Like I talked about in my last post about Paris, my friend from America came to visit me in France on his spring break. We spent the weekend in Paris and then came back to Lyon for week because I needed to go to school (unfortunately). It was really fun having him her because it mostly meant that I could go to all of the touristy things around the city for a purpose (and without feeling lame since I live here), and also because it was fun to see what France is like through the eyes of someone who has not lived here since September.
And so, after our stint in Paris for the weekend, we arrived back in Lyon. After we got back in, he was able to experience what a really nice metro looks like (sorry Paris, you have nothing on the cleanliness of Lyon’s metro system) and I took him to his hostel which is sort of up on the hill which overlooks Lyon. Because of this location, it had a pretty sweet view (see above)! After I got him checked in, I went straight back to my house and showered and instantly fell asleep. Unfortunately for my sleep pattern, I had a class that night, but luckily for my sanity, the class is the only one I have which is completely in English and so I brought my friend along to that in order to show him how the French system works (while still speaking English). This might not sound fun, but my friend in a Political Science major and this class is about the American Supreme Court system so I swear it was relevant and I didn’t just make him come to class with me all the time.
The next day I took him around to see all of the main sights, like Bellecour, Hotel de Ville, the Opera, Lyon 2, Guillotiere (a must see neighborhood in Lyon), etc. When I had to go to class, he took the time to look around the other sights such as the Roman ruins that are up on the hill (spoiler alter: most of the stuff that there is just a recreation; there are only about 10 stones that are originals. Major bummer) and went to the Fouviere (huge and beautiful church that sits on the very top of the hill and overlooks the entire city).
I also took him to this super cute café that is right off of the main shopping strip in Lyon, where he was introduced to a pretty Americanized version of French breakfast. We got a basket of bread with every single type of topping imaginable (jams, butters, and spreads, oh my!) a yogurt, orange juice and coffee. I did not really have the heart to tell him that I think that that was the first real breakfast I had eaten since I had gotten back to France (sorry Mom, my host parents will literally just drink coffee). Also something I thought was interesting, he raved about the orange juice and about how great it was…it literally just tasted like the rest of the juice here or the juice my mom ~makes from the oranges from our yard~. But really. I am super spoiled with juices, I guess
Above is a picture of the Fouviere from the perspective of being in the old part of town. Now that the city stretches out much further, it is harder to see or impossible to see from over the bridge, but in Vieux Lyon (literal translation: Old Lyon) it is very prominent Kind of scary actually…but it really is beautiful.
Here is another picture from up close. It is super intricate and kewl~~
Anyway, the reason I am showing you these pictures is because we went to a concert of Mozart’s “Requiem” within the crypt of this church on Thursday night. I had seen seeing posters for the concert around everywhere I looked the proceeding weeks and then one of my friends who lives here in Lyon suggested that we all go and watch it together. Obviously I was in, and so were about 14 other people from the Oregon and California programs. It was super magnificent and even though I felt like I was about 70 years old for going to this event and enjoying it, it honestly was really cool and an experience I will never forget. My friend said that this was his favorite thing about being in Lyon (I was pretty disappointed he didn’t say the boat bars that are permanently docked to the rivers around Lyon, but to each their own I suppose). One of the things that I never knew before was the fact that the crypt was completely colorful! Very unlike many of the other churches that are placed throughout Europe. Unfortunately, there were not very many pictures taken of the event and even less of those photos were good, so I will share with you just the photo below so you can get an idea of what we experienced:
Luckily, I was able to swoop two more photos of the inside of both the crypt and the actual church that were during the time when my friend went during the day while I was in class, which you can peep below:
That weekend we went around the city and did many more tourist type things, including going to the farmer’s market (actually not a huge thing for tourists; we were probably the few people in attendance who were not actually Lyonnais), getting some coffee from a local café (run by the nicest people I have ever met), going to the Resistance Museum (which focuses on Lyon’s part during the resistance movement in France during WW2), going to the Museum of Contemporary Art, going to Parc Tête d’Or (a huge park in the city which also doubles as a zoo when it is warmer) and eating bouchon (well, my friend did, not me…more on why later).
Hanging out at the farmer’s market.
Me and my friend from Lyon drinking our coffees at Café Moxka.
The front of the Contemporary Art Museum. This is the only place I had never been to so far, so it was really cool to go through the museum and check it out. Since it is Lyon, the museum was not that big, but the exhibits were all really awesome and worth the 4 euro student ticket prices.
This is a picture of one of the many bouchon restaurants that are on this one street that is right next to Bellecour (the huge square here where all the tourists hang out and where all the Lyon high schoolers eat lunch). Bouchon is a Lyon speciality but since it is blood sausage, I never had or will try it. But that’s why you have non-vegetarian friends right?
My friend got a bouchon noir and I settled with a goat cheese salad (for 8 euros…eep! But it was super amazing) and we had a fun time with our awesome waiter who went from hating us to becoming our best friend during our meal. It was one of the only times I have eaten in a sit down type restaurant while in Lyon, so it was interesting so see how the French people eat out. They are, in a word, quiet. Extremely, crazily, I-DONT-know-how-they-do-it quiet.
Since that meal was on Saturday night, our trip was brought to an end after hitting up our favorite bar here to show my friend how the frenchies dance (hint: badly) and how they drink (hint: they don’t, really).
It was an all in all super fun time having my friend here, and a nice reminder of home. Now that he is gone, I have been having a slightly sad week of homesickness but luckily, I am not super upset because I realized a few days ago that I have less than 70 days left in Lyon before school ends. Eep! Got to spend a lot of my time having fun now that I know that I am going to be gone so soon ):
See you during my next post! It will either be about all of the different cafés I have been lurking around the city, my next trip (not sure where I am going yet) or just the super ~fun times~ I am having in Lyon. Until then!