After my series of unfortunate events, I arrived at my youth hostel without any hiccups! Disregarding, of course, the fact that they wouldn't let me check in for another six hours. Which naturally led to me passing out on a table in the common area... Which naturally left me with bloodshot eyes & looking like a vampire. But after a shower (I had to hold down the button any time I wanted water... welcome back to France!) & nap, I was good to go. Especially since I was meeting up with Nathan, a Furman grad who helped teach my very first French class at Furman, & his girlfriend Betsy. Despite the strike, they came to pick me up at my hostel! We walked down into vieux (old) Lyon for dinner. It was great! Not only to be met with friendly faces & helpful hints on dealing with the French bureaucracy, but to be reunited with French cuisine! So big thanks to Nathan & Betsy for a lovely first evening in Lyon!
A lot of people staying at this hostel are fellow teaching assistants & others are backpacking around Europe. While the facilities leave something to be desired, the view & the company make up for it in leaps & bounds. And look at the little friend I made while I was on the computer last night. Just crawled right into my lap! I do apologize, I took this photo using my iPhone. But the pictures I've take around Lyon are on my camera & the chords are still buried in the aforementioned luggage room of doom.
Today I wandered around the city with Jill, another assistant. After picking up some Starbucks (they only have them in Paris & Lyon, so we're getting it while we can!), we went to one of my favorite fountains in Lyon only to find that it sits directly across from the Musée des Beaux-Arts. We went inside hoping to get some sort of discount for being under 25, but the sign said you needed an actual student card. No matter! They said proof of our age was sufficient enough & we got in for free!! Monet & Renoir were not on the agenda, but quite the welcome surprise! Then we trekked off to get my carte 12-25, a sort of youth card that gives you massive discounts on train tickets for a year. A few things got lost in translation at the train station, but I walked out with my carte 12-25 & my first discounted train ticket. I bought one for Villefranche-sur-Saône for tomorrow morning, the halfway point between Lyon & Trévoux. From there I will take the bus & finally be in Trévoux!
After the train station, we bumped into something quite shocking... Rollerblading. Roller-bladers swarming la place Bellecour (the largest square in Lyon). It was all very 90s. All sorts of races, competitions, & a dancing Ronald McDonald... it was really random! And not quite the French culture we were looking for. So we took ourselves down to the Sunday market lining the shores of the Saône. Everything from the food to the flowers seemed to be the most beautiful thing I ever laid eyes on! There is nothing like a French market & it was one sweet reunion. Spending 5 euros on a baguette & grapes (French bread & grapes are the best!), we ate it on the steps of a cathedral. France... It's good to be back!!