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Lovely Lyon, it’s never hard to choose where to go for a short holiday in France with so many choices just about every part of the country has something unique to offer. This year a lot of travellers will be trying to stay local, either because of their budget or for environmental reasons. The whole “buy local” has caught on globally and there is nothing wrong with exploring what’s in your backyard. I wouldn’t say Lyon is in Paris’ backyard but it’s close enough to make a great road trip for a weekend away if you fly.

My proposition: buy local. Even if it means staying home for holidays. Take a short trip away, hire a car (a hybrid is even better) and explore cities you’ve never seen in your own country. Lyon, if you’ve never been is a perfect destination whether you’re travelling solo, with a sweetheart, with your kids in tow, even with your parents!

Lyon is for lovers of food, wine (especially Beaujolais) and picnics in river-side parks. Architecture is at its best at the church of Notre-Dame de Fourvière in La Croix Rousse. The city is easy to enjoy and you shouldn’t waste any time getting to know Lyon’s dining scene: Lyon is second only behind Paris for the most restaurants per square kilometre in Europe. Not just restaurants, but delicious restaurants.

What to see in Lyon:

Musée des Arts Décoratifs – inside an 18th c. mansion is the city’s collection of silverware, furniture, porcelain, textiles and art objects.

Rue du Boeuf – located in Vieux Lyon, Rue du Boeuf has hidden courtyards, spiral stairs, fragile facades and endless towers and traboules. There is a lot to discover ion this street from 15th century houses to renaissance sculptures.

Jardin des Chartreux – a leafy park, it is a perfect place to set down yoru picnic basket while basking in the afternoon sun and soaking in the views of the rivier and Fourvière Hill.

Maison du Crible – one of the oldest mansions in the city, Maison du Crible has a charming courtyard with a rose tower.

Hotel de Ville – a gem designed by Jules Hardouin-Mansart and Robert de Cotte after a fire in 1674, the rest of the building dates even earlier than that in the 17th century.

Where to eat in Lyon:

Café 203/Café 100 Tabac – located near the opera, these two sister bistros are really popular for cheap dishes that are served from dawn until long after midnight. You should ask there the names came from. (9 rue du Garet, Presqu’île)

Juliénas – for something classically French, head here. The menu is almost strickly Beaujolais and is priced for those with a budget, even if you order a glass of wine with your meal. (236 rue d’Anse, Villefrance-sur-Saone)

Les Lyonnais – the local celebrities are immortalized in photographs on the walls of this French restaurant in Lyon’s old town. The menu features simple dishes adn tehre is always a plate of the day. (1 rue Tramassac)

Where are you heading for holidays this summer? Have you been to Lyon?

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There are a lot of reason why I’d like to travel to Sydney but there is only one that is important: surfing. It’s something I’ve always wanted to learn, how to properly ride the waves in one of the most beautiful cities, and actually stay on my board. Sydney is Australia’s oldest and definitely most diverse cities. It is also known around the world for its waves and clean beaches.

If you travel to Sydney you’ll see quite quickly that its a haven city for people who love the outdoors. This city has embraced physical activities to the max. There is a huge network of bike trails, jogging paths, you can sail, surf, laze on the beaches all afternoon or take walks along the shore. This city is filled with culture: sights to be seen, foods to taste and a life that really is as good as it gets. For a long time Sydney was that unreachable destination that everyone wanted to visit but not so many wanted to because of the long-haul flights across continents and oceans (and the price to go along with it). This is all changing. We still have to travel the same distance but you can find some really great cheap flights to Sydney these days.

Finding a surf camp is extremely easy. You just have to walk down to the beach or look up a board-rental place and you’d be able to pick up some lessons as well. If surfing is a little scary, try boogie boarding instead, or at least to start out (this is going to be me!).

Reading some reviews on-line, it seems that there’s more than a few other good spots outside of Sydney that can easily be reached by car. Manly for example and the whole north Sydney region. I think its a great idea to just rent a car and stay at the beach as long as you like, exploring the coast at your own pace. Compare car rental deals in Sydney to find the best one; rent with some friends and take a picnic lunch.

I’m sure there’s lot of other things to see in Sydney, have any recommendations? Otherwise, see you at Bondi!

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