Lyon, My French Home!!

I am writing this blog post from the kitchen table where I had breakfast every day 9 years ago!  For those who don't know, I studied abroad in Lyon when I was in college, became very close to my French host family (the Goeminnes), and have remained close since then, visiting them several times throughout the years.  I am SO excited to be back in my Lyonnais apartment and, more importantly, with Catherine and Henri-Jean!

We woke up nice and early in our Andance campground yesterday, made some eggs on the Trangia, and plotted our route for the day.  It was supposed to be EVEN HOTTER today (we are stuck in the middle of a heat wave that is supposed to break tonight, thank God!).  Additionally, according to the many blogs I'd read, the section of ViaRhona between Vienne and Lyon is apparently undeveloped and, as such, features some rides on dangerously crowded roads... so we decided to have a short day and skip it!  The thirty miles between Andance and Vienne went by incredibly quickly, since we were beating the heat.  Happily, this region is heavily wooded, so the trail was nice and shady!  We even passed through a nature preserve on the Ile de Buerre (literally, Butter Island), which was especially cool (although it featured speed traps that were slightly difficult to navigate with our heavily loaded bikes...).  This region is also well known for its wine (Cotes-du-Rhone), so we cycled past innumerable hillside vineyards with their names featured on huge letters planted alongside the trees!  Very scenic.

Once in Vienne, we enjoyed a leisurely outdoor lunch of fish and zucchini gratin, with apricot clafoutis (a custardy dessert) to follow our meal.  I'm telling you, it's going to be tough to go back to Trader Joes' dried apricots after having SO MANY fresh apricots on this trip so far!  From there, we took the TER regional train into Lyon, a mere 20 minutes.  Though the train was fast, it had literally zero ventilation... ugh.

And then, voila!  We were in Lyon's Part-Dieu train station, just a mile from chez Goeminne!  Originally, we were going to just stay at their apartment alone, because Catherine and Henri-Jean were in Tours, so Aude had given us the key while we were in Paris.  But, the day before we arrived, Henri-Jean decided to make the long journey (6 hours) from Tours to Lyon to be with us for the weekend!  I was overjoyed that we were going to get to see them.

Before they arrived later that evening, I had a great time showing Adam around my old haunts!  We ate dinner in a traditional Lyonnais "bouchon" (a hearty, simple restaurant) in Old Lyon and wandered around the cobblestone streets and the gorgeous banks of the Rhone.  We also stumbled upon a tournament of "boules", a traditional French game similar to bocce ball, which I had thought was only for old men to play in the park but which evidently has a large following, based on the crowds at this tournament!

Catherine and HJ arrived just as we returned to their apartment, and it was so wonderful to see them!  We shared stories about our adventures so far and told them about married life in Boston, and continued catching up this morning over breakfast after a wonderful sleep in my old bedroom.  I am just OVERJOYED to be here with them!

Today, we are planning on doing some bike-related errands and trying to avoid the heat as much as possible on this last day of the heat wave (perhaps in the Parc de la Tete d'Or, right down the street).  A toute a l'heure!





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Where are we now?

Legend

  • Red = We're going to bike that
  • Purple = We're biking that now
  • Grey = We biked that!
  • Black = We decided not to go that way
  • Yellow = We took a train
  • Magenta = We took a plane

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