After Strasbourg, Rick and I hopped a ride with a nice French man named David to Lyon, where we stayed for three days with a new CS host, Fred. His apartment was perfectly cozy, with a garden courtyard that had a cute little two-room house on the other side specifically meant for CSers and the occasional party.
We got in at night, went to sleep early and explored Lyon the next day. It’s a very different vibe from Strasbourg, and definitely larger/not as clean, but there are many more students. After seeing the Cathédrale Saint-Jean, we hadn’t gotten enough Catholicism for the day so we took a half-hour walk up the side of a very large hill. It was worth it; the Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière that overlooks the city at the top is absolutely impressive; the detail and decoration of the architecture itself, the frescoes and mosaics inside, and the view it offers are reasons enough to take a hike.
That afternoon, we wandered through le Vieux Lyon, the ‘old’ part of the city, explored a bit more of the ‘main’ part of Lyon, and headed back to Fred’s. That night, he had several of his and his roommates’ friends over for a fête which started with aperitifs, cold cuts, vegetables and regional cheeses at 8 pm, and, after couscous, pork tenderloins, and sausages were served, and many bottles of wine (and one bottle of rum) later, ended around 2 am. The quality and quantity of French and English (and German, Spanish, Russian? etc. etc.) spoken by all of us throughout the night varied as much as the quality and quantity of beverages consumed…need I say more?
We took it easy the next morning after the festivities of the previous night, but Rick and I were still fit enough to walk from the apartment up to the Parc de la Tête d’Or, where we had planned to be productive in attempting to write postcards, but actually just ended up lying on crunchy leaves, people-watching, and talking for a few hours. Actually, we talked so much that we completely forgot to visit the free public zoo in the park until we realized that it was almost time for dinner.
Fred taught us to make tartiflette, a regional specialty from his hometown of Annecy, which turned out to be both delicious and incredibly easy to prepare. The downside? Depends on your diet, but it’s extremely heavy, being as it’s simply baked potatoes, a mixture of onions and fried pieces of ham (lardons), with baked reblochon cheese on top. Good food to prep for winter hibernation. That night, France beat Luxembourg in football, so everyone was in a happy mood.
Our last day in Lyon was another relaxing one, as Rick and I spent most of the day wandering around the free zoo in the Parc de la Tête d’Or and sampling all of the various smells the different roses in the Roseraie had to offer. This was the part where I really started wishing I had a better camera, so if any of you have any suggestions of where to find a decently good one for a reasonable price, please let me know. For now, you’ll have to content yourselves with my lower-than-preferable resolution pictures, which can be seen here.
We left Fred’s place that evening, and after having a small issue in contacting our next Covoiturage driver, met up with him and a very nice Belgian man named Julien, who were extremely amusing throughout the 4.5 hour drive to Toulouse. More on that in my next post…till then, be well!