on riding the vaporetto in lyon
Lyon, France has two major rivers, the Saône and the Rhône, that meet at a confluence in the south of the city. A commuter and tourist boat called Le Vaporetto goes from Vaise (9 quai Arloing) in the north of Lyon to the Confluence in the south. It makes two stops along the way, one at Saint-Paul (16 Quai de Bondy) and one at Bellecour (11 Quai des Célestins).
The two middle stops, Saint-Paul (16 Quai de Bondy) and Bellecour (11 Quai des Célestins), are convenient because they are central to Lyon. Saint-Paul is near Vieux Lyon, a major tourist destination. Place Bellecour, a UNESCO Heritage site, is no less important to tourists.
Vieux Lyon, old Lyon, is the oldest quartier of Lyon with buildings dating from the Medieval and Renaissance periods. Like Place Bellecour it is classified by UNESCO as a historical site.
Place Bellecour is the center of the the presqu’île of Lyon, the ground zero, and is the starting point for most tourists: “Four major streets start from this famous square: rue de la République, which takes you up to Hôtel de Ville and the Opera; rue Victor Hugo and rue du Plat both leading to Perrache; and rue du Président Édouard Herriot, with a concentration of luxury shops all the way to the Place des Terreaux.” (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)
I thought it would be fun to go to Vaise by bus and ride the Vaporetto to its final stop at the Confluence, a major shopping center and a tourist attraction as well. By taking the C14 bus and getting off at the stop Pont Mouton, you are at the Vaise boat stop and the start of the trip. (There is a public toilette there, too.) The bus ride along the Saône to Vaise is picturesque; the interest ends when the bus turns inland at Pont Mouton. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)
Most of the people who ride the the Vaporetto are tourists. Commuter tickets can be purchased, however. The cost for a one way trip is 4€ (2019). The rides begin at 10:00 and end at 21:30. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)
Unlike some commuter and tourist boats that permit passengers to stand or sit outside the boat’s cabin, such as the Bateaux Mouches in Paris, the Vaporetto requires that you sit (mostly) or stand (limited) inside the cabin. That is all right for most tourists. For someone who wants to take pictures along the way, it is a disappointment. The windows were tinted somewhat and, of course, the pictures have reflections in them. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)
Nevertheless, the ride, which lasts about 40 minutes, is fun. You will see a number of old buildings, the Église Saint-Paul, the Fourvière to the west, the presqu’île to the east, ruins from days gone by, the Quai St. Vincent and Quai Fulchiron, the Lyon justice building, to name a few sites. And, at the end, you can go shopping at the Confluence. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)