Year Abroad Diary: October in Lyon

Posted on: 10 January 2022 by Sarah Morgan in 2021 posts

Year abroad student Sarah, standing by a river.

My October as an Erasmus student in Lyon started with a surreal trip to Paris for a weekend during Paris Fashion Week. One of the great things about Lyon is that it’s only a two hour train journey from Paris so if a visit to the capital city is on your agenda, it’s a relatively easy getaway to plan. As well as exploring the city I am based in on my year abroad, I think exploring different parts of the country is equally as, if not more, exciting, as they might not be as easily accessible in the future when living elsewhere. My friend Liv and I stayed in a little hotel near the Eiffel Tower for one night and spent two full days soaking up the Parisian lifestyle by visiting little cafés, doing a lot of window shopping, attending fashion shows and visiting the Eiffel Tower at night in a full on storm - that will always be a funny story to tell.

Being in the full swing of French university as October rolled round, time management has been something I have had to focus on to ensure I was able to balance uni with all the things I want to do and discover in Lyon. The weekly hours I am actually in university don’t differ much from the hours at university in Liverpool, however bear in mind classes can start at 8am and finish at 9pm! Whilst I am very happy to say that none of my classes start at 8am, I actually have two classes that finish at 8pm, and to my surprise, I can say I actually enjoy late evening classes!

With the weather cooling down and autumn sneaking up on the city, hot chocolates have selfishly been draining my bank account. Don’t underestimate the deliciousness of French hot chocolate!! Especially paired with a hot crêpe and the appeal of sitting outside at a French café for hours. Being lucky enough to live right next to one of Lyon’s rivers, many of my October evenings have been filled with watching the spectacular sunset reflect over the glassy surface of the water. Something else spectacular to see in the evening in Lyon is the Basilica, a beautiful church located on top of a hill which overlooks the entire city. A twenty minute walk up some steep steps or a quick ride on the funicular take you to the Basilica which has the most amazing viewpoint, especially at night. Many of the bridges over the rivers also have violinists or guitarists playing romantic music at night to fill the stillness of the water - walking over them feels like you’re in a fairytale!

The fact I am now over half-way through my time in Lyon is such a crazy concept to me - it has absolutely flown by! October in Lyon has been the most stunning experience filled with a few too many crêpes, autumn walks by the river, getting used to French university and appreciating the beauty of Lyon. 

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