Weekend Getaway to Lyon, France, Part III: Les Halles Paul Bocuse Market, the Zoo, and a Sad Goodbye!

It was our last day in Lyon, and there was still so much I wanted to see. Unfortunately our flight was at 4pm, so we didn’t have all that much time. The plan was originally to have brunch, go to the Paul Bocuse market, and then the famous park. We only got 2 of them done (it’s hard to wake girls up in the morning), but it was a nice last day regardless.

We started at Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse, a large market selling everything from vegetables to seafood and sweets. The name Paul Bocuse holds a lot of weight in Lyon, the man has famous restaurants spread throughout the city. It was nice to see all of the different foods on display, and it probably would’ve been really nice to join many of the other French locals in having some white wine and oysters (I guess it’s a thing there?). However, I would recommend doing this on a rainy or relaxed day… it was nice to see, but there were so many other things to see in Lyon that I couldn’t relax!

There was one pastry I had never seen before: a pink pecan pie / tart. I still don’t understand how it became pink! But they were everywhere, and obviously very popular (see below). I tried a little mini tart and it was pretty tasty, but a little strange.

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Pink Pecan Pie? Say that 3 times fast.

After we saw our fill of decadence, we walked over to the Parc de la Tête d’Or (about a 20 minute walk from the market). It is a huge and very popular park on the east bank of Lyon. There were lots of people out jogging on that sunny day. The best part about the park? There was a free zoo! It made the little kid come out in all of us.15812_10153120657498162_8630147041139882711_n 19308_10153120656758162_5799640758340145148_n 10348466_10153120658878162_4053829277779108486_n 10405476_10153120657938162_1620970285394514965_n 10407314_10153120663193162_2623381908335052734_n 10616010_10153120659698162_4547364937209668876_n

Also, there was a great photo op there… and we all know how important photos are!

After wandering around for awhile, we had to rush back to the hostel to pick up our things and then head for the airport. It was a little stressful because we cut it very close, but alas! Luck was on our side. We made it back home to sweet, sunny Barcelona… but I am still dying to go on my next trip!

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A Day Out in Barcelona: Palau de la Música Catalana, Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar, and La Boqueria

One of the most commonly visited places in Barcelona is the Palau de la Música Catalana, which is understandable because it is quite beautiful inside and out. However, it does carry a steep price tag… €18 a person. I was almost tempted to skip this beauty, but it definitely is something worth seeing once in your life. Many people mistakenly think this is yet another marvellous piece of architecture by Gaudi, but it was actually designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner, one of Gaudi’s rivals.

(Not my photo... my camera at the time was awful!)

(Not my photo… my camera at the time was awful!)

The tour starts with a 5 minute video describing the making of the building and also the importance. Numerous world-renowned figures have performed here and insist that it is one of the most magical and honouring places to be.

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The Muses behind the stage, half in mosaic, half in statue

The first thing you notice when you walk inside is the ceiling. It is a dome made of glass that extends down towards the floor and is in the shape of the sun. It allows the building to be filled with beautiful, natural light. Never seen anything quite like it! There is also beautiful detail on the rest of the ceiling in the shape of roses, yet another inspiration from nature.

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During the tour, they also take you out onto one of the little patio areas which has some beautiful mosaic pillars. Throughout the building you see references to Catalan culture, such as in the windows and on the ceilings. And besides that… I don’t really have much to say about this building. It was beautiful, no doubt, but I think the tour was pretty lacking considering the steep price tag.

1fe4b8314fcd8e80a96e51bbed8cba2a24e0e8b9f22432c41b1aad108b56fb01After that, my host family and I went to visit the Basílica de Santa María del Mar in El Born. It is definitely a beautiful cathedral, and located in a very nice area (I love El Born!) but honestly, if you’ve been to as many cathedrals as I have been to… it isn’t all that special. However, the area surrounding it is quite lovely… many cute and artistic shops and some great restaurants and tapas bars to visit! If you go there at night it is also a really nice area to listen to live music.

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El Born is known for it's artsy side

El Born is known for it’s artsy side

After wandering around some more, we ended up at the famous La Boquería market. I had heard so many things about this place, so I was very city to finally get to see it. It is basically a huge marketplace where you can buy pretty much any food item for cheap. It is a sensory overload… there’s so many smells, colors, and sights to see all the while trying to push your way through the crowd. The vendors are smart and take any chance possible to try and get you to buy something. This is also a place known for pick-pockets, and it is definitely smart to hold onto your bag and be cautious. But it is definitely worth experiencing! I’d love to go back. I’ll shut my mouth now, the pictures speak for themselves…

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Champignones, their prized mushrooms

Champignones, their prized mushrooms