The idea of escaping for one weekend to Lyon and Geneva was spontaneous, we decided to give it a try after a friend mentioned she will pay a visit for a few days to an old Erasmus friend, Ion, that recently moved to Lyon. Since we only took carry-on luggage, we decided to skip on the camera, so all photos here are from our phones.
After our flight was delayed a couple of hours, we finally arrived in Lyon where we spent a while reminiscing about our Erasmus time in Orleans and catching up. First thing in the morning, we went out to buy fresh baguettes (missing this so much in London), cheese, sausages and garlic cheese cream. After a hearty french breakfast we headed out towards the city center crossing the two rivers. We wanted to take the funicular up to Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière but we ended up in the other funicular which is for Old Lyon, since their station is in the same place. Fortunately for us, this mistake took us directly to L’Odeon, the ruins of a roman theatre which used to accommodate around 3000 spectators back in it’s time.
After a short sunbath on the stairs, we visited Notre-Dame de Fourvière, admired the panorama view of the city and descended by foot on one of the oldest streets, Chazeaux which has 228 steps. The descent leaves you right on the paved narrow streets of the center with plenty of cafes, restaurants and bars. Later in the afternoon, we picked up Ioana from the airport and then went out for a beer and decided that the next day we shall go to Geneva, being only a 2 hour drive.
Sunday morning we woke up early, stuffed ourselves full of french cheese and sausages and headed to Geneva. After paying the yearly vignette (yes, there are no different periods for which you can get one – even if you are there for a couple of hours, you have to buy the yearly one) we were in Switzerland and twenty minutes later in Geneva. Found a parking space close to the lake, left the car and continued on foot. Although it was November, the weather wasn’t that awful. Cold, but the sun was shining and there was almost no wind. It came as no surprise when we saw people swimming in the chilling waters of the lake.
The most iconic attraction in Geneva, if you disregard the expensive watches and chocolate is the water jet, Jet d’Eau. After finally locating it we found out that it is “out of office” for the month, while some maintenance and repairs are being done. So, we wondered back to the city center and stopped for lunch at one of the cafes. While there we were contacted by another Erasmus colleague – he happened to arrive that very same morning in Geneva and saw our Facebook post about it – totally random encounter, albeit a short one.
After a couple of hours we said our goodbyes since we had a plane to catch back to London. Short, but interesting, this was our weekend in Lyon.
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