Lyon: Chapter 2
by David Thibault
I have been in Lyon for one full day now and I am really enjoying it…On the whole. Somebody seems to have warned the city that seeing as I am the epitome of British, I must experience the same rainy weather as we have in England, WHEREVER I go. So far, I have been caught in two thunder and lightning storms (whilst dressed in ballet pumps and strappy tops due to the fact that it is flipping hot as well) and it has now been raining for about 4 hours straight. What on earth is going on? Anyway, typical English moaning about the weather mode is now turned off and I shall return to my usual chirpier self.My journey here went very smoothly, via the Eurostar and TGV. The only small problem was my absolutely ruddy massive suitcase which probably weighs more than me itself, without even mentioning the other massive bags I was carrying. I am actually normally a very good packer and usually travel everywhere with only cabin-sized luggage (even when I have a huge allowance), however, due to the fact that I won’t be returning home until Christmas, I panicked a bit. My suitcase contains something to cover every eventuality. Admittedly, I may have gone a wee bit over the top, but seeing as I packed it the day before I left, I think it could have been worse. I have a wide selection of winter clothes (everything bar ear muffs…I was so tempted to put them in, you have no idea) and of course my summer clothes, not that I need them, stupid rain. Grumble grumble grumble. It was all going very well until I got to the TGV and realised that my seat was on the top deck. Oh yes, they have double decker trains here…Eclasxciting! Well, exciting until you realise you have to leave all your worldly belongings in a suitcase on the bottom deck because you can’t get the blooming thing up the stairs. I’m seriously considering writing to them and suggesting they put ramps instead of stairs! Anywho. I made it, so all is well!
Am writing from my hostel (pretty much the only one in Lyon so you’ll probably end up here if you come!) which is on top of the biggest hill I have ever had to walk up bar Snowdon (this may be a slight exaggeration), needless to say, I took a taxi from the station. It’s a pretty good hostel: lots of lovely friendly people milling about, a kitchen to cook in, free breakfast, free wifi and an AMAZING panoramic view of Lyon from all windows with the only down point being some rather dodgy showers which don’t drain too well and require you to hold the button down the whole time you are in the shower.
I have done a fair bit of exploring around the city so far and have thus far only travelled by foot. There seems to be a good transport system here with buses, trams, the metro and bikes all easily accessible, but I have not yet braved them so I can’t give you a person opinion…I’m told they’re pretty good though, so we shall see. If you have time on your hands, Lyon is really easy to navigate by foot, armed with a map and a fairly good sense of direction I’ve managed to weave my way across pretty much the whole city centre and got a lot further than I actually thought I would be able to. The city is very pretty with lots of lovely grand buildings like the Opera House and Hôtel de Ville and has millions of great shops scattered all over the place. I can’t wait to do some more exploring when the weather’s a bit more agreeable. I’ve also visited my new university to get some things sorted and it is remarkably like my own university, King’s College London. It’s next to the river and is very beautiful inside, with lovely staircases just like King’s and huge wooden doors. The International Relations department have so far been very helpful and the lady I talked to today gave me a lot of good information. I just can’t wait to move into my new accommodation in the CROUS next week; I will update you again from there. Over and out.