Leaving friends and family last year, we hoped life would not be lonely. When you don’t speak the language where you are living, how do you make friends? We discovered it is not so difficult, if you are open to encounters and accept invitations even if you are a little unsure. Early in our travels, as we relaxed in a café in Saint Malo, a brief conversation with a friendly, young French couple. That exchange inspired us to visit Lyon last year for three weeks, and then choosing it to be our home base for three months.
The city of Lyon
Although we were living in Montchat for only a short time, we came to love notre beau village de au coeur de Lyon. Every excursion down the shopping street or to the market was a delightful adventure. We were admiring some items in a shop window when a grandmotherly woman stopped next to us and laughingly commented on something that we were looking at. After a few more words, I had to gently interrupt her and apologize that we didn’t speak very much French.
Located in a 16th century, arcaded pink building, the Maison des Avocats (House of lawyers) is a beautiful Renaissance building in Vieux Lyon, and home of the Musée International de la Miniature et Décors de Cinéma. This museum contains an amazing array of exhibits, movie sets, props, costumes, latex masks and prosthetics, monsters, robots, models, matte paintings, and dozens of miniature interior scenes from many famous movies and TV series.
Back when we first began this adventure we went to St Malo where we happened to meet Nicolas, Lucie, and their 2-year old daughter Noémie. Later we went to live in Lyon for three months, we were invited a birthday party for Noémie. Grandparents would be there, as would their families, and some other friends and children. We felt honored to be asked. We were honored to be included in such a cheerful celebration. The opportunity to be with family and to make new friends is what makes travel and life in any nation or culture worthwhile.
Sitting outside on the terrace of our apartment, I am in awe that we are living in Lyon France. For all the traveling we have done, even the 6-8 week stays in other French cities last year, this time it really does feel like we live here, and we only arrived a week ago. Chris has gone for a wander out into the city. While I am spending my afternoon, by myself on the terrace in our little village of Montchat in Lyon, reading a book set in France during another era.
In the 3rd arrondisemont of Lyon is a small neighborhood known as Montchat. It is here we found an apartment where we feel at home. Primarily a residential area, our flat is less than two blocks from the small, tree-lined commercial street Cours du Docteur Long. Montchat is far from the bustling center of Lyon; it’s basically an urban village. The Cours du Docteur Long is filled with shops and businesses of all kinds all within walking distance of our apartment.
The finale of the Fête des Lumières will begin with a Celestial Parade where “The planets and stars of the solar system meet in Lyon on December 8 at Place Kléber and parade along Cours Franklin Roosevelt all the way to the start of the fireworks display in the 6th arrondissement.” We didn’t have a clue as to what to expect but it sounded like fun, and it would end with fireworks at the Rhône river.