It’s finally here. I can’t believe it. But it’s true. I have been in Lyon for 114 days, and yet it feels like I was just taking that first unnerving step away from everything I knew to start on this crazy adventure. I wouldn’t trade my time here in Europe for anything in the world. But that being said, I am very much looking forward to be surrounded by my friends and family in just over 24 hours.
As I’ve mentioned before, this Christmas season is nothing like any I’ve ever experienced before because I’m not surrounded by the people and things I’ve become accustomed to at this time of year. That being said, I am experiencing an entirely new feeling of excitement and anticipation for this year’s Christmas. I have an entirely new appreciation for being home for Christmas, something that I have clearly taken for granted in the past years. It will be so nice to be surrounded by my loved ones, and even if the siblings and I get in an inevitable fight or two, at least we’ll have each other to bicker with, all in the same house and the same city for a few short days of the year.
I’m sitting in my very empty apartment waiting for my landlord to come and inspect it to make sure I can get my deposit back, and then I’m on my way to the airport hotel to get a few hours sleep before my 7 AM flight tomorrow. It’s been a busy last day here in Lyon, arriving from London at around noon, and then repacking my suitcases, while doing some last minute deep-cleaning of my place and then running to my French bank to withdraw money and officially close my account.
London, by the way, was the perfect trip to end my semester abroad. Two days was not nearly enough time there, but I am satisfied with what I was able to see and do in that short time. I arrived Sunday morning with Ievy, Naomi and Olivia, and we started our day with a traditional English afternoon tea at a “Secret Tea Room” above a pub. We ate mini sandwiches with the crusts cut off, and scones with clotted cream and jam, and drank delicious pots of loose leaf tea, served in elegant and dainty tea cups. Then we met up with Preeti and shopped a bit before getting caught in the rain. We ate dinner at a pub, and I had some very tasty fish and chips, which I washed down with my first ever Guinness which I was pleased to say I actually enjoyed. We had a early night, so that we could have full day of touring on Monday.
Monday morning started with a trip to the TKTS booth to get discounted theatre tickets before meeting up with Preeti for a big and hearty English breakfast. Ievy, Olivia and I got tickets to see Shrek the Musical for 30£, which was highly entertaining and a great way to end our short trip to London. After our big breakfast, we wandered through Trafalgar square, down to Big Ben and the Parliament buildings, then through St. James’s Park Lake to Buckingham Palace, then back down to Westminster Abbey. We debate about whether or not to take the double-decker bus tour, but decided we could make a tour of our own, so we hopped on the tube to get to Tower Bridge. We walked along it and stopped at a bar beneath it for Pims and Colas (I chose the Cola, I needed some caffeine to keep me going for the rest of the day). The next stop on our walk was the Globe Theatre, which I was very excited to see in person, being an English student and all. I would’ve loved to see a show there, but I guess that will have to happen the next time I’m in London. We took the new pedestrian bridge (which is destroyed by Dementors in a Harry Potter scene) back across the Thames and then hopped on another tube to see Harrods and grab dinner before our show. Harrods was everything I thought it would be and more. Emphasis on the more – as in more expensive than I ever would’ve liked to imagine. I wisely decided to not buy anything at Harrods, but it was nice to dream. After Shrek, Olivia and I went back to the hostel to try and get some sleep before our 4 AM wake-up call. And now here I am, writing my last post in Lyon before starting my long journey home tomorrow.
It’s been an amazing experience. I can’t wait to continue to travel the world and see what else it has to offer me. Thanks for following along on the adventure with me, it’s been great!