Day trip to Lyon

It may be the tail end of summer in Geneva, but Lyon is still a hot mess. Literally. I squeezed in a day trip over there on Saturday without doing much prior research on the city, and it turns out: Lyon is super hot right now. Also, its most famous tourist site is at the top of a mountain. All in all, my trip started off weak but ended strong.

I decided to go to Lyon for one silly reason. When I was in Paris two weekends ago, I had this butter at the hotel that was literally the best thing I had ever tasted in my life. I took note of the brand and wrote it down: Beillevaire. I then did some googling and discovered that Beillevaire had a fromagerie in Lyon, which is only two hours from Geneva by train. I decided to go for some butter.

I took the train at 11:30am and arrived in Lyon at 1:20. It was one of those trains where you pick your own seat, and there was no one onboard to check tickets.

The Lyon train station was a MESS, y’all. I walked into a mall-like structure nearby, because I was interested in shopping for some clothes, and it was overrun with tourists, families, screaming kids crawling around on the floor, and literally a guy in a wheelchair panhandling in the middle of the mall. I tried to use the restroom but they charged money, so I noped out and decided to head to the touristy part of town. Which involved walking across two bridges and one island.

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By the time I got to the same island that the Basilica Notre-Dame de Fourvière was on, I was a little overheated and dizzy, so I stopped at a riverside cafe and had a cup of cafe creme. 3.5 euros for a cup that was barely bigger than a shot glass!

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There was a random pottery exhibition in the middle of town square. Again, the touristy part of Lyon was a MESS. I literally saw a street fight break out among two homeless guys and a dog. There were armed soldiers everywhere. It was like being back in Israel.

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I walked into a nearby church and for some reason the melancholic organ music just hit me. I got down on my knees and wept. Prayed for the first time in forever. I asked God, “Why is it that I can never truly be happy anywhere?” I didn’t get an answer, but I felt better afterwards.

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Lots and lots of stairs to get up to the basilica.

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Which, of course, means a nice view waiting up at the top.

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I skipped lunch that day so was famished by 5pm, but was also feeling claustrophobic and didn’t want to eat in a crowded restaurant, which seemed to be all of them. I finally ended up in a relatively quiet courtyard, at a restaurant called Miss Paradis. I ordered a gourmet paella. (All in French, I might add!)

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After dinner I went to Mango and bought two pairs of jeans.

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My final stop of the day was the Beillevaire fromagerie, conveniently located in the Les Halles indoor food market near the train station. But I didn’t end up buying the butter — I asked one of the employees if I’d be OK transporting it home to Geneva, and he was like, Nah, it’s probably going to melt and make a huge mess. I was disappointed but appreciated the honesty. Perhaps I’ll come back in the wintertime and bring an insulated bag padded with ice or something. I’ll do a lot for a good slab of butter.