I arrived at Lyon Part Dieu station at around 8 in the evening and at that point, I was really exhausted. My legs were aching and I was sick and tired of dragging my suitcases all around France. I got out of the station with so much confusion as well as the tram system was too complicated to understand in an exhausted state that I was already in at the time. I was also grumpy already to even ask for directions from a local. After trying my best numerous times to figure out how the f*ck will I find my way towards my hotel, I gave up and hailed a cab. That, for me is a big no no when traveling. Why? Well I don’t like the idea of getting scammed by a taxi driver in a foreign land. My opinion about a particular place that I am visiting is highly affected by the experience that I’ve had with the people I encountered while there. As much as possible, I avoid cabs because the drivers tend to take advantage of the fact that you’re a tourist and you’ve no idea where you are and what’s happening around you. I do not want a single unfortunate experience with a cab driver to ruin my opinion about a place so I avoid them as much as I can. This time though, I was tired. I know it wasn’t a very good excuse but my exhaustion is starting to take atoll of me and whenever this happens, I start to nag. Since I was traveling alone, I didn’t want to nag at myself so I took a cab. Trust me, that was a good decision. LOL.
Thankfully, the cab driver was a good man. Of course I’ve no idea if he took me around but the journey didn’t take a long time so I guess he didn’t. I was also aware of where we were going because I was able to get the driving directions from the hotel’s website. I arrived at the hotel which had a fantastic location (more on that later) and the guy at the reception was a lovely and friendly Tunisian guy who was very efficient and made me change my mood. I was feeling better already. It was almost 9 in the evening when I arrived and I decided to stay in the hotel which for me is another big no no when traveling. I don’t want to waste my time laying in bed and being lazy when I could go out and explore this foreign land. Again, I was tired. Really very tired. So just to appease myself, I decided to go down and have dinner at the Thai restaurant that I saw which is just next to the hotel. Again, in my opinion, this is a very big sin that I have just committed. Lyon is known to be the gastronomical capital of France and I ate at a Thai restaurant on my first day because I was tired. Does it even make sense to you? Because for me it doesn’t. I will realize this mistake the next day as I will find out then that the Rue Victor Hugo which is a street with lots of shops and restaurants was just a few steps away from the hotel.
Anyway, so on the first night, the only thing that I did was to eat at a Thai restaurant next to my hotel:
I wasn’t even that hungry actually because I was still full from the lunch that I had in Strasbourg, so I wasn’t able to finish this:
It came with rice and a free bottle of water. I was the only soul inside the restaurant and the Japanese waitress working there grew fond of me. We talked for a long time and I do believe I kept their restaurant open beyond their closing time. She was funny and talkative, she’s somehow delighted to know that an Asian woman is traveling on her own in Lyon which she thinks is an odd place to travel to. She thought I was a student because there were a lot of art students in Lyon from all over the world. I stayed there for quite some time and when I noticed that the woman in the kitchen was being a little impatient, I bid farewell to my new friend.
When I got out of the restaurant, I saw the Tunisian guy who was manning the reception area that night standing outside the door getting some air. Since I’ve no other things to do, I stayed with him there and talked about whatever things that we both can think of. He was fascinated to learn that I live in Dubai and he asked a lot of things about the famous city. He said he wanted to go for a long time now but couldn’t find the time. So I just told him stories about how it is to live in Dubai and he listened to me intently. After my stories, he then told me about how it is living in Lyon and gave me some tips for tomorrow’s adventure. It was great talking to him and I very much enjoyed his company.
With all the people I encountered on my very first day in Lyon, I started to love the place. I must have committed a lot of “sins” but with all those decisions, I came to meet such wonderful people.
Lyon is awesome, you will learn all about it on my next posts.