13th September –
Bonjour Internet, did I mention that I went to France?
The Saturday that we went to France was not the best of days to be honest, to begin with anyway. We had to leave the apartment early because of a mix up with another booking, so we had a whole day ahead of us before our flight but with suitcases there wasn’t much that could be done. Off to the airport we went. We had a long wait ahead of us, until our flight at 4pm, so we got some food from Pret a Manger and sat. I’d bought a new Wallpaper and a Rocksound with an interview with Gerard Way which I was so excited to read, but I wanted to save them for the plane, so I spent a lot of time wandering aimlessly around the terminal, reading one page of a magazine and annoying my dad (sorry). When we eventually got on the plane I was so bored that I literally ripped through my magazines. I was in the window seat, which was a bit weird because I usually fly aisle. It turned out to be really cool because there was almost no cloud leaving Heathrow so I got amazing views. The flight into Lyon airport is only just over an hour, which was a nice change from long haul flights like my one to England.
We picked up our rental car – the driving on the other side of the road thing still gets me – and drove towards the centre of Lyon, a drive that we had thought would be maybe a half hour journey. It turns out that the roads in France are not our friends, and the journey took us an hour and a half. We had to do several loops of the same junction, because the exits were only signposted at the last minute and even if you managed to turn off at the right place you were probably in the wrong lane anyway so you would have to drive for 15 minutes around some other part of the city to get back onto the right road. It probably didn’t help my dad that I’m the worst navigator ever. After we eventually made it into Lyon we had to get to our hotel. On the map the road that we needed to turn down was clearly labelled, but in real life – not so much. It took us about 3 long loops around the various bridges and rivers and 3 drives past the road before we realised that the little pedestrian road that we kept driving past was in fact the road we were looking for. So then we had to find parking…
Eventually, eventually, eventually, we reached the hotel. It was such a cute place, right in the heart of the old city. When looking up Lyon we’d discovered that it was the gastronomical capital of France, and all of the famous restaurant streets were literally right outside the window. Lyon has quite an incredible history, being the capital of the Gaul empire, an Imperial city of much importance during Roman times and the centre of the French Resistance during World War II, amongst others. It was incredible, and I was pretty sad that we only had the one night to see it all because we were going to Dijon the next morning. Apologies for all of my slightly blurry, very dark photos – they were on my camera but the lighting was so bad everywhere that they all came out quite badly.
There was a tower in our hotel, which is apparently quite famous. As someone with a massive fear of heights, the tiny stairs say to me that it is health risk but it did have awesome views of the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière of Lyon up on the hill.
It was about 10 by the time we could go around and look for something to eat, and this is one of the times that I love Europe, because everywhere was still open and willing to serve us despite the time. Everyone works on a different timezone here because work starts so much later in the morning. We wanted to find somewhere that would give us the best experience of the city since we only had the one meal to do so. We found a little place called Le Laurencin where all of the other customers were locals and no one spoke English except for our waiter who knew a little. We had such local food and local dishes, and I was so full afterwards that I turned down ice cream, so you know I was full. It was so incredible – the waiters didn’t sympathise with us because we didn’t speak their language, they just got on with it and explained to us about the local dishes when we asked, but it made it so special because you didn’t feel like a tourist, you felt accepted. The whole town was so beautiful, and we walked through the streets at night and I wished that we could stay longer.
The little restaurant that we found.
A local delicacy as a snack – some pork that had been dried, and then soaked and then dried again. It looks gross but it was actually pretty good.
Starters (sorry about the bad lighting again), snails and proper french onion soup.
I forgot to take photos of the main – steak for my dad, and duck for me.
Look who got the flash to work! In between mains and dessert we had some local cheese. One was really stinky, and I was not really a fan and the other one was a white cheese (known, literally, as Fromage Blanc) which was a really dry cheese that they pour cream over until it is soft. At first when we tried it, it was really weird tasting – a little bit bitter but then the waiter, and the french couple next to us told us to pour sugar onto it. And we were like whaaat? But the sugar counteracted the bitterness and made it pretty good. You learn something new! Then I finished off with chocolate mousse, and after that I seriously couldn’t eat another bite of anything.
I was going for the arty lights photo here….(cough cough)
p.s My dad sent me these links to more info about the places we went but I had already written and set up these posts so I put a little bit of information in, but the rest is in this link here and please read up if you’d like to find out more about Lyon, because it really is such an interesting place, that I’m going to have to go back to, just to see more.