Lyon was a ‘transition city’ for me. There are no flights to Annecy, so the easiest way is the train from Lyon. Similarly, there are no trains from Annecy to Colmar, so the easiest way is to go back to Lyon for the direct train. Transition cities have some inherent problems, namely getting in too late so there’s nothing left to do but the hotel check-in, and being disinterested due to excitement over your final destination the following day.
That was my experience in Lyon…it looked like a typical big city, probably nice, with lots of cool bridges, but I just didn’t have the time to really get to know it. My travel was poorly planned. I made a big mistake thinking there was only one train station in Lyon…there are three. My hotel was not near the main station, so I needed to get off the airport bus at a different stop, then take the tram to the other station. So…11:00 at night at the tram, and I realize the ticket machine only takes coins…and I have none…damn. This also wasn’t the best part of town, as I saw no lights on, and it looked like no place was open to get change. I finally walked about half mile and found a kebab restaurant and got change there for the tram ticket. I finally made it to the station, and was fed up with traveling so I took a taxi to the hotel instead of walking.
After checking into my hotel I power-walked across the bridge to find a restaurant that was open, as I was famished. I found a great little French restaurant, and they agreed to serve me some wine and appetizers. The owner’s sons were there, one was running the place, and the other was just visiting. He was a doctor living in Amsterdam, who studied medicine in Paris and did an internship in California, so we talked for awhile about that. After stopping for a Belgian beer I called it a night and went back to the hotel.
My last night in Lyon, after Annecy, I got back to my hotel just as it was getting dark. It was a Monday, so there wasn’t much open in the way of restaurants. I ended up eating at a place called ‘Rock and Eat’, which was a cool little Heavy Metal pub….I heard some music I hadn’t heard in many years!
The square where the bus picked up the next day was named after a French soldier named Blandan, and there’s a statue there of him as well.
I hopped the bus, left for the train station, and was off to Colmar!