My family's summer vacation reached a turning point today. Ruth is staying in Montpellier for the Evolution 2018 conference and will be going on to another meeting in Zurich afterwards, I am in Lyon with three kids at the apartment of a friend who has moved here for his sabbatical. He is in Montpellier at the Evolution meeting, his wife is in Fort Collins for a few more days, and his daughter is here in Lyon with me and my two daughters. I'm in France's gastronomic capitol with three fussy eaters, but am determined to make a great time of it.
We boarded a TGV bound for Rennes at Montpellier's old Gare Saint-Roch, took on more passengers in Nîmes, and then blew past Valence and went straight to Lyon's Gare Part-Dieu. The atmosphere has been clear lately and we got great views of Mont Ventoux and the Vercors Massif in the distance as we flew through the vineyards and orchards of the Rhône valley. French train travel has its problems, but I remain a fan. Security is less heavy-handed than at airports, the seats are much more comfortable, and the views are great. The SNCF and Ouigo mobile apps are better than adequate. Yes, getting on and off the trains can be chaotic, and you have to handle your own bags (a shitshow today, in my situation), but still I'm looking forward to the day that we have equivalent high-speed train service on the Front Range of Colorado.
I've passed through Lyon's Part-Dieu station before, but have never stayed here in this city. My friends' apartment is in the 4th arrondissment near the hospital. It was easy to get here by bus from the train station. Along the way we saw the Parc Tête d'Or, which looks wonderful, and passed over the Rhône on the Pont Winston-Churchill. We had to drag our bags to the top of the hill from the bus stop, and the wheels on my roller bag almost quit in protest, but we made it, and installed ourselves. After a little shopping, we made a meal in the apartment, watched an episode of "Nailed It", and I tucked the kids into their beds.
Now, I'm going to watch the Lyon episode of Parts Unknown and get inspired about where to eat in the next two days. Lyon is still on vacation (and this particular neighborhood is a ghost town) but I'm sure we'll find some good food somewhere.