“Oh La La!” Pretty much my reaction to everything I saw here, but imagine it in a try-hard French accent. Yup that’s me! I flew into Lyon on a Friday evening from the states. I didn't have to be in Spain until mid-September, so I figured I would leave early and squeeze in a visit to my friend Kasia who was studying abroad in Lyon for the year. Saturday morning we woke up and decided to head to the farmer’s market for breakfast. Side note – I grew up in the Napa Valley and was under the impression that we had some of the best markets around. How silly of me. Nope. Lyon definitely takes the cake on that one. Throughout the city you can find markets on everyday of the week with the most amazing produce you have ever seen. Everything is also extremely cheap! Let me put it into perspective. For an entire plate of figs, I only had to hand over two euros. After walking through and drooling over everything, I settled on a tomato and goat cheese tart, as well as a chocolate croissant. We ate we sitting near the river for a while and people watching (second favorite activity here, beat by eating).
In the evening, we met up with some of Kasia’s friends to cook dinner together. We made veggie stew and ate copious amounts of baguette, cheese, and wine. We pretty much rolled ourselves down the hill back to the apartment afterwards. I ended up staying awake till almost two in the morning and felt confused until I remembered that jet lag is an actual thing. The next morning? You can probably guess…farmers market! This one was atop a giant hill that houses the most adorable neighborhood. The market itself was packed and never-ending. I ended up with three croissants somehow: an almond, a chocolate, and a plain one (because you have to have variety in life). I added a latte and felt very satisfied with my last breakfast in France. We walked around the neighborhood for a bit after and explored. I’ve noticed that the people here seem content with just hanging out and enjoying their days. No one was rushing around and everyone seemed so happy. Back home I usually try to have things planned and fill up my days, which sometimes leaves me feeling stressed out. I decided to make it a goal to learn the art of doing nothing that everyone here seemed to be so good at.
The highlight of the day was visiting the Museum of Fine Arts. It was located right near Kasia’s apartment and luckily for us, had free entry all weekend! As we are college students trying to watch our budget, this made it more appealing. The art of course was beautiful and there was much to see. We saw sculptures from ancient Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and Islamic times. There were even mummified body parts! So cool. There was also a large collection of paintings from different periods and many different artists. I recognized the Degas and Monet ones, but everything else was pretty new to me. Towards the end to entertain ourselves, Kasia and I started making up names for the different paintings we saw, giving them new and hilarious meanings. I think we received a few funny looks as we were cracking up but it was too funny for us to care. Unfortunately after that my camera battery died and I had forgotten to pack my spare one, which was a bummer because we happened across the “World Skate-Cross Series”. Apparently a huge deal! There was a race, as well as a course with jumps and ramps which we got to watch the contestants navigate. It was so cool to see people racing around on rollerblades of all things. We headed back to the apartment when it finished because our feet were tired and resting seemed like an optimal idea.
Lyon was the first city I was able to explore in Europe, and it was absolutely perfect in every way. The city itself is very walkable and easy to navigate. It is picturesque and the people are helpful. 10/10 would reccomend checking it out if you are looking for an alternative to visiting the extremely touristy Paris.