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Location - Western Europe; Capital - Paris; Population - 65 million; Currency - Euro MORE FRANCE

From Menton it was on to Avignon followed by the attractive city if Lyon on the way back to London - February 2016.


euroA 10 Euro note










france993Not just any bridge but 12th century St Benezet Bridge, made famous in the nursery rhyme that contains the line 'Sur le pont d'Avignon' - Avignon


france962Avignon Opera House stands on Place de l'Horloge - Avignon


france964Also on Place de l'Horloge is the Town Hall, along with several touristy cafes and restaurants - Avignon














france969 The Palais des Papes (Papal Palace) is the city's main draw - Avignon














france967As the name suggests the palace was the papal home in the 14th century, before eventually returning to Rome - Avignon


france974Take a walk around the palace grounds - Avignon


france979A golden Virgin Mary stands on top of the Notre Dame des Domes Cathedral, opposite the Papal Palace - Avignon













france985A rock hewn path leads off the Place du Palais - Avignon















france989Pray for Paris became a popular tag after the 2016 Paris bombings - Avignon


france991The palace and cathedral next door are lit up at night - Avignon


france1001The ancient city walls surround the Old Town - Avignon















france1003First up in Lyon was Fourviere Hill, standing above Vieux Lyon. This is the Roman Theatre, originally built in the 1st century BC


france1008Notre Dame de Fourviere Basilica has the perfect postion on Fourviere Hill, capturing most of the city below from its terrace - Lyon



The slopes roll down to Vieux Lyon (Old Lyon), the River Saone followed by the Presqu'Ile peninsula, the obscured River Rhone and finally the commercial district - Lyon


france1009On the right, before the River Saone, is the St Jean Baptiste Cathedral - Lyon














Soldiers make their presence felt outside St Jean Baptiste Cathedral, following the Paris bombings - Lyon














france1021Place St Jean is a hub of bars and restaurants, where you can admire both the cathedral on the square and basilica above - Lyon


france1033Vieux Lyon's narrow cobbled streets are an atmospheric area to wander - Lyon


france1026What looks like someone's front door is a traboule, or secret passageway, accessible to all. Just open the door and walk between cobbled streets - Lyon

















france1035Take the steps up to Fourviere Hill, or alternatively hop on the much quicker funicular - Lyon


















france1042A pedestrian bridge over the River Saone connects Vieux Lyon with the Presqu'Ile peninsula - Lyon


france1044The riverside walkway reminds me of Paris - Lyon


france1050On the Presqu'Ile side of the bridge is the superb Fresque des Lyonnais, a huge mural that occupies a whole building - Lyon














france1057Also on Presqu'Ile is the Town Hall on Place des Terreaux - Lyon














france1074Place Bellecour with Notre Dame de Fourviere Basilica in the background - Lyon


france1062In the Rive Gauche area is the Centre d'Histoire de la Resistance Deportation. Formerly a school, it was taken over by Gestapo chief Klaus Barbie (the 'Butcher of Lyon') during WWII, where members of the French Resistance were tortured and killed - Lyon


france1059Crossing the River Rhone on the way to Gare Part-Dieu train station - Lyon













france1073A distant view of Notre Dame de Fourviere Basilica and the Tour Metallique on Fourviere Hill, with the River Rhone in the foreground - Lyon
















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LINKS - Eurostar train from London to Paris, Brussels and more - guide to Avignon - French tourist office - French trains


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