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Showing posts from September, 2010

Lyon part II

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11 August 2010

My second day in Lyon couldn't have started any better than breakfast at the hostel on the terrace overlooking the city:


It was cool and breezy, and the sun was just beginning to come over the horizon - what a stunning morning.

Unfortunately, after my six-course incredible meal the night before, I was feeling a little sick to my stomach.  I set out to explore a little more of the city and find a market on Boulevard de la Croix Rousse to pick up some fresh fruit.  When I began walking towards the market, I hadn't realized there was another huge hill to climb going in this direction as well.  But Lyon is a beautiful city, and there was plenty to see on my way up:

In addition to being home to a market, the Croix Rousse district is also home to some of Lyon's most famous hidden landmarks, the traboules:


Traboules are passageways that cut through buildings.  However, unlike the galeries in Paris that are centers of commerce filled with shops and caf├ęs and covered …

Lyon part I: The first night & La Machonnerie

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10 August, 2010

The morning and early afternoon of August 10 weren't my most exciting - I finished packing, checked out of my hostel in Aix, then took a city bus to the bus station, and then a navette, or shuttle, essentially, to the Aix TGV train station.  I wasn't sure how long the trips would take, especially with my shoddy luggage repair job, so I left plenty of time and ended up getting to the train station a few hours before my train to Lyon departed, but I would definitely prefer to be way early than to worry if I would arrive on time.  The train ride itself was a couple of hours long and pretty uneventful.

When I was planning this trip, Lyon was another must-see city.  It is considered by many to be the "gastronomic capitol of France;" however, I think that is in large part due to being home to restaurants of such renowned chefs as Paul Bocuse.  And while I'm sure his restaurant is outstanding, with prix-fixe menus between 135-220€, per person... that'…

Aix-en-Provence

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I arrived in Aix-en-Provence the evening of August 7.  Justine and I had taken the train together from Avignon with a stopover in Marseille; however, our first train was delayed about an hour and a half, so we didn't get in to Aix until pretty late.  We then had a mile-long hike to the hostel.  On our way there, just before the last hill, the wheel on my duffel broke - it basically ripped in half from overuse.  So lame!  I was able to drag it along the rest of the way to the hostel, but this was a serious issue as I had over a month left to go of moving every 2-3 days to a new location.  If you are planning a trip with luggage that will spend a lot of time rolling over cobblestones... Make sure you've got extra wheels.


Though the hostel was in a rather inconvenient location pretty far out of town, it did offer a view of the quintessential landmark of the Aix countryside:

I got super excited when I saw Mont Sainte-Victoire looming in the distance - though I'm pretty sure Jus…