Monday, December 10, 2007

Lyon Anniversary Weekend, pt 1

So we are back, and I have plenty to share from our weekend away. We went to Lyon, France, a city we'd heard much about, particularly that it's a bit of a "mini-Paris" and it's also known as the "gastronomic capitol of the world."

We arrived into town on Friday at about noon, and found ourselves in a bit of a traffic frenzy trying to get to the hotel and kept seeing police EVERYWHERE. Turns out all the extra security was b/c President Sarkozy was is town, just down the road. So after a few u-turns and confusion we made it to the hotel, checked in, and found ourselves in an "executive" room with a little balcony and access to the executive lounge on the top floor! I guess our upgrade was thanks to Zach's extensive business travel, and him telling them that it's our "anniversary weekend." (our wedding anniversary is actually Jan 3rd) We set our stuff down and went for a walk to explore the area around the hotel and the Parc de la Tete d'Or, which was right across the street, and is a really neat park. Probably gorgeous in the spring and summer time! Unfortunately our first meal in Lyon, at a restaurant near the hotel, was a bit of a disappointment-- Zach ordered andouillette, which he only remembered once it came that it's pig intestines and not something he particularly cares for, and I ordered a salmon which was... ok, but not that great.

We decided to head into Lyon center for the evening, but first a quick stop up at the lounge to check it out. I didn't even know set-ups like this existed. There was wine and all sorts of booze, all for free, along with tea and a nespresso machine where you could make your own coffee, and some snacks (fruit, chips, peanuts, etc and at certain times of the day also some sweets and pastries).


The one downside to our hotel was that it's located about 2 km from the city center, where all the fun stuff was going on this weekend. We hadn't known it when we chose this particular weekend, but it was Lyon's annual Fete des Lumieres, when they put up huge light displays all through the main parts of the city. There was a bus that passed by the hotel and took us down there in only a few stops, which worked well enough except it was really crowded. I was amazed though, every single time I rode the bus I was offered a seat. People really seem to respect the whole pregnant-woman-needs-to-sit-down thing there. Because of everything going on and all the people that were out already, we were worried about finding a place to eat dinner. Luckily a lot of the more casual restaurants still had plenty of space-- we ended up at a pizza place that did not disappoint. Afterwards we walked around a bit looking at some of the light shows in the different squares, and learning how to shoot them with the camera. It was pretty impressive, and even though the forecast had called for lots of rain it only just barely sprinkled from time to time.


After being out for a few hours we figured we'd better go ahead and head back, so we went back to the bus stop which was kinda packed already and we had no idea when the next bus would come. We only had to wait for about 15 minutes, but during part of that time the sky really let down and started pouring, including tiny bits of hail. But we made it onto the (very crowded) bus, and I was even given a seat-- heck, even after I was sitting 2 other guys offered to give us their seats so Zach and I could sit together! I have to say, I was really amazed by people in Lyon.

Pictures from Friday

(to be continued....)

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