So last week I was in Lyon, doing some scouting for the trip in September - it's a great city, and the weather was sunny and 70°. I checked out a number of sites (see future blogs) and met with the person doing the trip logistics. We toured the hotel (also a future blog) and finalized details. And just before we parted, I asked her how to find the traboules, because I hadn't seen any and there are more than 200 of them!
She showed me on my map how to find them, and off I went. It wasn't quite so easy as that, because a lot of them are not marked, and as in many cities in France, there are large and somewhat forbidding doors at the entries to many buildings or their courtyards. But I finally found one about where I thought it should be, and it had a plaque, which helped. The large, somewhat shabby wooden door opened as I was standing there, and a mother came out with her two children, one in a stroller. I held the door for her and then I went in.
As it turned out, I picked a good one! It is known as the "Long Traboule" because it goes through four courtyards and four buildings. The owners have an agreement with the city of Lyon to leave it open in the daytime and the city keeps it clean. I sort of snuck down a passageway, and at the end on the left, there was a courtyard, with a group and their guide - I was in the right place. So I continued through to the other side, passing other courtyards and buildings. I came out on the street parallel to where I went in, just like I was supposed to!
We will have a tour of the traboules during our stay in Lyon, but if you'd like more info ahead of time, here is an interesting website: http://www.lyontraboules.net/
Merci aux Lyonnais pour les photos !