So I went on my first solo trip by myself yesterday, and to be honest, it was only a day and a night so it wasn’t a very long trip at all. But the point of this story is that it was enough time for me to figure out that I don’t really like travelling by myself. I mean Lyon was beautiful and it was just as stunning as I remember, but I think it would’ve been more fun with someone there to share it with. I think the main reason why I chose to go by myself, and I’m still glad that I did, was because it holds a lot of meaning for me personally. I mean four years ago, it was my first time travelling without my family (or more specifically my sister), my first time in Europe, in a country where I was still struggling to learn the language and it was truly an overwhelming experience. But it was also, not to be too dramatic, life changing in so many ways – it forced me to be more emotionally resilient, it opened up my world view drastically and it fuelled my desire to travel and to see even more of the world that I live in. So I wanted to go back alone, realising that four years later I could be standing in the same place but as someone very different. Wow, okay I’m getting very dramatic here. But I think we all have some personal milestones which may associate with a person, a place or even a souvenir of that experience and Lyon is one of those milestones for me.
Lyon was beautiful, is beautiful. I think I’ve already established that multiple times already. But the river, the old buildings, the cobblestone paths, those are just some of the things I love about it. I got there quite early in the morning and the first thing I got was a praline pastry. It was also great because the Halles de Paul Bocuse were really close to the train station, so I went straight in to buy a bag of pralines. Pralines are these pink sugar-coated almonds which are everywhere in Lyon. And guess what? I got it from the exact shop that I did four years ago – they still had the paper logo with “Maison Claude” stuck onto the jar.
I wasn’t actually intending on visiting the school again just because I couldn’t remember its exact location, but walking through the old town I accidentally stumbled upon it. And the first sign that I recognised were the super steep stairs next to the train station. I remember having to climb up them every morning and literally dying on the way up.
I spent the whole day just walking around – in some parts it was quiet and calm, and others were busier and more crowded. It’s been so long that I no longer really know the city and to be honest I was quite lost walking around. But it’s also surprising the things that you do remember.
Even though one day is truly too short a trip to such a spectacular city, I’m sure that being only two hours away, I will definitely have the opportunity to go again.