It’s hard to believe that a week has already past since I first landed in Lyon last Sunday morning. It has been a hectic week, what with all the documents to provide and people to meet and places to see. And I think it is finally playing a toll on my body/mind. I had a fabulous weekend with some amazing girls that I met in class, but today we all recognized how tired we all felt, and how much we all needed a day to ourselves to veg out and get a hold on our lives again.
As of the end of class on Friday, I have been going non stop trying to see and do as much as possible in as little time possible- or so it feels. Friday I finally picked up my student ID from the SELF office after class, and then the girls and I waited out the freak torrential rain while eating a baguette sandwich in a stairwell of the school (to stay warm/dry). Eventually we braved the rain to trek to IKEA to get a few essentials for our apartments. After a Tram ride and a confusing bus ride, we made it to a home away from home! It was strangely comforting to be back in the confines of the iconic blue and yellow walls of IKEA, just as if I was back in Canada on one of my many “necessary” trips. It was much smaller than the one at home (Biggest in North America, represent!), and much more crowded, but still boasted the cookie-cutter furniture and necessities that I know and love! I got myself a purple fleece blanket to make my bed more homey, as well as some kitchen supplies and a kid’s laundry hamper (cheaper than the adult ones, and just as good!). After our IKEA trip, we piled back onto the tram to drop off our stuff at our apartments, and then met up an hour later to wander through Presqu’ile in search of dinner.
We settled on having dinner at a traditional Bouchon (http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuisine_lyonnaise#Les_bouchons), which turned out to be an excellent decision! For dinner I had Penne with truffles and foie gras for 12 Euro – and it was worth every penny! A lot of the girls I was with hadn’t heard of truffles before, and I insisted they try them. I myself had never tried foie gras before, not being a big meat eater and all, but I have decided to be open to trying new things on this trip – and so far it is working out! After dinner we were planning on walking around the city, but the rain drove us into a cafe instead. The cafe was very quaint, and we all warmed ourselves with creamy lattes for dessert. 🙂
Saturday was a very full day! After spending almost a week in Lyon without really appreciating what the city had to offer, I felt the need to explore as much of it as I could. We started our day by wandering up Fourviere, the hill at the top of Vieux Lyon, where the Romans first settled when they came to Lyon. We were very excited when we found a “traboules” (http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traboule) in Vieux Lyon, which led us through dark alley ways alongside people’s private homes.
We eventually made it to the top of Fourviere, and were met with an amazing view of the city. We walked around the basilica that sits on top of the hill, and saw the Roman ruins a little ways down the hill. We had a quick lunch back in Vieux Lyon and then hopped on another Metro to head to watch Lyon’s soccer team, “Olympique Lyonnais” play against “Valenciennes,” which Lyon won 3-2! Supposedly they are 2nd in the league, and the match we watched was the last game for the goalie (and captain of the team).
After the game, we all went back to Alex and Carly’s apartment in an attempt to look into planning more trips, but to no avail. Trip planning can be very overwhelming when met with tons of varying prices and a million places to visit! I’m excited to travel as much as possible while I’m here, but the process seems stressful – nonetheless most certainly worth it.
I had ambitions to see much more of Lyon when I woke up this morning, but after a morning spent at outdoor market on La Saône, we all realized how much we needed an afternoon and night spent doing our own thing. I unloaded some delicious smelling and looking food from my grocery bag, and set to having a relaxing but productive evening in my apartment. Exhaustion in the form of homesickness hit me hard when I was Skyping Michelle, my sister, but it was nothing a run couldn’t fix. I ran to school and back, and by the time I was home I was feeling ten times better. I don’t know where my Sunday has gone, but it is already much later than I was planning on staying awake, and I really should be trying to sleep off this weekend’s effect.
I do apologize in advance for a lack of oomph in today’s blog post, as well for any gramatical/spelling errors. I am long overdue for sleep!
Lots of love from Lyon,