quick guide and overview of our time enjoying Mac de Marco and Tame Impala live, lots of cheese and the city's many charms.

Visiting a new place for a purpose beyond simply sight-seeing is always so satisfying. Whether it's for a wedding, visiting a friend or, as the case is in this instance, music.

For my first 'Euro' trip since returning home, I headed to Lyon solo on the Eurostar as my friends were flying over from Belfast. This was my first trip on the Eurostar, and despite a rather hectic start, (I arrived at St. Pancreas 15 minutes before the train was due to leave.. not advisable) it was a wonderful journey. I love train travel, you get to see so more of the country, it's often cheaper and of course so much better for the environment than flying.

I knew little about Lyon before this trip, I had been working non-stop in the weeks leading up to it, so hadn't had much time to do any research (which is sometimes the best way). So Lyon, in all of its wondrous beauty, was an incredibly lovely surprise. The city-scape is like something from a fairytale.

The main purpose of our visit was a trip to the Théâtres Romains de Fourvière to see Mac de Marco and Tame Impala - two of my favourite artists. This venue is really quite special, the amphitheater was built upon the hill of Fourvière under the order of Augustus and was completed in 17B.C - over 2000 years ago. It is an amazing feeling sitting amongst ancient ruins, overlooking a beautiful city and listening to live music. We also witnessed an amusing tradition of the theatre, where fans throw cushions (given to each person as they enter the venue) at artists they particularly enjoy. Going by the amount of cushions on stage by the end of their performance, Tame Impala were a resounding success. You can see a video of this occurrence on Pitchfork.

The rest of the short trip was spent exploring the quaint streets of the city and the many curiosities it has to offer. We stumbled upon the fascinating Musée Miniature & Cinéma. This five story museum was created by artist Dan Ohlmann, and is home to an array of intricate, hyperreal miniatures and an extensive collection of props from the world of cinema. We also enjoyed as much French bread, cheese and wine as we could consume and witnessed France absolutely hammer Iceland in the Euro quarter finals. The celebrations for this were quite extraordinary, with a plane even doing some skywriting above the city centre.

This mini-trip also brought to my attention my preference for smaller cities, the 'second and thirds'. When I think of countries where I have travelled to a number of the cities, I rarely prefer capital. I like Dublin, but I love Galway and Belfast, I enjoyed Beijing, but felt much more at home in Chengdu.. Although I haven't been to Paris for a number of years, I left Lyon feeling far more enchanted by France and its culture.

For our visit we stayed at the Citadines apartments. Great location, modern rooms and free (really good) coffee for guests in the lobby.