10 December 2023

It would be French not-to

Lyon is a great option if you don’t want to stay in tourist-orientated Paris.

I’m doing something a bit different today, blogging from a train station in Grenoble… An hour and a half outside Lyon. After my last post, I’ve been staying in a hostel half way up a hill in Lyon – spectacular views that make up for the steep incline I had to walk up carrying my bags. I had originally planned to stay 2 nights, like my other destinations, but one of those days being a Sunday and shops obviously closed across Europe on that day, I decided to spend an extra night.

View of the city from near the hostel

Lyon is fantastic. A really chilled out place. It is clean, the people are not rude like Paris but no one really speaks English, and realistically, nor should they. I have managed to find Australians at the hostel – the accent a dead giveaway, but roaming the streets, English is not noticeable. It’s quite embarrassing that the Italians in my room have a firm grasp of French and English, yet I can only stick to pointing and trying to sound French.

Lyon itself is not very big geographically. It has four lines on the metro (A to D) and one of the lines I use frequently to get in and out of town is has driver-less cars! Brilliant!! I was in town the other day when there were street performances and artists, the vibe was quite jovial. In what looked like an exhibition area, a (nike?) marathon challenge was taking place with these runners looking to notch up 21km running the streets. The next day, people with their marathon numbers pinned to shirts were getting on the Metro – wasn’t quite sure how they do their marathon runs but I was inclined to think they were cheating… Or it was over. But who am I to judge.

In Lyon

I spent yesterday on a two hour train ride to Annecy (pronounced Ahn-see). The reason anyone would go there is the lake that has a magnificent backdrop of mountains… Nothing quite like it. And being another warm day in France, families were out sun baking in parks that back onto the lake. I don’t think I could adequately describe it so check out the photos in the next post. Coming home, my train was full of students heading back to Lyon. I figured we were heading out of summer holidays and into the autumn semester.

Today, Grenoble, not as pretty as Annecy, but known for its university and location at the foot of the alps. Tomorrow heading back to Paris then flight back to London. Had to go back through EasyJet because the Eurostar was wayyy over my budget.


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