One of the reasons I was so keen on going back to France through TAPIF was my December 2013 visit to Lyon. I absolutely fell in love with the city. It was one of those experiences where you can envision yourself in a certain place and realize there was so much opportunity in one city. I fell in love with Lyon, applied to TAPIF the Académie de Lyon as my first choice, was accepted, and voila!
Well, not quite.
Although I desperately wanted to live in Lyon, the commute to my school placement in Oyonnax was too much to attempt 4 times a week. However, I will certainly be visiting Lyon many times over the course of this stint in France: there`s so much to see! So the first weekend I was in France, I boarded a train heading to Lyon. I went with a visiting Australian high school math teacher, Susanna, who hadn`t had a chance to go. There was a picnic planned for other assistants throughout the Académie, which was to be the highlight of the day trip.
After a 10 minute stop in Bourg-en-Bresse, we arrived in Lyon with plenty of time to see the major sights. Our first stop? Vieux Lyon!
On our way we stopped inside a church I unfortunately do not know the name of, and stopped for a minute on the bridges of the Rhone and the Saone rivers.
After grabbing lunch, we
walked hiked up the hill to my favorite attraction in Lyon: the basilica! La Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière is a 19th century church that dominates the skyline of Old Lyon and provides an incredible view of the city (and a workout getting up there!) The basilica is named for the Virgin Mary, who is credited with allowing Lyon to escape relatively unscathed from the bubonic plague. Thats where the inspiration for the world famous Festival of Lights comes from! As beautiful and intricate as the exterior is, the interior of the basilica is what really blows you away, everything looks like a mosaic.
While trying to get to the assistant picnic the quickest way, I quickly got ourselves lost! Oops. Anyway, we saw a new neighborhood in Lyon and managed to navigate to the park to meet up with other foreign language assistants. We may have been an hour late, but the party was still going strong! It was very nice to be able to meet other assistants- mostly English speaking but a few from Spain or Russia- and commiserate about French bureacracy. There is a free zoo in the Parc de la Tete de l`Or, and so we were able to finish up the day with a walk and some new friends!
I`ll be back soon, Lyon! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!