So it has been 51 days since we were stranded in Lyon and 11 days since the food started to run low. The first indication that this would happen was when mum and dad left for a two week holiday to Croatia, 13 days ago.
Since then, Daniel has been foraging at the nearest corner store, which specialises in expired milk and off fruit, and the local Casino, a small grocery store that closes for siesta between 1pm and 4pm and boasts a limited supply of decent food and good cheap wine.
Without knowing the native language it is sometimes difficult to source food, so we have been surviving mainly on bangers and mash and frozen pizza. The sausages are surprisingly tasty and I am grateful that we cannot read the ingredients on the packet…
But seriously, our 51 days in Lyon have been an unexpected holiday. It turns out here are some upsides to aforementioned accidents involving my left foot, a gutter and our passports being stolen!
In the 51 days since we were stranded in Lyon, we have enjoyed the company of a few family visitors and my parents, who have been extremely generous in allowing us to stay for an extended period. And, it must be mentioned that they have been very accommodating in allowing us to trespass on their hospitality a little longer.
Breaking out of Lyon
We have also enjoyed a wonderful 7 day trip to England to meet up with Helen and Bj, and Dan has been lucky enough to visit the small town of Oingt (Oink?) and attend the Royal Ascot Races with my parents. Other than that, we have been bindging on TV shows and movies so much that I think I will never be able to stand properly again. Mum will be proud when she learns that we have finally surrendered to West Wing and are halfway through season two.
Dan’s Photos from Oingt:
Bastille Day in France
On Saturday the 14th of July France celebrated Bastille Day.
Bastille Day commemorates the storming of the Bastille on July 14th, 1789 by the Parisian revolutionaries. It has since become a French national holiday and in Lyon they celebrate the holiday with an amazing fireworks display above the Notre-Dame de Fourviere (built between 1872 and 1884) in the 5th arrondissement. This area of Lyon, and the one that we are currently living in, is considered the ‘old forum’ and was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998.
On Bastille Day night we joined the crowds on the east bank of the River Saone and watched the fireworks which certainty gave Brisbane’s Riverfire a run for its money. We had a wonderful night out and stopped for some amazing ice-cream desert on the way home.
Finding night life in Lyon, France
Last Saturday night we decided on another night out, but this time it was for Spanish tapas and an English movie at a shopping center a few km’s south of where we live. The movie finished late and public transport had concluded by the time we tried to get home.
The area we were in was dark and quiet, with a prostitute on almost every corner. By the time we had walked 1km towards our apartment we had still not seen a cab and I was getting worried that I would have to hobble the whole way back on my crutches. It was then that we bumped into a young Sri Lankan man from London who was also stuck and looking for a cab.
With none of us being able to speak much French, we gestured to a woman from a restaurant who eventually understood and kindly called us a taxi. Our new friend, Udi, was staying near us so we shared a cab with him on our way home. As it was a Saturday night, and we can’t be one of ‘those’ married couples just yet, it was quickly decided that an impromptu pub crawl was in order. Our first stop was our local Irish pub, Flannigan’s, in which we were able to order drinks in English and discuss where we could go next.
The next stop was around the corner at a place that I had wanted to investigate since arriving in Lyon. Ayres Rock is a night club where no one speaks much English, the music is loud and the drinks are potent. Unfortunately, it closes at 3am and we were ushered out and advised to find Ayers Rock – The Boat.
More than 1.6km and a bridge later, we were walking/hobbling down the right bank of the River Rhone in search of Ayers Rock – The Boat, which proved to be a night club worth finding. Unfortunately, I was unable to enjoy one of the many dance floors it provided and, again, we were ushered out into the harsh light of the now fully risen sun at the 6am closing.
All in all it was a very enjoyable and unexpected night and we have made a new friend to meet up with in London!
Luckily we had nothing to do in the following days and were able to recover sufficiently in time for my next (and last!) hospital visit. I am happy to announce that my foot is ‘cured’ and I am finally free of my plaster cast! After a few days I am finally relearning how to move my ankle and toes in a normal manner and am able to hobble with only one crutch from the toilet, to the kitchen and back to the couch. Yay!
Other good news this week: we may have found a place to live in London!
I was feeling slightly disheartened this week and Dan laughingly suggested finding a place with a cat. So I completed another search and found a very affordable small two bedroom apartment in Shadwell that we would share with another couple and two beautiful cats. Shadwell is only one stop east of the City of London on the DLR, a perfect location provided we can find work in London. We will be meeting these people next week when we are in London and hope that they will like us enough to allow us to live with them.
Provided our visit to Paris, to apply for new passports, goes well next week we will be moving to London on the 17th of August, in time to meet up with a friend who is travelling from Brisbane.
Things are looking up, and, to compliment a wonderful week, mum and dad are retuning on Sunday from Croatia. Dan and I are going to try to brave the Saturday markets to stock up the fridge in celebration.
It is my aim to be able to walk down the four flights of stairs at our apartment without crutches for the first time since we arrived 51 days ago. The only time I have come close to achieving this was when the lift was being services a few weeks ago and I was forced to tackle the stairs on crutches. Wish me luck!
J & D
First published on: Jul 27, 2012 @ 1:20 #12monthhoneymoon