Discovering : Europe

Discovering Lyon – Part 5 : French surroundings

Discovering Lyon - Part 5 : arriving in Lyon and how we still wanted more to see.  We wanted to see everything and take it all in.

When I (Serge) received the invitation from Lia to visit Europe, I took some time to think about it.  Actually Lia thought I didn't want to travel with her, because I took so long to answer.  Actually, I took two weeks before giving her an answer.  In hindsight, I'm not sure why I took so long to answer.

I had only dreamt of going to Europe until this point.  Would it disappoint ?  The main reason pushing me to go, was my friend (Renaud) living in France.  Something didn't feel right about visiting Europe and not going to say hello.

Prior to leaving Canada, Lia and I were planning our trip.  We made preparations for our arrival in London.  But beyond that, we were going with the flow.  Only in Zagreb did we start making plans to travel to Lyon.

At the time we didn't have iPhones and google maps.  MapQuest was still very popular in the millenium.  Since we didn't have a GPS, we were relying on maps that we bought along the way.  Renaud said that we were going to arrive late at night.  Sure enough, we saw the sun setdiscovering france _arriving_france and kept driving from Bordighra.  We were cruising at a great speed and nothing could stop us.  Until we experienced what they call ''bouchons'' in France.  It's a funnel effect of 12 lanes becoming 4.  Hours passed and we arrived at 1am.

discovering france Welcome to LyonGreat reception, we had our bed made with the Canadian flag on top of the covers.  One would imagine at this time it's straight to bed and rest for the next day but Renaud started up the charcoal bbq and proceeded by making us a meal - WOW.  I can't recall much of that night since we had beed driving non-stop the past couple of days and were just exhausted.  The next day we woke up to a spectacular view and continued to see Lyon with the light of day.  discovering franceRenaud acted as a tour guide, gradually bringing us to the city centre.  This day we saw the country, made our way to the city centre and had dinner there.

 

The next day was cloudy with a little rain so we went to a vineyard in the morning and continued seeing the country parts of Lyon.  We loved the vineyard visit.  Wine tasting at 10-11am felt a little strange, but no regrets.  Later we visited Renaud's parents house.  It was literally beside a vineyard.  discovering france_site_vineyard

With the weekend coming to an end and us having to start making our way back to Zagreb, Renaud suggested we visit a nearby place named Annecy.  He said it was on the border of Switzerland and was quite nice to see.  Why change our current habits, 'let's just go there and check it out' we thought.  So we said our goodbyes and set our for Annecy which was sending us east - kind of on the way back with a slight detour.  We had no issues getting there nor finding parking, I was amazed on how well we could get around in Europe without proper maps.  I refused the car rental GPS since I thought it was a scam.  In certain parts of our trip I wish I had agreed to this extra !

Annecy is quite spectacular, it has lots to see.  The city makes you feel like you are somewhere in Italy and the mountains make you think of the Alps (see the post picture).  We walked around the city and took many pictures.  We spent a couple of hours there but knew we needed to make km's back since our car rental was expiring, train ticket was timed and Lia's friend waiting for our return.

This is when we were hit with another surprise !

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