I’m baaaack! Sorry that I’ve been rubbish about posting regularly, but time flies when you’re having fun! So the thing about USAC is that since we had to do placement tests once we got here, language classes don’t start until February 1st (but I don’t have classes Mondays, so make that February 2nd). That said, there’s been a lot of time to just explore the city and/or the surrounding areas. Also, that means that I managed to cram a lot of things into 2 1/2 weeks, so in order to keep this under 10 pages, I’m just going to cover the highlights (i.e. whatever comes to mind as I’m writing this).
When we last left off, I had arrived, visited Fourvière, and had orientation. The next day, we visited Vieux Lyon (Old Lyon), which was beautiful. Unfortunately, the weather was rather miserable, so we sort of rushed through the planned itinerary and went to find something to do that would be indoors. During our tour, we had seen le Musée Miniature et Cinéma, so some friends and I decided to check it out. It turns out that the museum is home to all sorts of original set pieces from different movies, so I got to see real life props from Harry Potter, Grand Budapest Hotel, Star Wars, and a plethora of other movies.
It also had miniature scenes that went into some pretty crazy detail.
Another day, my roommate and I (along with other USAC students) visited a high school/prep school in Villefranche (my first time going anywhere on a train, so that was cool). It was crazy to see the differences in some things (the school lunches were so on point, but all of the French students thought they were gross– they have no idea…), but there were also a lot of similarities (classroom dynamics were surprisingly similar). After that, some of us went to Croix Rousse to visit this cat cafe and explore the area. And yes, I did say cat cafe.
You can drink a cup of tea and pet cats– truly the kind of place that the world needs. We also did some wandering through other parts of Croix Rousse and got some cool photos.
Also, that was the first day where the weather was really nice (in the 50’s, which is absolutely crazy to me), so we got a pretty view while walking along the Saône river.
Another day, some friends and I visited the Musée des Beaux Arts, which was incredible. The museum is huge (I guess I’m comparing it to the Chazen, but still) and housed many different types of art by well-known artists. Again, everything was so out in the open and unprotected– I’m constantly fascinated that things don’t get damaged more frequently. At any rate, I love, love, love art museums (really, most museums), so it was cool to be able to see pieces by artists that I’d studied in class.
Some pieces by Rodin, Monet, Degas, and many others. Not bad, I’d say.
Another day, I decided to go to Pérouges, a medieval village about 30 minutes away from Lyon by train, with some other USAC students as a sort of spur of the moment day trip. Since it was January, lots of things were closed (it’s more of a springtime village), but there was still a lot to see. Also, everything is older than the United States itself, basically.
It’s been a pretty cool experience so far– sometimes easy and fun, sometimes totally overwhelming (if I’m being honest, it tends towards the latter). Speaking French with actual Francophones is still nerve-wracking (although to what extent varies greatly between people) and I certainly haven’t figured everything out yet, but I’ve already learned so much. At any rate, I look forward to the adventures and lessons to come and I look forward to sharing them with you! Thanks again for reading!