My girlfriend and I spent the weekend in Lyon to celebrate getting a civil union with her family. I mean celebrating with her family, not getting a civil union with her family: as far as I know, civil unions only work between two people. That’s what I told them anyway.
This was my fifth time coming to town in the last year, and perhaps my seventh overall. Needless to say, I know slightly more about the Capital of Lights now than I did a year ago, including that fact that they call it that, and why: every year, Lyon hosts the festival of lights in early December, and it’s beautiful; and it’s cold; and it’s beautiful. Also, not to be confused with the City of Lights, which happens to be Paris, but who would ever think of comparing France’s two largest cities, I ask of you?
Anyway, because I’m starting to know my way around town (translation: I don’t need to check my phone every 30 seconds to know which way to turn), we could be a little more creative: we went to Confluence, the brand new neighborhood that was created a couple of years ago in the dead center of town (it’s like Berlin: they can still create new neighborhoods in the center…), then took a boat all the way up to the Northern part of central Lyon, then walked through old Lyon (2000-year old streets filled with traboules, those narrow passages between buildings that kept the Germans from catching French resistants 1940 years later), then circled back towards the mall next to the main train station to check out a French movie about doctors. And let me tell you: I didn’t miss my calling. Also, half of my girlfriend’s family are doctors, so I didn’t tell them that.
The next day was a little different: we drove to a restaurant for a family lunch that started at 12:30 and ended a little after 4:20. We were catching the train back to Paris at 8pm and the station was not far, so we still had time to stroll around the city, but we headed straight for the subway. We got out next to the river, sat on the bank to digest under the sun for a couple of hours, then took the subway back home to get our bags and had my girlfriend’s mother drive us to the station. I walked 0.3 miles that day.
It’s all about balance.