Lyon, France is one large UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a very large renaissance era old town and Roman ruins. The city was founded 2,000 years where the Rhône and Saône Rivers meet.
Lyon built its fortune on the silk trade. During the 16th century it was estimated that there were at least 180,000 looms in the city.
The Fourvière Basilica is a magnificent church, ever visible on the hill to west of the city. In December, the famous Fête des Lumières takes place in praise of the Virgin Mary, to whom the Basilica is dedicated, for protecting the city from the bubonic plague in the 17th century.
On the left bank of the Saône is the Ancient Theatre of Fourvière, which even after 2000 years is still being used as a performance venue.
At the Lyon Cathedral, many of the stain glassed windows you see are from the 1300’s. They were taken down and packed away during WWII to save them from bomb damage.
The word “FUN” is found in Funicular. This one will take you from the river to the top of the Fourvière hill.
This is really just a small bit of highlights you’ll enjoy in Lyon.
To see them all – why not join us in November of 2022 on our exclusive Spring City Wine House Burgundy & Provence River Cruise. Lyon is just one of the many stops during our week that you will enjoy.
The biggest attraction in Córdoba was literally a 5 minute walk from our hotel. The Mezquita is truly a must see building. It’s a massive former mosque turned cathedral with an amazing forest of columns topped by red and white striped double arches that have seen over 1000 years of history. It is not only the largest mosque in the world, but the largest temple in the world as well. It occupies an area of over 250,000 square feet or almost 6 acres.
The Mezquita with Red and White striped arches
The focal point in the prayer hall is the mihrab – which identifies the wall that faces Mecca
the dome above the mihrab
Originally built in 786, the initial construction lasted for about 200 years. After Córdoba was recaptured by King Ferdinand III in 1236, the mosque became used as a church. Currently in the very middle of the Mezquita is a stunning Renaissance cathedral, which was built in the 1500’s. Although some parts of the original column hall had been destroyed to make room for the cathedral – the building is still a remarkable and dazzling example of Moorish architecture.
sun streaming in through stained glass
ceiling in the cathedral between the organ pipes
The Mezquita is certainly a signature attraction in Córdoba and visitors should plan on spending at least a half day to see everything.
Cruising on the Danube river in Budapest past the stunning parliament building is a special treat both day and night. Did you know that the Danube flows over 1700 miles passing through 10 countries on its way to the Black Sea? You can travel almost all of it on an amazing river cruise. How much time do you have? 1 week? 2 weeks? More? Let us know and we can design the perfect trip for you.
The palace of Versailles, located just outside Paris and listed as a World Heritage Site, was the seat of the government of Louis XIV. This marvelous palace and gardens should certainly be on your must see list while in France. The big question however is how to see it?
Well to answer that question, first consider that the Palace contains 2,300 room and more than 3 million people visit annually. Then consider your motivation for visiting, are you a wanderer who enjoys the sites without too much detail or are you a history buff where the story is important.
There are so many options to choose from – anywhere from going it alone with your audio guide (comes with the admission ticket) to a private guided tour. When choosing also consider what parts of the palace will be included (Palace, Estate of Trianon, Gardens and Parks, Musical Fountain Show and Musical Gardens and/or the Coach Gallery) in relationship to how much time you want to spend.
Here are a few tips that will make your visit more pleasurable.
This place is huge and can’t be done in just one hour.
Regardless of what way you wish to tour Versaillas, be sure you have purchased your ticket prior to your arrival otherwise you’ll spend a good part of your allotted time just standing in line for a ticket.
Plan a minimum of 4 hrs.
Wear good walking shoes.
Eat a good breakfast or lunch before you arrive. Just the scores of people are enough irritation you don’t need hangry to rear its ugly head too.
Make sure your tour offers headsets, with the crowd it is essential for hearing your guide.
Now for my personal (any travel professional) opinion, take a tour that offers skip the line and a small group format and access to the secret rooms – it will be well worth the money!
Whenever you go, enjoy your visit, it is a marvelous Palace. Au revior for now.