As you have probably seen from the 'Photos-Grenoble/Rhone Alpes' page of my blog, my latest adventure took place in Lyon with three of my friends from Bangor! Having been given my two weekly days off in a row, I was delighted to be able to go and visit Ffion whilst Clara and Ruth were staying with her for a few days. So having had a fair few bursts of hysterical giggling, lovely French food, and fun in the sun, we all had a fantastic little holiday and were very sad when we had to say goodbye to each other at the end of it.
I set off from Grenoble at 9am on Wednesday morning and arrived in Lyon at 10:15am so it really was not a bad journey at all! Having been to Lyon once before, with Ffion's written instructions, I was able to find her flat pretty easily which was good! Once I arrived in Charpennes, I was greeted by the familiar smiling faces of my friends from Bangor which is always such a good feeling when you are on a year abroad and feeling completely out of your depth the vast majority of the time! Once we had had a catch up, we had some lunch and then made our way to some of the many fantastic sights and tourist attractions that Lyon has to offer. These included the peddle boats which we thoroughly enjoyed attempting to drive, Lyon Cathedral, the Roman Ruins, and the old part of the city where we ate the most amazing ice cream (just had to add that bit in!). We then finished the day in a fancy French cheese restaurant which was very cultural and a very different experience to any that we had had before in a restaurant. We were amazed when we ordered our food to find that the chef placed three different cheeses as well as a selection of meats and jams on each of our plates. The most interesting part was that each of us had a completely different selection of surprise cheeses which was very exciting and fun to compare. We were all very full up by the time we left so spent the rest of the evening relaxing in Ffion's flat and chatting about absolutely everything under the sun before going to bed.
Thursday was another very nice day! After a bit more of a lie in than on Wednesday we went to visit a British food shop in Charpennes which was incredible! You might think it is strange that people crave British food whilst abroad, but having now spent three months in France, I can tell you that this definitely does happen! So I brought a bar of Cadbury's dairy milk chocolate and a can of doctor pepper which really took me back to British university life as bad as it sounds :) My friends also stocked up on things like Scones, Baked Beans, and Cadbury's chocolate as these are things that are scarce in France.
The rest of the day was spent eating Ramen in a lovely restaurant and returning to the ice cream shop in the old part of Lyon as we had enjoyed it so much the day before :)
So once we had all caught our trains to head back to our Erasmus placement cities, we were all very tired but very happy to have been lucky enough to meet up and to have such a lovely couple of days. In fact, we all commented on how much it felt like a holiday!
I was back at work today which ended up being more difficult than I had hoped as the fire alarm in the Hostel went off unexpectedly. It is pretty typical that this happened on a day when I was the only member of staff on the whole premises. So I basically decided to evacuate as many people from the building as possible and then telephoned my boss and went up to look inside the room where the alarm had been set off. Luckily it had just been the steam from a shower that caused it and nobody was hurt so it worked out very well. However, it was definitely one of the most stressful experiences I have ever had as I was concerned about a very large number of peoples safety and had to sort out the situation in French which as always proved to be rather difficult but fortunately worked :)
Although I had an interesting return to work, I have had a wonderful week and am very happy that I was able to go to Lyon! Please take a look at the pictures on the 'Photos-Grenoble/Rhone Alpes' page if you have not already as you will see a few of the things that I have spoken about in this post.