I had quite a full weekend! Saturday I journeyed to Lyon with a group from the Sweet Briar program. The day started early with a 7:30am TGV (high-speed train) ride. The TGV is, as my host-mother puts it, “The pride of France. We don’t get many things right, but trains we do right.” Lyon is built on a steep hill (it’s near the Alps) so we started the day at the top of the hill, which offered gorgeous views of the city. We had a tour of old Lyon, including a Roman theater ruins. Lunch was a treat, a home-cooked-style meal in the basement of a crowded restaurant. Lyon is considered one of the culinary centers of France, and after our three-course meal I could see why. After lunch we were treated to a children’s puppet show starring Guignol, a character created in Lyon who is now well-known in the puppet world. The puppetry was charming, but after the extremely filling lunch was not entertaining enough to keep me from falling asleep in the theater. The rest of the day was spent walking around Lyon, seeing the second-largest city in France. Yesterday was the Chinese New Year parade in Paris. I Metro-ed out to the 13th arrondissment, aka Chinatown for this extremely loud and colorful celebration. Despite getting a bit lost and losing track of my companions, I had a great day watching the parade, and trying not to let the loud and frequent firecrackers freak me out too much. My favorite part of the parade were the dragon and dog puppet-things that bounced around above the heads of the crowd. The second-best part were the strings of firecrackers that hung from trees. They would light the bottom, and as the wick traveled upward a meter-long string of firecrackers would go off, creating a prolonged series of bangs and gunpowder smell and smoke. The third-best part was the food. The crowd was huge- apparently the awesomeness of this parade is no secret to the rest of Paris. Check out the pictures I took!
The Rhone River
Chinese New Year parade