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My best friend and roommate from my Junior semester abroad was teaching English in Lyon, France for the past year. The reason for my trip to Europe was so that I could go and visit her, and we would return to the great land of Belgium at the end of our trip. This is what I learned in Lyon:

  • Place Bellecour is the largest public square in Europe.

Place Bellecour

  • But seriously, look at how huge!


  • More of a reminder, but the best way to get to know a city is to go on a run through it. This time, I went on a seven mile run on the promenade along the Rhône on the Rive Gauche and ended up at Parc de la Tête d’Or, which rivals Brussels in terms of world’s most awesome park.
  • Apparently all European cities have one main shopping street that holds seven H&Ms and five Zaras.


  • When using a city bikeshare system to meet up with friends for a drink, it is helpful if there are open docking stations around the final destination. Unfortunately for Julia and I, (as well as the other 15 or so bikers we kept seeing in the area desperately searching for a place to dock the bike) that was not the case. Biking around Lyon at night is pretty beautiful though.

Searching for an open docking station

  • How enjoyable it is to sit on a French balcony and smoke a cigarette after a night at the pub quiz. Until the mosquitos discover you, that is.
  • The hidden courtyards in the cobbled alleys of Vieux Lyon are beautiful. And extremely difficult to find. Thanks, Alex!!

  • Sandwich shops should be judged by the cute waiters.
  • Lyon is better than Paris in terms of fostering love.


  • The grassy spots above the roman amphitheater are perfect for a long afternoon of talking. And daisy chain-making.

nice place to settle

  • Stained Glass Windows do this:


  • The Eiffel tower was actually made in Lyon, but assembled in France. There is a mini Eiffel Tower in Lyon to commemorate that.


  • France has a lot of support for marriage equality…

Marriage equality

  • …So much so that every time new legislation passes for Marriage Equality, the police congregate around all public spaces and squares in case riots occur.


  • The apartments in France are beautiful. Especially Julia’s.


And here’s the gallery!