Don’t you love a two-fer? You know, when you get two wonderful things at one time? Like BOGO sales? Or Reese’s peanut butter cups? (nom) Or twins! (hello, Morgan and Rick and my cutey patootie grand-niece and -nephew, Emmie and Cason!)(and my friend Melissa Spurrier whose blessings come in ones(x2), twos, and threes!) Enough about babies – who brought them up?
I’m going to tell you about a fantastic two-fer in Lyon, France.
Y’all remember me talking about when #2 daughter went to study abroad her junior year and I
blubbered like a sissy when she left got to visit her? Well, I did, about halfway through her semester. MaeMae and Daughter #3 went, too. (aside of the aside: Do you know who won the award for biggest and best desserts ordered and consumed on this trip? Wait, I probably shouldn’t say… MaeMae). If you ever have a chance to visit Lyon, do it.
Perched high on a hill overlooking the city is the Notre-Dame de Fourvière. According to the basilica’s website, the first church was erected on this hill in 1192. The building we see today was begun in 1872 and finished in 1896.
To get there, we walked across one of Lyon’s several beautiful bridges into Vieux Lyon, the oldest part of the city. If you are uber-athletic, like Daughter #1, you can hoof it on up to the top of the hill on foot. She and a friend visited Lyon a month after we did and made “sport” of running around on the side of that hill.
Whew, studettes! Beeteedubs, those are Roman ruins they’re running on. Cool.
Not wanting to look like over achievers, we took the funicular instead of walking up. Have you ever been on a funicular? (I love that word, funicular) It works like an escalator and looks like a railroad car. So charming.
When I say the basilica overlooks the city, this is what I mean:
Quite the view, eh? You can actually see Mont Blanc way in the distance.
Back to that two-fer thing (finally). The basilica has two churches, one smack on top of the other. How great is that? We wisely decided to visit the bottom one first.
This, my friends, is the bottom church:
This is the upper church:
Wow, just wow. Every surface of both churches are covered in mosaics like this:
And then there were the ceilings. I’m pretty sure one of the girls had to hang on to me so I wouldn’t fall over while I was taking these. Y’all who know me know that’s totally something I would do. Take a look:
The basilica is truly breathtaking, and a blessing to see.
Here’s a final pic for your viewing pleasure:
If you, like me, love getting two surprises when you’re expecting one, and you find yourself in Lyon (you lucky duck), head on up to the top of the hill to see the Notre-Dame de Fourvière. It is much more beautiful in person!