Lyon easily became one of my absolute favorite places I've been to! Not only is the romantic old town beautiful - with cobble streets and narrow, winding alleys, but the modern public transportation is one of the best I've ever seen. Buses speed through thick traffic in their own middle lane and arrive at a constant pace at each stop. Pedestrian and bike traffic is high in this picturesque city, making sight seeing without a car easy to do.
The city has plenty of fun for the family - from street shop ice cream to a fabulous botanical garden and a FREE ZOO. We learned what a coffee plant looks like!!!
We saw fabulous animals!!!
We played on great playgrounds!!!
I could easily have spent another week or two exploring Lyon and definitely plan to return.
Chambery had some fun spots - including a pretty & very old square,
some delicious eateries,
and original skinny passageways that are hundreds of years old
between its medieval buildings.
We visited the old castle and learned about the history of the area - Chambery was the capital of the Savoie (Savoy) Kingdom for quite some time, though the Savoie capital was eventually moved to Turin. There is a small, free museum within the castle walls that was informative & quick. The castle itself isn't open to the public but the museum whetted our appetite for the history of the place an we took some fabulous pictures of the castle itself from the outside.
We went on one beautiful hike up a steep mountain for a killer view from the top. It had rained tremendously, though, so the first quarter of the hike was through a muddy, treacherous trail. Valentin slipped and twisted his ankle at one point but pushed through. The views were actually best a short distance from the very top; the view was clearer and there weren't swarms of insects (as there were at the top).
One of the most interesting parts of this stop was when I discovered something I hadn't know about myself; I don't like huge mountains. Give me rolling hills or picturesque ski-able middle-sized slopes but keep your mega mountains. I do not enjoy spending time in their immense shadow, nor driving at dizzying heights between them.