Lyon, moi-même

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I'm back from a 10-day trip throughout France: to Bordeaux, Lyon, Nantes, and back to Bordeaux again. I wanted to share my pictures from Lyon first because there's been a bit of Bordeaux overload on this blog recently.

I went to Lyon by myself, which I was a little nervous about beforehand. I did often go alone to Nkhata Bay in Malawi, but it's surprisingly easy to travel as an expat in a third-world country. You make friends quickly because, especially in Africa, one can almost always immediately tell who is and isn't from there. And foreigners band together, like anywhere else. But in a European city like Lyon, no one necessarily knows I'm not from there until I open my mouth, or pull out a map. And even then, France is not known for having the friendliest culture.

But I went because I wanted to see the city, and most of my close friends were home to England and Celeste had school, so I found a cheap flight and I treated myself to a nice hotel room for two nights. And it turned out to have been one of the best things I've done out here. I sat at cafés and wrote, I wandered through markets, I got lost and didn't care, I drank wine at lunchtime, I took long afternoon naps. It was very Eat, Pray, Love-esque of me. Mostly, it felt amazing to travel and not to be on anyone's schedule but my own.

Lyon is a beautiful city, historic and lively and young. Everywhere I turned there was another gorgeous fountain or statue in another picturesque square.

The basilica at the top of the city, Notre Dame de la Fourvière, was unbelievable. It really was the most beautiful and awesome (in the biblical sense) church that I have ever seen. I was compelled to sit in a front pew and pray for a very long time (which, although I am a spiritual person, is something I don't do often). Afterwards, instead of taking the tram back into old town, I walked down the long hill, down the hundreds of cobblestone steps and through the out-of-bloom rose gardens. I only saw a few other people; I could only imagine what the scene would be like three months later. (Even the basilica gift shop was closed until April.) It was an incredibly peaceful couple of days.


reub-envision said...

I love the shot looking upward in the narrow alley/street

Mandy said...


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