Saturday, June 21, 2014

Sunshine and Surprises in Pérouges

Samedi, 21 juin.

Hallelujah ... the dynamic duo are back!! Molly, my eternal travel buddy, and I reunited this weekend for a few days of cheapskate adventures in Lyon! We originally planned this visit way back when Molly was still looking at a graduate school program at one of the city's universities ... although she's since decided that it's not her cup of tea, we figured that it would still be fun to explore together! We spent yesterday walking around the city and checking out the sights -- the Renaissance neighborhood of Vieux Lyon, the beautiful Basilique de Fourvière, and of course the famous "ONLYLYON" sign! (You might remember some of those sites from my November 2013 trip to Lyon.)

After all our city exploration, we decided that it would be fun to get out of town for the day. There are some beautiful sites within just a few hours of Lyon (including the lake towns of Annecy and Aix-les-Bains), but we decided on Pérouges, a preserved medieval village in the countryside.


If the name "Pérouges" sounds strangely familiar to you or if those pictures are bringing on some serious déjà vu, there's a reason ... it was one of the day trips that my mom and I took during her visit to France last fall! (Don't remember? You can refresh your memory here.)

But while Mommy and I visited on a cold and rainy day in November, Molly and I's trip fell on a hot, sunny weekend in June. And let me tell you, that makes ALL the difference. Instead of trudging through the rain and walking around ever-growing puddles along the road from the train station to the medieval town, we took the "scenic route." As if anything around here ISN'T scenic!

Molly's and my path (following the Chemin de l'Aubépin) led us through a neighborhood, around the picturesque étang de l’Aubépin, and past a thicket full of absolutely delicious blackberries. Can you say snack time?!

We would have been happy to lay out in the sun forever ... but we were on a mission! Even with the scenic tour, Pérouges wasn't far away. Before we knew it, we were wandering through the cobblestone streets of one of the Plus Beaux Villages de France.


Of course, Molly had to try the famous galette au sucre de Pérouges. This sugary pastry (for which you can find the recipe here) has been a trademark of the town ever since it was restored as a historical site in the early 20th century. We stopped in a the boulangerie to pick up a slice and ate in the shade of an old courtyard.


While my last trip was definitely something special, Pérouges was PARTICULARLY gorgeous this time around. The gardens and window-boxes were full of bright-colored flowers and the streets were crowded with tourists. There was even a couple taking wedding photos! (I swear, they follow me...)


Although we had been expecting sunshine and tourists, we were TOTALLY surprised by a fortunate coincidence: a medieval festival in Pérouges! The festival, which lasts through tomorrow, wasn't actually going to get going until later this evening so we unfortunately missed out on jousting and fireworks. However, we still loved seeing the colorful flags and running into costumed reenactors. (I guess it just felt like home...)

As it turns out, today was full of marvelous surprises! When we left the apartment this morning, Molly and I had no idea that we'd wind up in the middle of a medieval festival. But we also didn't anticipate walking straight into a market (where we bought delicious farm-fresh cheese), being handed coupons for free coffee and viennoiseries, and -- best of all -- being let onboard a bus back to Lyon for free, just as we realized we were out of change for the train.

But even the most marvelous of surprises can be exhausting ... which is why we may have spent the evening on the couch, watching French TV?? (Hey, sometimes you just need to relax!)


  1. Bien que j'ai plaisir a voir Molly, ou est Elisabeth? Une petite photo STP! Merci pour les belles photos et descriptions!

    1. Je viens d'ajouter quelques photos, y compris une ou deux de moi! (:

  2. Merci! T'es belle ma poule! :-)