Highlights from a Day Trip in Lyon, France (1/3)

Many rivers flow through Europe, some of which have become synonymous with the cities they belong, like River Thames in London, Seine in Paris and Danube in Budapest, Vienna and across many other borders. Lyon is a city where 2 rivers, the Saône and Rhône, converge, making one of the city’s unique features.

Lyon is the third largest city in France after Paris and Marseille. My stay there was enjoyable and relaxing. Thanks to the  beautiful weather, I got to enjoy a laidback afternoon just hanging around the city centre and the old town.

The city centre is located between the Saône and Rhône on a peninsula. There are many monuments and heritage. Its city hall (the upper left construction) is one of the oldest buildings in the city, and has been classified as a French historic monument since the 18th century. The Église Saint-Bonaventure (the bottom right church) is another distinctive medieval church well preserved.

Having seen the heart of Lyon, roaming along the Saône would lead to the Vieux Lyon (the old town), a famed Renaissance neighbourhood. The lanes and constructions were of a classic gothic style. There were many pleasant shops and restaurants worth checking out. From the old town we could walk up a long staircase to the Fourvière hill to see the landmark of Lyon, the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière. If you don’t want to climb the hill, you can take the metro. But the fantastic view along the climb was really worth it! As for the beauty of the basilica, that’s another story.


一日飽覽里昂風光

歐洲有許多或大或小的河流,靜靜在一國流淌或穿洲過省,部分已成為其所屬城市的代名詞,如倫敦的泰晤士河、巴黎的塞納河、還有流過布達佩斯、維也納等邊境的多瑙河。而法國的里昂就有兩條河流,索恩河和隆河在此交匯,成為該城一大特色。

里昂是法國繼巴黎和馬賽後第三大城市,我的里昂之旅亦十分愉悅。因為陽光明媚,只在里昂的市中心和里昂老城(Vieux Lyon)閒逛已足夠賞心悅目。里昂的市中心位於索恩河和隆河匯流的半島上,此處有許多歷史建築和遺蹟,里昂市政廳(左上圖建築)便是里昂其中一座最古老的建築,於十八世紀起已被評為法國歷史古蹟。除了宏偉的市政廳外,此處的聖文德堂(Église Saint-Bonaventure)(右下圖教堂)是難得保存良好的中世紀教堂,值得一看。

逛完里昂的市中心,沿着索恩河岸走便會到達里昂老城,里昂最歷史悠久的地區,亦是歐洲知名文藝復興街區。街道和建築瀰漫着典型的哥德式風格,並有許多商店和餐廳值得一逛。從里昂老城有一條長石階可爬上富維耶山(Fourvière hill),知名的里昂地標富維耶聖母聖殿(Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière)就位於山上。如果不想爬山,也可乘搭地鐵,不過上山沿路景緻極佳,搭地鐵可能就要錯過了。幾經辛苦到了山頂,聖殿美得震撼人心,但關於它的美又是另一個故事了。

3 Reasons to Choose Heraklion as a Home Base to Explore Crete in Greece

Speaking of Greece, people usually think about the blue and white backdrop of the breathtaking Santorini. But Crete is in fact the largest and most populous Greek island and in my opinion, a perfect getaway. My first stop on this island was its capital city, Heraklion.

Heraklion is a nostalgic city, full of historical heritage and old buildings. From museums, palaces, ruins, Lions Fountain to the distinctive yellow building style, it tells of the ancient history and culture of the Minoan civilisation, the very first advanced Bronze Age Civilisation in Europe. The civilisation dated back to around 2700 BC when Heraklion was the port of the centre of the civilisation, the Palace of Knossos. There are fascinating legends about the palace, one of which says King Minos, in Greek mythology the first king in Crete and son of Zeus, lived in the palace. The Minoan civilisation was named after him. It’s amazing how the Greek history is intertwined with mysterious legends.

Today the ruins of the palace remain on Kephala Hill. Through the frescos and remains we can learn more about one of the oldest and mysterious cultures on earth. A relaxing day like this in the old town marked the beginning of my trip in Crete.

The reasons why I chose Heraklion as a home base to explore Crete in Greece:

  1. There was a direct flight from Paris to Heraklion, and the hotel I stayed was only 15-minute drive away from the Heraklion Airport.
  2. The Heraklion Port is the main hub to take ferries to different islands  near Crete including Santorini.
  3. Heraklion is located in the middle of the north coast of Crete, making it convenient to go either East or West to different destinations.

Read more or book: Hotels in Heraklion


三大原因選擇伊拉克利翁作為發掘克里特島的根據地

說到希臘,人們不其然想起聖托里尼的藍白風光,大家都忘記了克里特島才是希臘最大及人口最多的島嶼。島上一派詩情畫意,絕對是完美的度假勝地。我在克里特島的第一站是其首都伊拉克利翁。

伊拉克利翁是米諾斯文明的的發源地,所以城內充滿歷史遺跡和建築,從博物館、宮殿、遺址、廣場,到標誌性的黃磚牆,一一印證着這重要的愛琴海文明的歷史和文化。米諾斯文明是歐洲較早期的青銅時代,可追溯至公元前約2700年,當時米諾斯文明的政治和經濟重心在克諾索斯宮殿,而伊拉克利翁就是克諾索斯的港口。關於克諾索斯宮殿的神話傳說有很多,例如說宙斯的兒子米諾斯是克里特島的第一個王,並住在克諾索斯宮殿中。而米諾斯文明亦以其來命名,這種歷史和神話交錯的故事為此地增添許多神秘色彩。

今天,克諾索斯宮殿的遺址仍佇立在凱夫拉山上,透過壁畫和遺蹟向我們訴說這古老神秘的文明。如此便度過輕鬆的一天,讓我在克里特島有個愉快的開始。

我選擇伊拉克利翁作為我發掘克里特島根據地的原因︰

  1. 交通方便,有直航從巴黎到伊拉克利翁,從伊拉克利翁機場到我住的酒店只需十五分鐘

  2. 伊拉克利翁港口是乘搭渡輪到達周邊島嶼包括聖托里尼的主要交通樞紐

  3. 伊拉克利翁位於克里特島北岸中部,方便前往東西兩邊不同目的地

更多相關資訊︰伊拉克利翁酒店