So. Lyon. The post I’ve promised for a month now. Well. THE WAIT IS OVER. Here we go. (If any of you aren’t interested in the story and just want to know about how awesome the light festival was, go here).
So. Took the TGV (high speed train) to Lyon with two friends. Worked out surprisingly well. I was a little stressed ‘cause I was helping out my dad with some editing and I had a ton of homework to do on top of it (specifically that would be two 6 page research papers, and yes they were in French. New definitions of homework sucks). However, I managed to get all that done pretty quickly and we were on our way.
We did a bit of touring of the city, including the Christmas market, and I must say it was pretty grand. Not my favorite of the French cities, but it’s definitely cool. Sorry Lyon. You’re up against Strasbourg and Paris.
Of all the places we visited pre-light festival, my favorite would have to be the Basilica of Saint Jean (Le Basilique de Saint Jean). It’s just an impressive building. It had me awed enough to light a candle, which is actually a pretty impressive feat. I love candles, but not for 2 or 3 euro and I just leave them. But this place awed me enough and there’s definitely something to be said about that. Plus, some cool guys who I’m guessing were helping the church talked to us, which maybe seems pretty normal now that I think about it, but you have to remember that most of the French people I talk to are either non-practicing Catholics or just straight atheists so it was an interesting (and refreshing) change.
Then our real adventure began. We started at the Saint Jean Cathedral and had our minds blown by one of the most impressive feats of light projection technology I have ever seen ever.
Then came a night filled with hot wine (everywhere. Thank God. It was 0°C at most I think and silly me thought “oh. I don’t need a winter coat, I’ll be in Aix on the Mediteranean where it doesn’t get cold.” TRAVEL NATHAN. You travel. To places like Paris and Lyon which are considerably farther north. Dur*.), Nutella crêpes (that would be ker-eps. Not kr-apes which sound like some kind of genetically engineered primate), and lots and lots of lights.
We saw a three-sided, live-action dance routine at the Hôtel de Ville, two silly eskimos bouncing on windowsills, magic boxes powered by people riding bicycles, lasers that looked like sea waves, modern artwork spread across the buildings on the bank of the Rhône, a parade of animals and probably more that I forgot while worrying about how freaking cold I was.
Yet despite the cold and stress, I’m incredibly glad I went. I’ve never seen anything like it and I doubt I will again. If you ever get the chance and it’s not outrageously expensive, do it. It’s a city of art, good food, hot wine and not a small level of magic.
*I have since taken care of this problem with a rather impressive Kenneth Cole Peacoat. And I only mention Mr. Cole because all of a sudden he seems to have become the main supplier of my fashion accessories. I’m up to the coat, a messenger bag, two cardigans, a jacket and possibly something else I’ve forgotten. Yeah. I know.