I left the hostel in Strasbourg France at seven am to catch my nine am train. Why? Well, I don’t have a good track record with finding my way successfully. Luckily, the people were really kind and helped me catch the right bus to the train station. I carried my broken suitcase (never bring a suitcase to France, this is a first timer’s mistake) a mile to the bus stop, caught the bus to the station and headed over to check the status of my train.
I had about an hour to spare. The ticket was a little confusing because it said I was going to “Lyon” at 9h17 but on the screen it said “Montpellier” at 9h17. I asked a little old lady to help me and she said it was the same direction. She gave me some advice and tips about the train system. The ticket won’t tell you what city you’ll be going to; it tells you what station and that’s what you should look for. She was the sweetest!There is no internet connection at the stations so I enjoyed a cup of coffee at Paul cafe and read over some of my itinerary.
The train is a fun way to travel because you get to look at France’s country side. You’ll see all kinds of villages and farms. I liked the day train rides. I couldn’t understand what the conductor was saying on the intercom and so I didn’t know which station I was going to be stopping at. I picked up a little tip by the fourth train ride. Look before you get on the train at the screen. It’ll show you a list of stops you’ll be going to. Count down the stops until you get to your destination. Once you’re on the train, count the number of stops you’ve made and you should find your destination. You can ask the conductor to give you a heads up or the person next to you. If you have a window seat, you can see what station you’re stopped at on the station walls.
I got to Lyon around noon and one of the hostel’s managers picked me up. The train station was a ways from the hostel and I probably would have gotten lost. I did manage to find my way to the train station on my own after leaving Lyon.
Arriving in Lyon was unreal. Everything was too magical to be real. The architecture, the landscape, and the beauty! I felt like I was in a different world.
This was the view from my room. I will most likely never stay in anything with a view like this for the rest of my life. It literally took my breath away.
Everything was so well kept and restored.
This view allowed you to see what was going on in most of the buildings. There were woman hanging laundry, bakers throwing up dough, and shop owners sweeping their steps. I thought this stuff only happened in movies?
The hostel had an adorable outdoor balcony. Unfortunately there was only a five minute break in the rain all day long, so I didn’t get to enjoy it.
This wouldn’t be a great place if you’re afraid of heights.
After having some lunch with the workers and putting my things away, I headed out to explore.
The weather was a lot colder than I imagined and I hadn’t had my taste of the winter weather yet. I’m sure being on top of a windy hill didn’t help.
I walked around a little park by a school. I watched as all the kids were being released and they walked to the metro station. The kids in France are so much more sophisticated than the ones in U.S (no offense) I mean, they’re more sophisticated than me!
I’m obsessed with elephants, so this was my favorite piece of graffiti.
I wonder if it was intentional.I walked a couple more blocks up and found the Amphitheatre des Trois Gaules.I remember learning about this place in history class and never thought I’d be walking around taking selfies on the ruins. This was the amphitheater that the first Christian martyrs (someone who is killed for following christianity) starting killing people with animals. In 177 AD St. Blandine was thrown into this amphitheater with lions that wouldn’t kill her and so they added bulls to the amphitheater; they still wouldn’t kill her. Roman soldiers ended up killing her with their swords. I couldn’t imagine how terrifying that would be. Did you see “The Interview”? It kind of reminds me of the Seth Rogan scene.
This amphitheater held around 20,000 people. Unfortunately I would have been the one getting thrown in with the Lions back then.
France’s fall trees beautifully surrounded the amphitheater.
You could see Notre Dame from the top.
There was a map on a stone that I studied a little before exploring Lyon further.
Everywhere I go, I find cute cars. I literally have a collection of little car shots. It’s becoming an addition.
There was no way I could explore Lyon in one day and so I decided to take the Le Grande Open Tour bus. I picked up the bus at the Amphitheater around four.
Apparently no one wants to travel on a cold, rainy, and windy day. BUS PARTY FOR ONE! (that couple lasted five minutes)
The bus took us to Notre Dame.
You could see ND from almost anywhere in Lyon.
Their graveyard was gorgeous. I have a weird obsession/fascination with graveyards. I wish I had more time in Lyon because I would have walked it.
I was lucky that I brought my waterproof camera to France. I had no worries!
The sun was starting to go down and it was getting colder, but I refused to go to the bottom of the bus.
I had a couple of guys yelling at me to get off the bus and go tour with them. I truly hope no young traveling girls fall for that.
My favorite part of the tour was Lyon’s riverfront. The houses were all colored.
This was my last stop not he tour. Unfortunately, finding my way back slapped me in the butt because I was struggling. I wrote it all down, but it wasn’t connecting. I walked in the dark cold rain looking for familiar signs. I got a little nervous because I found myself walking in dark alleys hoping it would lead me up the hill. My phone was dead and I was out of luck. I ended up talking to some locals who knew English and they helped me out. No one knew where the hostel was. All I needed was to find my way back to the amphitheater and then I could find my way back to the hostel. I hopped on the metro and then the trolly and got off at the amphitheater. I made it back to the hostel.
I said a prayer thanking God I had made it back. I was soaked head to toe!
I sat down with some coffee and ate some leftover pizza. I love the coffee vending machines in France. I do miss those!
Lyon France Part Two Coming Soon!
Lucie A. says
Maybe the tour with the guys would have been fun?
Funnily enough, I have a weird obsession with cemetarries too…
I was thinking that too. It would have been a wonderful opportunity to make friends with other travelers. Taking selfies while traveling gets old after a while and sometimes you need a new friend to take the photos for you. 🙂
Girls, go watch Taken.
I agree, Natalie!
Love your pictures, Taralynn!
Love seeing all these posts, T!! Do you put your camera on self-timer? What are your thoughts on selfie sticks? 😉
Linda @ the Fitty says
Wow, talk about walking through history–every story seems to hold a story!
THANK YOU. Thank you for FINALLY following through with the Blog Exchange and posting France pictures. And pictures that weren’t of food! I wish there were more explanation for each picture, but I’ll take what I can get. Europe in general looks so damn stellar and I am thinkint of doing a study abroad in Ireland. This just kinda makes me want to do it more.
Kristin C says
Out of all of your beautiful pictures in this post, I loved the porch at the hostel the most. I hate that you didn’t get to enjoy it. That would have been a wonderful place for a cup of coffee!
And I would have been right there with you with the lions. That is such a scary thing. I am thankful for our Christian freedoms today!
Angela M. says
Quit being so judgmental, language barriers can make even the simplest tasks (i.e. ordering at a restaurant) very complicated. So think before you post something like this.
On a side note, the pictures are gorgeous. Now I have to add France to my bucket list. 🙂
I think you’re confused as Kristin is not even referring to the language barrier in her post and you’re being slightly rude. Taralynn wasn’t able to enjoy the porch at the hostel due to it pouring rain outside, not because of any language issue. Of course it’s difficult to navigate foreign countries and you shouldn’t judge people for that, but that’s not at all what she was saying in her post!
You’re 23 and you don’t even know how to travel by train?!
Taralynn McNitt says
Where I am from, we don’t travel by train. I drive my car everywhere. Do I know how to travel by train? Yes. Do I know how to travel by train in another country that English is absent? Not so well. It was my first time in France and I think I did a pretty good job. Age has nothing to do with it.
I’m 26 and have never traveled by train. Beautiful photos, Tara!
Your photos are absolutely beautiful!!! I would love to hear what kind of camera (cameras) you use?
Hi taralynn, I’m one or your french follower since 3 years !I live in Marseille, I hope you have enjoy our beautiful country. I think your blog is amazing and you are such an inspiration for me, thank you. I wish you and happy new yearand à lot of good things.
Christina B says
I love your leather jacket and sunglasses! Where did you get them?
Aine @ Awkward Irish Girl Blogs says
Surely it’s more – never bring a broken suitcase on holidays anywhere.
France is just as easy to cart a suitcase around in as the US, why would you say otherwise?
Hi! I am getting ready to travel to Europe and I have been really enjoying reading your posts. I was wondering if you could tell me the name of the hostel, I would love to stay there!
If you like graveyards, I highly suggest you check out a graveyard in Poland on November 1st, All Souls Day. They light up all the graves with beautiful coloured lamps. It’s incredible.
Taralynn McNitt says
wow!! that is amazing!
Hi, I am hoping to plan a trip to Lyon in the near future and I was wondering if you could tell me what hostel you stayed at?
Taralynn McNitt says
https://www.hihostels.com/hostels/lyon it was amazing!
Hi, My husband and myself are leaving for Lyon next Friday for a week. We are very excited, especially after reading you blog and seeing your pictures. Thank you!
Brahim Chaib says
Hello, i’m also travelling to Lyon next Friday! 🙂
I will be staying there for the weekend only and later i might go to Geneve and Paris as well.
My flight back is from Lyon too, after 10days!
Hope you would enjoy your stay.
Hello – I was just wondering what hostel you stayed and how close it was to all the sites.
What a nice post! Are we still waiting on part two or am I just really bad at looking for articles (that’s very probable)? You were a trooper, going on a bus tour with all that rain, but it’s definitely a great way to see and get around the city. On that note, we would really appreciate it if you could stop by (cf URL with name) and give us your feedback and/or advice as a tourist in Lyon (I would love to know what hotel you were staying at? Can’t beat a view and such a central position like that, especially when you’re only in the city for a short time). Merci beaucoup, see you soon!