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Posts Tagged ‘Lyon’

It’s the first day of March 2010 and the first day back at school after the winter holidays. Guess what? Je n’ai pas envie. I can’t be bothered.

I spent the last weekend of February visiting a friend in Lyon. It was not without it’s nightmares. I had to pay double (€210) to get there because the lovely lady at the bank (she was lovely, that’s not sarcasm!) who reissued me a new bank card cut up my original one… before I’d managed to get my tickets out of the machine at the station. The SNCF lady  told me the only way I could get my tickets was to pay again, but she gave me a reimbursement form and I filled it out so hopefully I’ll get some money back. If not I guess it is just a lesson learned!

Anyway, Lyon is a nice city, full of amazing culture. I even loved the graffiti!

We made crêpes with friends of my friend and we went to a club. the worst club ever. €12 to get in and €2 to leave each you coat and bag… which you had to do because they didn’t allow people to take bags in. I don’t think they know how hard it is to dance and enjoy yourself when you have money in your bra, a mobile phone in your boots and nowhere to put your cardi when you get too sweaty!!! We saw an awesome band consisting of a huge double bass, guitar, drum, banjo and harmonica/saxophone just on the street next to the river. I wish there were more street artists about. We visited Belle-coeur and I went on the metro a lot of times although I am still not a fan of the concept of trams being underground. We went up fourvière hill to see the stunning cathedral the view of Lyon…

Breathtaking isn’t it? (I’m rubbish at remembering to take photographs, so I only have these two and one of the great graffiti)

On the way home my first train Lyon Part-Dieu to Narbonne was delayed for an hour and a half as a result of the wind the previous night. I was okay with that, ça va, I can wait that long. I got to Narbonne, eventually, for my connecting train to Carcassonne and asked the woman at information which train I should get as my original connecting train was hours ago (as a result of the previous delay). The lady informed me that my next train would be the 19h58 direction Bordeaux…… which was en retard (late) by an hour and a half and as she informed me, elle ne rigole pas. She wasn’t joking. So I finally got home at almost 11pm despite my estimated arrival being 7pm. So all in all it was an eventful weekend.

Now it’s back to reality and even though I was given this morning off by one of my schools I still have to get myself motivated to get to my afternoon school.

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This weekend a good friend came from Lyon to visit me here in Carcassonne; she arrived with the preconception that it was a quiet and beautiful town and left feeling that whilst it was beautiful it was drama-central!

The Friday night we went for a quiet meal and had an evening of catch-up on each other’s lives, it was nice. The Saturday we let ourselves wake up naturally, got ready, went to the boulangerie, bought a beautiful cake each and then sat on a bench to watch the hustle and bustle of the Saturday morning market. (When I say “watch the hustle and bustle” I really mean I spotted a man that I would quite like to marry and set about creating plans on how I could make that scenario come about). About half way into our cakes a man walks buy, apparently hears our English and back-tracks a few steps. “You speak English non?” “Oui, nous sommes anglaise”. Error. He plops himself down on the bench next to us and drawls on at us in incomprehensible English. We tell him we don’t know what he’s saying so he drawls on at us in almost incomprehensible French instead asking us if we’d like to spend the last day of our holiday with him (okay, we lied, he doesn’t need to know I fully live here!) We turned him down and he replied “ah dommage” and wandered off. I’m pretty sure he was stoned.

After that minor incident we headed up to La Cité and did some shopping. We found a lovely little restaurant and decided to have lunch. I chose this as my time to have my first taste of traditional Carcassonian cassoulet. It was so amazing that right now I am craving it – who craves cassoulet at 7pm? Me, that’s who!

We finished our afternoon off with a nap which saw us into the early evening, we then got up, got ready and headed to a friend’s for pre-drinks before heading to our local bar. As we got to the bar we saw that one of the windows and the window in the door were smashed as we walked in we were told by the barman to be careful of the glass and that he wasn’t serving drinks for the moment because they were just waiting for the police. As the police and the firefighters arrived, took statements and carried a man away on a stretcher,  we were filled in on the story. I’m not 100% sure what the reasoning was behind the attack on the bar but metal bars were used to smash through the two windows by men who were angry about something thus injuring one man and shaking up many others. When the police left the bar was back in service and we ordered a drink, sat ourselves down around our normal table near the window and assured my visiting friend that this was not a regular occurrence  in Carcassonne. No sooner had we maid that claim there was sudden smashing noises, I could feel liquid splashed on me and without even realising it we were all darting to the back of the bar. The violent guys had returned and were lobbing glass bottles of some sort of liquid at the windows and the front of the bar. We were so lucky that one didn’t come straight through the window near us and injure us – from where I was sat I could’ve been badly hurt, as could most of the other people sat around the same table. Shaken up wasn’t the word! The landlady had tears in her eyes, the police were called again and the bar was closed and we were sent away… reassuring my friend, encore une fois, that Carcassonne is in fact quite a tranquil town. I’m not sure she believed it though.

Definitely my most dramatic weekend in Carcassonne!

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