Lyon, the Beginning and End

I left my job, family and country around two years ago to continue my study. I have never travelled to Europe by myself before and I was a little scared. I was to arrive in Amsterdam and then to continue to Lyon. The weather was still warm for early September. Carrying my luggage to my hostel, I couldn’t believe I was in France.

Lyon is a gorgeous city in the Rhône-Alpes region of France. The city has two main rivers, the Rhône and Saône. Its Vieux Lyon, or old city, is one of the most amazing ones I have ever been. Not only that it is filled with restaurants, it also has a lively vibe. There are shops filled with colourful sweet barrels, museums and the occasional street arts.

Vieux Lyon
Vieux Lyon

The first time I explored Lyon, I was with my friends from my masters programme. We didn’t know each other and what better way to get to know someone that to explore a city. With only a map between the five of us, we set our foot in Vieux Lyon starting from the famous Bellecour. We enjoyed the warm late summer weather, felt the cobbled stone on our feet and amazed by the beauty of the city.

One of my favourite places in Lyon is the Fourvière Hill where the famous basilica is situated. You can see this basilica from the city of Lyon, showing off its gold statue from afar. To go up the hill, there is a funicular. It’s a pretty amazing basilica with gorgeous view of Lyon. The area around the surrounding is somehow peaceful and calm, I remember seeing children playing and old people walking in the street.

Basilica in Fourvière Hill
Basilica in Fourvière Hill

We came down from the hill by walking. Through the back of the basilica there is a lovely trail. We actually didn’t expect anything but we stumbled upon a small path leading to a Roman theater. It’s an impressive one too. Free to enter, we went inside to see this amazing theater. I am a big fan of the Roman architecture, you can see that this theater has been well preserved.

Roman Theatre
Roman Theatre

The rest of my first days in Lyon was spent well in its old town and also lazing around in an impressive park called Parc de la Tête d’Or. This huge park boasts not only its nature but also the wildlife.

Lyon is not only a city with an amazing old city and gorgeous basilica. It’s a city that bonded my friends and I. It’s a city where a bunch of strangers met for the first time, perhaps feeling a little lost and alone like I did. It’s definitely the city where I began my European adventure.

Met this lovely at Parc de la Tête d’Or
Met this lovely at Parc de la Tête d’Or

For the past months, I have returned to Lyon twice. The first one was to watch a concert of a great Italian pianist, Ludovico Einaudi, with a good friend of mine. Then, a few days ago I went there to defend my final thesis. Before I defended my final work, me and my two friends spent our time eating the best ice cream in the old city. After the defense, me and a few more friends enjoyed the Lyonais summer weather by eating at a rather posh restaurant and walking around the city. It was such an amazing moment in an amazing city with some amazing friends.

I realized that as hard as my masters was, as many assignments I did, as challenging my thesis was, still the hardest thing to do is to say goodbye. And I did my first set of goodbye in Lyon this week, to two of my very good friends. I spilled tears, I didn’t want to take my train, I really had a crazy imagination that somehow we were stuck in Lyon forever.

However, I am beyond happy that Lyon could be the city that could witness my memories with my friends. The place that bonded me with them and the place where I had to let go of them too. Anyway, if we move beyond my melancholic mood here, Lyon is definitely a place you should visit when coming to France. I love the fact that it is a big city but not as crowded as Paris, but just as charming.

Have you been to Lyon? If not, would you consider visiting it?

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26 Comment

  1. Finally, there’s a new post on your blog haha.
    I never been to Lyon, I’ll consider to visit if I’ve chance and will you consider to visit Lyon again with me?
    #ehhh hahahaha

    1. Of course as long as you give me plane tickets and accommodation hahaha. Lyon is definitely a great place to be 🙂

  2. aaahh….any particular food from lyon we should try?semoga kesampaian ke kota ini hehehe…

    1. Many! France always have things to offer for you. In Lyon there are a lot of bouchon restos that you have to try.

  3. It looks lovely. I need to see so much more of France… as of lately people are selling it really well to me 🙂 and I know about the power of places that bond people together. I’m happy for you that you have such a place! xx

    1. Honey you must explore France! Such a beautiful country. I love having Lyon as that place, I know if I’m ever back there I would have the memories 🙂

  4. I don’t think I’ve been to Lyon before but I’d love to one day. The city and the basilica looks pretty 😀

    1. You should Deb! I think we both have quite the same town and I love Lyon so you will too love it 🙂

  5. Sounds like a really interesting place – so pretty! I haven’t been yet – only to Paris – but I definitely see myself heading there one day! 🙂

    1. It is an interesting place, you should definitely visit it one day. Quite different to Paris but equally gorgeous 🙂

  6. Apart from the beautiful city of Lyon, I love how you describe how difficult it is to say goodbye. Well, it is.

    1. That’s true, goodbyes are always sad no matter how many times I’ve done it 🙁

  7. so.. when you will back to city of Jogja? 🙂

    1. Soon soon 🙂

  8. If i could straight forward talking, feel so ashamed that people only considering go to France for Paris….but yeah life is free, as free as your destination choices 🙂

    would love to blusukkan di desa2 Prancis sambil hop on off di kastil2 mereka atau bantuin petik anggur saat panen 🙂

    1. Although Paris has its quirks, it is true that France is not just Paris. There are so many beautiful towns and villages to be explored in France. One of which is Lyon, love this city 🙂

  9. Aggy, Lyon sounds like a lovely backdrop for many so special moments in your life to have taken place. I haven’t yet been there. For how much longer are you in Switzerland?

    1. It is Tricia! Such a lovely place for my most precious moments. I’m only several more days in Switzerland before jetting off to Portugal 🙂

  10. Congratulations on your Master ggy, i’m so happy with it 🙂

    and I know it’s hard to leave this charming city. Can’t wait to read your next travel story especially from Sintra.

    Come back soon and get ready for our gathering hahahahaha
    *hugs*

    1. Thanks Mei 🙂
      It will be hard to leave this continent but adventure awaits for me back home and also to meet you guys! Can’t wait 😀

  11. i probably shuld leave my job and going abroad, either seek a new job, study again, or just travels *sigh* lyon seem interesting 😀

    1. Hehe studying is a great choice 🙂
      Lyon is a great city for sure

  12. We had a good run Aggy. Once in a lifetime stuffs!
    But don’t worry, Lyon won’t move, at least not in 3 years.
    Cheers and carry on!

    1. We did have a great run didn’t we 🙂
      Yeaaa you better be living in your flat by the river when I come back to Lyon 😛

  13. Aw, such a heartfelt post and so wonderful to read. Now that Lyon has been such a big part of your past, you can be sure that it’ll surely pop up again in the future. Good luck with the next adventures!

    1. Thank you so much Sally! I’m pretty sure I will visit Lyon again, such a great city!

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