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Croissant power to get to Lyon (along w a train)!

I'm realizing how quickly I'm eating up the EV route and find myself within striking distance fo Lyon today. Originally I wasn't sure I'd bother with the stopover there but as it turned out it was well worth it!

Rising early from camp, I was packed up and having my Frist Ascent coffee by 6:45. I really enjoy the early starts when things are still quiet and the scenery is still coming to life. Hitting the road I was greeted to some much welcomed sunshine and warmth! It was a great morning pedaling further along the Rhône as I weaved in and out of the EV17 sharing countless "Bonjours" with fellow cyclists.

I already had read and heard first hand that it was recommended to train the one section from Vienne to Lyon. This part of the EV not only goes through a rather industrial area but it's the one stage that puts cyclists on some pretty busy roads (sketch!). I rolled into Vienne and really found it charming with small parks and countless cafes and shops. Grabbing a quick salad to go from an amazing Boulangerie I made my way over a couple blocks to the train station. The trains all allow bikes onboard BUT it all depends on the type of train and how you're supposed to store it. Some times you have to hang it vertically by the front wheel (local commuter trains) but that would have been a disaster w Frankie given the size and weight! As luck would have it, when the train arrived not only was it empty and flush with the platform (not always the case), but there were massive compartments to just lean your bike against the wall... massive help when bike touring solo w a heavy rig!

The 30 minute ride delivered me to a sun kissed Lyon and some sporty city navigation. I found my way to the airbnb apartment I booked in the city core to allow me to best explore the city. I was late afternoon by now so I just strolled the local hood, grabbing a coffee of course ;) This particular area reminded me a little of the E Village but quickly changes by block and bridge (Lyon is cut by 2 rivers). Being a Friday night, this young and vibrant town was rocking by time I left for dinner. I got super lucky w a packed joint that happened to have a tiny 2 top table on a catwalk that was open. A great dinner without being expensive or too fancy... (Lyon is known as a gastronomic center w over 90 Michelin starred restaurants!)

The following day was spent walking EVERWHERE and getting a taste for this terrific city. Huge weekend markets, breathtaking cathedrals, delicious food sampling, sprawling squares and secret gardens. I only just touched the surface but it's a place I'd recommend and would love to return to. With a population of about 500K it's very manageable but still provides a big city experience.

To cap off the day, I found a true hole in the wall restaurant for dinner where I shared the space with one other couple dining along w an amazing guitarist from Columbia (and his wife). We made our way through the language barriers, shared some laughs and great country style cooking. It was one of those magical evenings w some of the most welcoming and friendly people.

Back on the road tomorrow... early start to take advantage of the good weather!

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