I’m pretty sure that there were a lot of other things to see in Croix Rousse than what I’ve seen when I went there. It was the last full day of my vacation and I was just totally beat. All I really wanted at that time was to lay down on a beach somewhere, sip a margarita while I observe the life around me pass by, too bad there was no beach in Lyon. To top it all off, I decided to visit this area when my legs were already sore from all the walkings I made them do, Croix Rousse is located on a hill so steep climbs and a lot more walkings are required. So yes, I was nagging to myself since I have noone else to blame or nag to as I was traveling on my own. Ah! The joys of traveling alone.
Croix Rousse is a hill in Lyon where the silk workers used to live. There were still some functioning silk factories which I was unable to see because I was a bad tourist then. Apart from that, the area is famous for its traboules which are some sort of secret passageways between the buildings to get from one place to another easier. Quite similar to “eskinitas” in the Philippines (maybe it’s a Spanish word) which are small alleys mostly which connects one major road to the other. However instead of being an alley between buildings, the traboules are actually passing thru a building. Since I did not take any guided tours, I braved it all by myself and discovered one of the traboules. I was lucky the first time but wasn’t on the second since I found myself in a private compound and received some weird looks from the people who were having some sort of a picnic in the middle of the residential buildings. I apologized for invading their private space and realized that I just gave them another reason to hate curious tourists.
The area is also famous for murals painted on the building walls. It’s actually pretty amazing. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take a good photo of any of the murals since my iphone camera can’t seem to do what I want it to do, capture the entirety of a whole building in one shot. As previously mentioned, I was already tired even before I started my tour here and was most probably being unreasonable even to my iphone. So I’ll just give you an example of one of the murals from Only Lyon website:
Pretty amazing huh? I later found out that the people painted in that mural are mostly the who’s who of Lyon, the important men and women of this fantastic city. Here’s another one of the famous murals which looks like a 3D painting to me:
When I went back to the hotel, the owner asked me about my adventures for the day which actually became a regular conversation between the two of us whenever I come back in the evening, I told him that I went to Croix Rousse. He then told me that some of the best restaurants and bakeries can be found in that area which I unfortunately wasn’t able to try. Maybe next time. 🙂
Croix Rousse is quite similar to Montmartre of Paris, plainly because of the hilly nature of the area and the whole artistic atmosphere it gives out. However the similarities end there as both cities have very distinct individual personalities. Montmarte I would say is very Bohemian whereas Croix Rousse is more rustic and has that organized chaos feel to it. I’m not very sure how to put the description into words but let’s just say that if I’d have the pleasure of going back in time and if I ever find myself in Montmartre I would probably see flamboyant artists who are more free and have that gutsy, I-don’t-give-a-f*ck kind of lifestyle whereas the people in Croix Rousse would be more tame and will probably have a simpler life. Does it even make sense? Because it does to me. LOL.
Croix Rousse is a great area to explore specially if you’re into art, I just hope I wasn’t such a lousy tourist when I went there for me to be able to explore it more.
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