I made it to France!!!! I arrive in Lyon 2 days ago around 6 and I wanted to share of my first impressions. I also have decided that each day I will post a ‘diary’ post of sorts to record all my experiences and adventures here in Lyon and elsewhere in Europe (this first post os a conglomeration of my blurry first 3 days).
Not going to lie, the first day was rough. My plane arrived pretty late in the afternoon and the traffic to downtown Lyon, where my hotel was, was a nightmare. But alas, I made it to the hotel and I managed to get into my room just fine. On the hunt for food, I found a little boulangerie and patisserie (basically a bakery/sandwich shop) and my extremely limited french got me a sandwich (thank you to the wonderful, patient lady behind the counter for putting up with my awkward-ness). I returned to my room for the night and fell fast asleep at 8pm, after having been up for around 20 hours. Though I woke up at around midnight, I managed to force myself back to sleep by 2 am and woke up feeling much better at 7.
After breakfast at the hotel, I went to explore, as I don’t move in until 3 pm. I crossed the Rhône river into the old city center. I have never felt more in my element. The architecture and city layout is incredible, with narrow alleys and grand boulevards creating a dense web full of history, shops and stunning architecture.
Once I moved in, I met a few people from the program and decided to stick with them (good decision). We went shopping for a few home bits that our apartments lacked and then returned home with plans to meet for coffee the next morning before our program orientation. My second night (Friday night) was even worse than the first as my jet lag really hit. I hardly got any sleep, but I managed to have a good time on Saturday at my orientation. We went on an amazing walking tour of Lyon.
Today was our only day off until Friday, so we went to the outdoor market that occurs every Sunday along the Saône River. I have NEVER seen such a huge open air market in my life. the farm stands went on forever punctuated by food trucks with cuisine from France, Italy and the middle east.
I treated myself to some flowers and picked up a large bag full of fresh fruit. We also stopped for some juices. My pick was Bora Bora, with passion fruit, mango, lemon and orange juices; SO GOOD.
Ultimately my first couple days in Lyon have been a roller coaster in the best way. I will be sure to keep y’all updated on my adventures!