Last Minute Lyon

Procrastination is the road to perdition. The original plan was to spend a long weekend in Lisbon, but when it finally came down to booking the trip a mere five days before it was meant to happen, air fares had shot up to stupid levels. Pushed for time, my friend and I plonked for Lyon instead, courtesy of some very reasonably priced EasyJet flights. Neither of us had been to Lyon before, and I was kinda keen (and terrified at the same time) to practice my abysmal French.

I came to regret this snap decision the very next morning. That’s when I heard about the escalation of the strike situation in France. I had been  vaguely aware of some ongoing disputes to do with employees’ rights or something, but I’d not really been on the ball about the ramifications of this national crisis: oil refineries blocked off by burning barricades, a third of petrol stations out of fuel, public transport up the spout, air traffic controllers about to join the fray,  etc.

And into the disaster zone we go!

And off into the disaster zone we go!

**Spoiler alert: I fretted over nothing!**

In the end, we weren’t impacted by the strikes in any way whatsoever. Our trip turned out to have been very fortuitously timed, slotting in between two big bouts of industrial action.

Our only two complaints were the shitty hotel – our floor was stickier than a marshmallow factory – and the copious rain, but it was still a great weekend with lots of laughs and good food (except for a lunch involving gristly dry sausages – probably the only type of French food that a German can authoritatively criticise*).

Lyon is stunningly beautiful – I was agog whenever the curtain of rain parted, and everyone was really friendly and helpful. Even the staff of Marshmallow Towers.

The city stands at the confluence of two rivers and so there’s an infinite number of photogenic bridges:

Lyon Bridge

A shot of me taking the above shot

A shot of me taking the above shot

Lyon Bridge

 

Lyon view

Lyon views

Lyon Town Hall

Grafiti

Hinterhof

Penguins

Lyon has tons of cute cafés…

Lyon Café

Lyon Café

Lyon Café 1

 

Here's one where you can play any conceivable type of board game

No, it’s not a café with slot machines, but one where you can play any conceivable type of board game

Lyon Café

Flashy and with great ambience for sure, but a tad expensive. €23 for sausage and lentils? Forget it! In Spain, you can have that for a fiver. And the sausage will be up to scratch.

Lyon Café

Roses

It also seems to have been moving day in Lyon:

Got a shelf to move but no car? Just pop in on a skateboard!

Got a shelf to move but no car? Just pop in on a skateboard!

Kill two birds with one stone: Use mattress as rain shield

Kill two birds with one stone: Use mattress as a rain shield

Can you guess what's coming?!

Can anyone guess what’s coming up next?!

Yup. Cakes!!! What else?!?

Lyonese praline tart - fancy stuff!

Lyonese praline tart – fancy stuff!

...unfortunately, the one I tried wasn't all that great. Way too sweet and the pastry seemed to be made of bulletproof cardboard

Unfortunately, the one I tried wasn’t all that great. Way too sweet, and the pastry seemed to be made of bulletproof cardboard

Poached pear anyone? Now this one was absolutely delicious :)

Poached pear with gooey chocolate sauce anyone? Now this one was absolutely delicious 🙂

...but sometimes all you need is a crepe and a nice cup of tea :)

…and sometimes all you need is an apple sauce crêpe and a nice cup of tea 🙂

And some nice poppies to finish off :)

And some happy poppies to finish off.

So, did I get to practice my French? Well, yes, a little… with mixed success. I understood virtually all the written information I came across, which would have passed me by a year ago. Also, the mere attempt of communicating in French with wait staff etc was received very well. Some chose to switch to English or Spanish, but they did it in good cheer, since, I guess, we had at least tried to make an effort. I hope to do better next time 🙂

*Find my German sausage post here: Nothing separates a German from their sausage

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64 thoughts on “Last Minute Lyon

      1. Trippmadam

        Was it supposed to be pâte brisée? I don’t know why it sometimes comes out as cardboard (not necessarily bulletproof, but cardboard nevertheless).
        Abysmal French: I am currently trying to learn some basic Occitan. Almost all the grammar resources I can find are in French. So, on my desk I have my exercise in Occitan, my grammar (written in French) and my French-German dictionary from my school days, which does not help much.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. linnetmoss

    Ah, Lugdunum! They built the big nineteenth-century church right on top of the Roman forum!! Why??? But that poached pear is something I could go for in a big way. And I love the old roses in your street scene. Definitely a good time of year to visit.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. ladyofthecakes Post author

      We went up to that church, and the inside was just… indescribable. Amazing, in an overwhelming way. I’ve seen a lot of fancy churches, but never anything like this. Chinese madonnas, pastel colours, elephant-sized hunks of marble (how did they get those up the hill?!?) and the most amazing mosaic floor… am still processing the experience 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. Debbie Smyth

    I had heard it has a great food reputation. I was there many, many years ago and it was lurking on my “must go back list”. Now it has moved up a bit further. Especially when you mention rivers and bridges.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  3. bevchen

    Aww, the penguins!

    Mmm, I wouldn’t mind some of that poached pear right now.
    Lyon looks gorgeous. I want to go!

    The French always seem to be on strike. On Friday it was the trains.

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  4. Kim in Fiji

    I’m sorry, still in shock about the 23 Euro sausage and lentil dish. Ah! Now I know! I need to go on the Go to France and Try to Afford Dinner Diet! How much was the poached pear in chocolate sauce? I might just restrict myself to sweets. (Thanks for all the beautiful architecture shots…. utterly lovely)

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    1. ladyofthecakes Post author

      I can’t remember how much that pear was… I had it as part of a very nice – and fairly cheap! – dinner near our shitty hotel, situated a little way off the touristy hotspots.

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  5. Anna

    Good job! I have 5 more days to hold up my end of the blogging pact…
    I am actually going to France for a long weekend a month from now – as an extension of a Brussels conference. I cannot wait to eat EVERYTHING.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
      1. Anna

        DUDE. You should get on Instagram. I spent half a day wandering around Paris before my conference kicked off – 40 photos on IG!

        Like

  6. BerLinda

    Oh, glad you enjoyed my old home town! It is a very nice city 🙂 My friend worked on a crepe stand there – your one looks better than her efforts 😉 Good to have you back!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  7. Kim G

    Back to the land of the blogging!!! Yay!!! Looks like Lyon was fun despite it all.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    CDMX, México
    Where we made the mistake of going out yesterday in sandals only to return via hopping puddles.

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    Reply
  8. TheLastWord

    You know, you have a real eye for photography. I found that if you attempt French, the locals suddenly discover that they can speak perfect English…. Which was very useful when I was there, 2 years ago to the day.

    And welcome back! Was wondering if you’d given up blogging …..

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. ladyofthecakes Post author

      I quite like the way Lyon combines the ancient with the modern. Having stood there for over two millennia, it must have pretty much always done that in order to stay relevant 😉 Am desperately trying to emerge from my (French) study break. I need a kick up the behind! …I also need to go back there and try the rest of the cakes. Wanna come along?!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  9. camparigirl

    I have such fond memories of Lyon! I went as an exchange student in high school, and lived with pretty Francoise on her parent’s farm just outside the city, went to school with her and hang out with her friends. My French flourished!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  10. Prior-2001

    Congrats on your using your French Amiga! The flowers in various photos are really nice and live the use of that skateboard!
    And ending with the cake (sorry yours was not the best) but perfect wrap up because you are…..
    Thee lady of the cakes!
    Xxoo
    Hope your week is going well!
    Au revoir

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  11. Multifarious meanderings

    I’m glad that it all went well – your dates were perfectly adapted to fit around the trade unions’ calendar. I love Lyon – did you go to the Parc de la Tête d’Or? It’s beautiful.
    The unions have upped the pace on their strikes again, with a union official explaining on the news today that “the Euro 2016 isn’t an excuse not to strike”. I think what he actually meant was that it is an ideal opportunity to throw their toys out of their prams. I hope that Valls and Hollande have enough petrol to ferry the footie fans to and fro, or that said footie fans are as athletic as their heroes, because public transport isn’t going to be part of the equation to get to the match. Welcome to France…

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. ladyofthecakes Post author

      I heard they were moving them with tear gas now instead of petrol – ingenious!!!

      No, I didn’t make it to that park – next time! I’m determined to return. I really liked the city and would love to spend a bit more time there to explore.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  12. Sue

    Just discovered WP isn’t sending your post alerts, so hopefully amended that now….Lyon looks interesting, I have only ever driven through, years ago. Perhaps I need to rectify that…..

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    Reply
  13. Pingback: I finally made it to Barcelona! | Lady Of The Cakes

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