So I just got back from a wonderful weekend in Lyon with my friend Iida, and just posted some pictures, so check it out. Lyon is a great city (the 2nd largest in France) , and our host Arnaud as well as his girlfriend Sandrine were great. We met Arnaud in the city and then rode the metro back to his house in a neighborhood just outside of the city. He's a illustrator for video games and works at home so unfortunatly he had to work that day, so he gave us directions to the Parc de Tete d'Or and we wandered around there for the afternoon. A great park, and soo huge it took us all afternoon to see it. Then that night Sandrine made us some quiche and we ate dinner and watched a funny British sitcom IT Crowd. After dinner Arnaud took us on an awesome tour of Lyon at night. We wandered along the Rhone and saw the beautiful river as well as some drunk teenagers (well it was friday night). Then we went up towards the city center and saw the Opera House, Hotel de Ville and stopped for a quick drink at a bar. We then realized that we had missed the last Metro home so we decided to take the Velovs home.
So the Velovs are these bike stations all around Lyon that have about 20 or so spots for bikes and then a pay station. There are apparently 343 stations in Lyon, and it costs nothing if you return the bike to another station in 30 min or less and just one or 2 euro after that. They are so awesome and while some of the pay stations didn't like our cards, once we found one it was a great way to see the city and a fun alternative to walking. Everyone uses them, not just tourists and we even saw a repairman near the park checking out all the bikes at a station. Apparently Paris is also going to start doing this, and Lyon is kind of like the trial run.
Anyways the next day we woke up late after an exciting night and Iida and I found some lunch at a cute restaurant called 203. Lyon is also the food capital of France and there were restaurants everywhere. Unfortunatley the really good restaurants get full on a Saturday afternoon, but 203 was delicious and even Arnaud had been there and liked it. After lunch we wandered over to old Lyon and climbed the mountain of a hill to the Cathedrale de Fourviere. After that we wandered around the old town for a bit, checked out the Cathedrale de St. Jean and then headed back to Arnaud's.
I found the people of Lyon to be exceptionally friendly and kind, way more than in Chambery or Paris. At one point we were trying to decide where to eat and this guy comes up to us and asked if we needed help. Most French people don't naturally do things like that but the Lyonnais are very nice. We also had someone offer to take our picture, which is something that rarely even happens in Seattle.
That night was a fun party with some of Arnaud and Sandrine's friends including another Couchsurfing friend. We ate lots of wine and cheese and salami and was a very French evening. Unfortunately the next day we had to leave and head back to Chambery but I will definitely be back to Lyon as soon as possible!