Wow, it’s been longer than I had planned since I last posted. Sorry!! You’d think being unemployed and all I’d be posting up a storm, but sadly, that doesn’t seem to have been the case. Here’s what I’ve been up to lately:
- job applying (temp places for the summer and teaching jobs for the fall)
- taking trips to Ankeny to first see my very pregnant sister, and then my new baby niece!!
- cleaning my room and bathroom at home from top to bottom, and donating tons of stuff
- sorting, organizing, and backing up the millions of photos I took this year
- enjoying living 25 miles from my boyfriend instead of 5000
- eating delicious meals at my grandparents’
- catching up with friends that I haven’t seen for nearly eight months
- playing my dad in backgammon, and mostly losing
- trying to catch our five baby kittens that live under the front steps
- feeding our four bucket calves (and chasing them when moving them to a different field…)
- hanging out with my cousins that both live right up the road
- eating delicious food like colby jack cheese, peanut butter, Kraft mac n cheese, my mom’s lemon chicken, my grandma’s spaghetti, Jamaican seasoned pork patties, Mexican food (particularly Chipotle and Diamond Dave’s), and homegrown asparagus
So as you can see, I’ve been keeping busy! On to the actual subject of the post, the first weekend in April my friend Sam and I took a trip to Lyon. Lyon is located to the north of Nice and is the largest city in France outside of Paris. We were originally planning on taking the train, but for me (with my 12-25 discount card) it was the same price for me as flying EasyJet, and for Sam (no discount card) it was way cheaper to fly, and with way less travel time! So we flew up one Friday evening and came back on Sunday evening. We didn’t have a lot of time there, but we definitely made the most of it!
Something that Lyon is known for are its fresques, or painted sides of buildings. One is particularly famous, named the Fresque des Lyonnais. It’s painted to look like a real building.
It looks real, right??
There were a couple of other fresques around the city.
There was also a lot of graffiti around the city, which I guess was to be expected of a town that size, but some of it was actually kinda beautiful.
Another thing unique to Lyon are its traboules, or underground passageways that used to be transport silk in the rain to protect it from being ruined by drops of water. I expected a traboule to look like this but the only ones we saw were open like this:
However, it was definitely a traboule, and one of the most famous ones.
One of the more impressive things we saw was the Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviere, which was up on a big hill. We first saw it after dark when we arrived and it was BEAUTIFUL; I wish I had gotten a picture of it! This link will have to do.
We took a funicular to get up to the church, since the hill was so big, and I enjoy funiculars.
Gotta prove I was there…
Because the church was up on a hill, nearby there was a good lookout over the city.
I don’t think many pictures of my camera have made it on the blog. Kinda big, but not too fancy- perfect for me! Also enjoy the awesome face I’m making. Photo courtesy of Sam.
Also up on the hill were some old Roman ruins. At one point we were walking and it looked like there was a huge dropoff; there were stairs, but they were so steep that you couldn’t see them until you were right next to the edge! Here’s a photo we recreated with our initial reactions. Again, enjoy the face. Oh and the camera again!
I did take some pictures of the actual ruins.
Somewhere else in the city we came across some other random Roman-ish-looking ruins, but a tour group was just leaving them and he locked the door. Not sure what they actually were, but I snapped a picture through the bars.
Okay, enough pictures of stones. We happened upon a beautiful old theatre that, despite the cold weather, had pretty blossoms all over the trees in front of it.
We saw some other old landmarks too, like the Hotel de Ville (City Hall)…
an opera house…
a huge fountain in La Place des Terreaux…
and a cool modern bridge with the city behind it.
I also made sure to go to a big chocolate factory/shop/emporium thing called Chokola. You bet I didn’t walk out empty-handed! Plus there was a huge chocolate waterfall.
Believe it or not, everything I’ve mentioned so far, we did on Saturday! It was a busy day and boy were we tired at the end of it. On Sunday, all we did was go to the Parc de la Tete d’Or, a big nature preserve/park/zoo that reminded me of Parc Phoenix in Nice. It was a nice open area with lots of grass and trees, and tons of cool animals to look at!
On the way out, we went through a greenhouse filled with all carnivorous plants.
After that, we headed out to get lunch and go to the airport. Also worth mentioning, my Kelsey luck was in full effect: I had an aisle seat on the way home, but I ended up being the only one in my row so I ended up having a window seat as well 🙂 all in all a great trip!