Trip #29: Lyon, French Immersion and Paris

For two weeks in October, I travelled to the Auvergne-Rhones-Alps region and then Paris—-basically Lyon, French Immersion, and Paris itinerary all combined into one trip. There were three main things I did:

  • 2 days touring around Lyon
  • 1 week doing French immersion and countryside walks with Ecole des Trois Ponts
  • 6 nights in Paris

I will have more in-depth write-ups on many of these activities, so be sure you check back to Trip #29 for the details and links to the posts.

Day 1: Lyon

Lyon, France
Lyon, France

The trip began with a flight to Lyon.

Getting into the city:

Rhone Express, Lyon
Rhone Express, Lyon

I bought my ticket to travel from the Lyon airport to Lyon’s Part Dieu rail station in advance. It’s with Rhone Express and the cost was 14.7 Euros (online) and is the easiest and cheapest way to get into town, taking only 30 minutes. 

Hotel near the train station:

I purposely chose a hotel near Lyon Part Dieu so I could just walk to my hotel and back when it was time to travel to my next destination. The  Ibis Lyon Part Dieu Les Halles was a great, inexpensive hotel that I highly recommend. I only paid 67 Euros (not including breakfast).

Le Grand Café des Négociants, Lyon
Le Grand Café des Négociants, Lyon

It was my second time to Lyon so I had already done the boat cruise and walked around the old town (vielle ville), so this time I took in these sights:

  • Café des Negotiants for their renowned hot chocolate (Chocolat Viennois) (I highly recommend this)
  • Traboules and wall murals (fresques)
  • Institut Lumière–celebrates the contributions of the Lumière brothers to French film making. They are considered the fathers of cinema. [Celebrating Cinema At The Lumière Museum In Lyon]
  • Museum of the Resistance: chronicles the fight against the Nazis during WWII

Day 2-8: French Immersion

Ecole des Trois Ponts Countryside walk
Ecole des Trois Ponts Countryside walk

The next day, I took the train to Roanne and then a cab to Ecole de Trois Ponts where I had enrolled in French Immersion classes and afternoon countryside walks (in French). Yes, we saw a lot of cows! I wrote about my experience there in this post: What To Expect When You Take A French Immersion Course In France. If you’re interested in reading about my other experiences at this school, check out: My Experience Learning French At Ecole des Trois Ponts.

Day 9-14: Paris

Paris at night (J. Chung)
Paris at night (J. Chung)

After a week at the French school, I took the train to Paris (via Lyon).  If you’re looking for some new or different things to do in Paris, have a look at this list. It has a bit of everything: drinks before dinner, dining, shopping, museums, more photography, seeing historical sites, and attending an annual event in Montmartre.

Drinks:

  • Hot chocolate from Angelina’s (not my first and won’t be my last). Yes you can do “take out”.  I relaxed in the Tuileries Gardens where there were many pieces of art on display….some fun ones too!
  • Had a glass of wine at “Le Dauphin” located in Place Dauphine, which is located not far from the Seine. It is one of my favourite places that has a quiet, peaceful courtyard and a few restaurants. (Rated #2 on my list of “Beautiful Spots To Get Away From The Crowds in Paris“)

    Place Dauphine, Paris (J. Chung)
    Place Dauphine, Paris (J. Chung)

Dining

  • Steak Tartare (for the first time) at Les Pipos—-delish! Les Pipos is located in the 5th arrondissement on 2 Rue de l’École Polytechnique.
Steak Tartare at Pipos Restaurant, Paris
Steak Tartare at Pipos Restaurant, Paris
  • Lunch at Le Petit Choiseul after walking through Passages du Choiseul (near Palais-Royal).

    Le Petit Choiseul, Paris
    Le Petit Choiseul, Paris
  • Dessert at the cat café called “Chats Mallow (30 Rue des Volontaires in the 15e arr). To be honest, I much preferred, “Le Café des Chats” that I visited in 2013—-just a better atmosphere.

    Chats Mallow, Paris
    Chats Mallow, Paris
  • Lunch at Pomze, a restaurant that specializes in apple dishes [Lunch At Pomze Paris: Satisfying My Addiction]

Shopping

  • Visited Ly et Lys, a boutique on 43 Rue Monge that has really cute necklaces.  I purchased one for a friend who was taking care of my cat.
Jewelry at Ly et Lys, Paris
Jewelry at Ly et Lys, Paris
  • Shopped at Fleux (39 Rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie) in the Marais. It has trendy items much like Merci and Colette (which closed December 20, 2017)

    Fleux, Paris
    Fleux, Paris

Historical Sites

  • Discovered the bullet holes from WWII in the St. Michel fountain.
  • Checked out the medieval houses in the Marais located on Rue Francois Miron and Rue Volta

    Medieval houses on 11 and 13 rue Francois Miron Paris (J. Chung)
    Medieval houses on 11 and 13 rue Francois Miron Paris (J. Chung)
  • Located Point Zero at Notre Dame Cathedral

    Point Zero at Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris
    Point Zero at Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris
  • Discovered the last artifacts of the Bastille in various areas of Paris and some art commemorating the 200th anniversary of the French revolution in 1989. More information about the locations of the remnants can be found here: Remains Of The Bastille: 4 Spots You Likely Overlooked

    Bastille Metro Art in Paris
    Bastille Metro Art in Paris
  • Wandered through the lovely hidden-away courtyards near the Bastille: Cours Damoye. (Rated #1 on my list of “Beautiful Spots To Get Away From The Crowds in Paris“)

    La Cour Damoye, Paris (J. Chung)
    La Cour Damoye, Paris (J. Chung)
  • Finally visited Arènes de Lutèce, an amphitheatre from the Gallo-Roman times of the 1st century. It can be found just off Rue Monge.

    Arenes de Lutece, Paris
    Arenes de Lutece, Paris
  • I also found Passage du Chantier near the Bastille. It is known for having long established furniture stores. I found the passageway to be a bit disappointing.

    Passage du Chantier, Paris
    Passage du Chantier, Paris
  • Took a tour with Paris Greeters–in the area of the Ternes district (17th arrondissement). Learned so much about the history of this area.

Museums

Musée Yves Saint-Laurent, Paris
Musée Yves Saint-Laurent, Paris
  • Visited the (free) Deportation Museum (Mémorial des Martyrs de la Déportation) near Notre Dame. It is a very moving memorial to the 200,000 people who were deported from Vichy France to the Nazi concentration camps. The experience is very powerful and sobering. You learn a lot about the Holocaust and it is very thought-provoking.

    Memorial Martyrs de la Deportation, Paris
    Memorial Martyrs de la Deportation, Paris

Photography Location

  • Photographed Paris from the terrace at Galeries Lafayette. My photographs would be better if it hadn’t been so overcast. I also think the views from Printemps (Haussmann location) are better.
View from terrace of Galeries Lafayette, Paris
View from terrace of Galeries Lafayette, Paris

Special Events

  • Attended the Fête des Vendanges in Montmartre: so many vendors selling food and wine. It’s an annual 5 day festival held in October, celebrating the wine harvest…yes, in Montmartre.
Fete de la Vendages, Montmartre Paris
Fete de la Vendages, Montmartre Paris

So perhaps you can understand why I keep returning to Paris. There are so many interesting sites to see, places to eat, and foods to try. Stay tuned for more posts about some of these places and experiences!

Trip #29 To France: Lyon, French Immersion, Paris