Day 53, 54 & 55
Well what can I say about Lyon. After catching the fast train from Paris, which meeting expectations, was very fast, we were excited to be in a city we knew nothing about. A bus trip to our hostel showed us how pretty the city was, having 2 rivers that ran through the centre and old school houses and buildings in every direction.
Catching what seemed like the steepest train in the world took us up to our place which appeared to be on the only exceptionally large mountain in the town. We checked into our place which had an awesome view of the city (being on the mountain and all) and sat down to look what there was to do. That was where all the excitement stopped.
It was then we found out that for the first 2 weeks of August, almost every shop, tourist attraction, bar and club closes for two weeks for holidays. Upon consulting our guidebooks, we seem to find a note, never seen before, warning us of just that. We didn't know what to do and to make matters worse, it started raining.
After waiting around a bit, we made our way into the old side of town checking to see how bad the damage was. Finding a few shops open, we stumbled around a bit going into any place we could. We went into candy shops, medieval apparel boutiques and military clothes retailers just to name a few. It's funny how many random places you can find when you don't have anywhere to go. Using up all the shops in town and exhausted from our early morning train ride, we headed home to catch an afternoon siesta.
One thing we heard about Lyon before we went, was the amazing quality of food they had there for reasonable (somewhat) prices. As such, after waking up we headed back into the old town to find a typical French restaurant. Finding a couple places and struggling to understand their menus, we finally just decided to walk in the next place we found.
The food turned out to be really good and as we were in France, cheese and wine were of course served. Despite our palettes being entertained during the meal the real memory of the night was the toilet they had there. Now this place we were at was somewhat fancy, however this bathroom was a new level of disgusting. I'll spare you a full description but just picture a hole in the ground with footholds and tap for cleaning.
By the time we finished at dinner, it was already midnight and whilst little was open during the day even less was at night. We started our walk home but didnt make it far, coming across the standard in every country, drunk underage teenagers. As there English was pretty good and were able to hold some sort of a conversation we spoke to them for a while. However once the youngest in the group, who appeared to be 15 wouldn't stop spitting, yelling oh my god and than asking us to Sheefoo him (which we later were to work out was paper, scissors, rock) we knew it was time to leave. So up the giant hill we walked and into bed we went.
The next morning we were all in a bit of a panic, finding no way to get to our next planned stop, Nice, for a reasonable price. We searched planes, trains, buses and even cars attempting to find anyway to get there. After 2 hours of searching and coming up with nothing we did what we do best, gave up and had lunch.
To the new side of town we went, choosing to explore a different side of a closed city. We found lunch at yet another random place, this time baguettes and explored this place a bit more. After playing in a fountain, jumping on a lion, going to a carousel and watching many buskers, we found ourselves shopping for clothes. You could tell how desperate we were.
After actually buying clothes (be impressed mum), we stumbled across a train agency and were able to solve our transport issues. Feeling like we had accomplished something with our day, we headed back home and made dinner, cooking up an interesting tuna pasta.
That night we stumbled back down the hill, attempting to bar hop but found it very difficult. After once again commenting on some girls dress sense, we managed to make some French friends who got us into some pubs. However by the time we got anywhere it was already 2 and everything was very quiet. After pub number 2, we called it a night and walked in at about 4.
Our last day started very late as we knew we had very little to do. We attempted to look into actually doing touristy things but finding only museums and churches that were open we decided to give them a miss. After yet another laundry experience, this one ending with some shrunk clothes, we headed out to grab some breakfast. However once we arrived in town it was well past 1pm and our breakfast quickly turned into lunch.
After my lovely steak, which was served to me very rare, (and I absolutely loved it) we decided we were missing tv too much and headed off to catch a movie. We were tossing up between Cars 2 and The shrumpfs (smurfs), however once we found out that both were dubbed in French we ended up seeing Super 8, which was surprisingly better than expected.
Walking out at about 6pm, we knew we had to make the best of this city, even if it was dead. We headed to the hostel, showered, ate dinner and pumped ourselves up for a big night. However fate wouldn't let us have our way and as we prepared to step out the door, the biggest thunderstorm I have seen in months started pouring down upon us. This completely killed all hope of a decent night and so we just chilled at our place. We once again just waited around on our final night in Lyon.