Sitting on a cold stone wall, legs dangling between a metal trellis, and looking out over the river, the city and the great cathedral on the hill. That was my favourite place to be in Lyon. 

The hidden gardens in a nunnery came at a close second, but nothing could beat that view from my spot up in the Croix Rousse. I would go there on sunny days to eat my stash of macarons and write in my diary. And I would go there on sombre, moody-cloud days to simply sit and think about the world.


I am convinced that a great view will give a person some perspective on life. Up in the air, looking down on the world, we can feel detached from the ordinary worries that plague us as we roam the streets. What to buy for dinner, what this or that person said the other day. All those things are now unimportant, they have shrunken into miniscule perspective. Along with this, we can gain a sense of our own importance within this world. Just look out at that view - what can you see? Maybe hundreds or thousands of people, other souls in their search for happiness. We are not alone. Or maybe you can see the world as it truly is: a vast expanse of beauty and wonder, stretched out before you. Hills, lakes, oceans, sunsets. Miraculous, is it not? We are just a part of that larger whole. Or maybe, if you really set your mind to it, you can feel the ebb and flow of the whole universe, on those outer bounds of space. You feel yourself as a tiny speck in a great moving system. This is the moment I search for: that realisation, when all your thoughts become mere drifts of fluff in the phenomenal sea of life. Every little thought is washed away and your brain can float a while in a clear stillness. Like a silence. 

Yes, that one stone fence was certainly my favourite place in all of Lyon, for there, I could see clearly. 

The view of Lyon from the Croix Rousse
The view of Fourvière from the Croix Rousse in Lyon
Fourvière lit up at dusk in Lyon