Bonjour from France

Hello, Bonjour, etc.

I’m back in France! It’s lovely to be back – I flew in from Rome to Lyon and thoroughly enjoyed a few days there. It’s an absolutely lovely city, as soon as I stepped out of the metro at my stop near the centre of the city (Bellecour) my jaw dropped a bit as I saw the beautifully lit basilica at the top of the hill, and the lovely square I was stepped out into. Just a neat feel in the city – very easy to walk around, lots to see and do.

I only stayed two nights since they don’t have any hostels in the city, which left me renting out a hotel at around $100 a night – a little more than my typical city travel budget. But anyway it was worth it – nice little hotel in the centre of the city, I got the city pass which got me into all the transit, all the museums, a guided audio tour, etc. – typically don’t go for them as I usually have enough time to explore everything on my own, but with such a short time it was worth it this time.

I visited a really interesting Roman museum, aka Musée Gallo-Romain. It seems Lyon has quite an interesting history to it. The most stunning part was the Roman theatre just outside the museum (I’ll get the pics up on Facebook soon), restored beautifully, and actively used during the summer in Lyon. Stunning. The museum itself had artifacts dating back to the Roman occupation of the area, I was very impressed.

Next was the coolest museum this trip, the movie and miniatures museum. Apparently a lot of film work has happened in Lyon, with some interesting history as well, so they’ve obtained a lot of cool stuff from a lot of films. Some of the props, a lot of costumes, some of the miniatures built and used for filming and production – tons of stuff, very cool! 7 floors of that, it kept me well occupied and amused. Really cool to see how they digitally animate this stuff now. Almost a little sad that they’re moving away from the stunning costumes and miniatures.

Also that day I did a guided audio walking tour which was great, and I indulged my guilty candy pleasure at this pirates candy shop which just had tons of buckets of all sorts of candy…mmm… I didn’t go overboard :p but I had to try! It was very yummy.

Found some yummy food along the way, and this morning before jumping on the train for Marseille, I visited their art museum which was fantastic. I really enjoyed the sculptures here actually, I think they had a more interesting collection than any of the museums I’ve seen so far! The visit was cut slightly short when I was asked to show my ticket somewhere in the middle of the museum, I guess near an entrance, and I had dropped it (it was free with the city pass, I wasn’t really deeply concerned). Language barrier ensued, and I got irritated so decided I’d had enough of the museum. Too bad, I probably missed some interesting things, but it was getting time to go anyway.

That was my final Lyon act, I went back to the hotel to grab my bags and took the metro back to the Part-Dieu train station. They swapped the platforms on us and the train was about 20 mins late, but I did finally get aboard. 3 1/2 hour train from Lyon to Marseille, it wasn’t a fast one (saved about 30 euro there), but beautiful scenery and a nice train ride. I wasn’t in a particular rush anyway.

Arrived in Marseille, it was dark but looked pretty nice – once I got off the metro I realized I really was right downtown (luckily they have hostels here!) – great location. Minutes away from the water which is really nice… I’ve come to the conclusion that I really need to live near water. I love it! Anyway, great location. I checked in and went for a walk, seems like a beautiful area. Many interesting buildings that I’ll have to visit and explore, starting tomorrow!

So that’s where I’m at right now… last “new” city, and then I’m off to Paris for a few days before catching my flight home. It’s been a lovely trip, and I’m pleased to say that my updated statistics are now in… I have officially traveled 19% of the world, or approx. 333,330 miles (that’s 536,443 km). Not too bad, but I think that number still has to go up.

I keep running into people talking about Africa……. 🙂

Anyway, nice hostel, very cozy. Shouldn’t be a bad stay here. Still need to book a place in Paris, and I really need to book my flight home :p will be doing both of those things tomorrow. I’m accepting a two month contract with Best Buy to return to the stores and help out over the holidays with some training and management support, so I’m looking forward to that… will keep me nice and busy, and it’ll be fun to work with some of the great people in stores over the holidays. One more Boxing Day can’t hurt 😉

That… I think will be it from me for now. There’s a football game on in the other room, europeans love their footy :p