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French Tour to Lyon

By Megan Rocher

We, the French 5 and IB French B higher level students at IEGS, went on a trip to Lyon situated in the South West of France. The purpose of the trip was to practice our French skills and to experience French culture. In just four days we did a lot of fun things! We stayed at a beautiful apartment, just like the ones in French movies. The sunrise was visible over the rooftops through the kitchen window, and the sunset from the bedroom window. The apartment was located in the nice neighborhood along the Boulevard de Belges, a short walk from the red metro line station Messéna. After our arrival we had dinner at a classic “crêperie”. Trois fromages, caramel au beurre salé and confiture de lait were just some of the flavours we enjoyed with a glass of cider, the traditional combination. We immediately understood why Lyon has been crowned the culinary capital of France! Afterwards, we went to a newly opened natural science and anthropology museum called Musée des confluences, situated on the junction of the two rivers Rhône and Saône.

The following day started early, as it was a school day! Because we love school so much, we go even when we’re on vacation. We had the pleasure of visiting Lycee Ombrosa, a French/English bilingual school a short distance from the city centre. It is situated just by the river Saône, and the school grounds were super big and super green! The first class of the day was Biology, during which we were hit with the unpleasant realisation of how much we had forgotten about the cell cycle… Then we attended a French lesson, and we learned some strange French idioms (poser un lapin, literally to place a rabbit, means to stand someone up as in not showing to a meeting) and enjoyed a fika together with the Ombrosa students. If we only had known what the cafeteria had in store for us for lunch, perhaps we would have had another cookie… Let’s just put it like this: it’s not unheard of that students at our school complain about the food from time to time, but compared to the French school lunch, ours is like a luxurious hotel buffet. We had the gastronomic pleasure of choosing between some mashed broccoli and cheese concoction or unidentifiable orange mush with… meat… and fruit or flan cake for dessert. The flan cake was surprisingly delicious though.

After the visit at the school, we went to experience Vieux Lyon (Old Lyon). Our first stop was La basilique de Notre-Dame de Fourvière, which is a grand church on Fourvière hill. Despite how ancient it looks, it was built as late as 1870! When we went inside, the first (and only) thing you heard other than absolute silence was ambient monk chanting somewhere in the distance, which we were disappointed to find came from loud speakers strategically hidden behind the confessionals… Because the church is built on the very top of a large hill, it offered a crazy good view of Lyon. After having marveled at the view and sheer size and overall magnificence of the building for some time, our unsatisfactory lunch started making itself felt and we collectively decided it was time for some French fika. We found a cute little bakery in Vieux Lyon, where we ordered some tart slices that to our great surprise turned out to be about as big as our own hands, and thus our empty stomachs quickly became very, very full. Later that evening, we went to buy some snacks at a supermarket, though the map reader in charge misread the map horribly and we ended up having to ask a local man for directions. It was one of those schoolbook examples that you learn about in class, but we were nonetheless a bit nervous, but we asked, the man understood and replied, and we understood what he said back, so that was a moment of success!

On Saturday we visited La Croix-Rousse, a beautiful neighbourhood located on a hill (we quickly noticed that there are quite a lot of hills in Lyon). We strolled through a traditional market with fantastic food products. Let’s just say we hurried past the cheese stalls! Having bought sandwiches at a boulangerie we went to Parc de la Tête d’Or, a park near our apartment, to eat lunch. With 15 degrees and not a cloud in sight, it felt as if half of Lyon was there! In the evening we were off again to Vieux Lyon to eat a traditional Lyonnaise dinner and tried everything from the “Salade Lyonnaise” to the “Soupe des Légumes” and “Salade Chèvre”. We then, with a map steady at hand, set out to find the quays alongside the Rhône river. After experiencing the busy nightlife of Lyon, the beautifully lit buildings and a cozy bar, we headed home, fully content with our final day in France. The following day we woke up bright and early to head home to a rainy, snowy and cold Sweden.

All in all, we loved the trip and the city of Lyon. Lyon, merci de nous avoir reçus!


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