Hello from Lyon!

Today’s train was Ouigo Grande Vitesse train No 7885 operating on the high speed line between Paris and Lyon.

High-speed passenger train at a station platform with people walking by.

Interior of a passenger train with people seated, some standing, and large windows showing a station platform outside. The seats are arranged in groups with tables in between.

This is my second high speed line after the Eurostar to Paris. I only wish this train was in an orange livery like the original TGVs. Instead I got this…interesting color choice. Nonetheless, I’ve fulfilled the goal of riding the high speed line that caught my attention as a child!

What was exciting, new, and futuristic around 40 years ago now just seems ordinary here. The train lives up to its high speed lineage. The cars themselves were nothing special, I’d say. Double decker, luggage racks, bathrooms, a mix of seats with tables and without. Roughly similar to what I’m familiar with in the northeast of the US. Definitely comfortable and roomy compared to a plane. But Eurostar is taking the cake in terms of fit and finish and service. Of course, I chose this leg based on schedule and speed. I could have taken an earlier or later train that had more amenities. But honestly, it’s such a short trip I didn’t really miss them.

Plus, the scenery passing by was beautiful. It felt like an animated Windows XP wallpaper, only better looking.

A lush green field under a partly cloudy sky, with a utility pole bearing signs in the foreground, and distant buildings on the horizon.

Pretty quickly we were pulling in to Lyon. My train went on to other stops beyond this, so it was only in the station for a few minutes. This particular route stopped at the station near the Lyon airport. And wow, I really loved the architecture of the station.

A double-decker train branded “OUIGO” at a modern station with an arched concrete canopy and clear skies.

An interior view of a modern train station with distinctive architectural rib-like structures supporting the ceiling, leading to a central area with natural light streaming in.

Because I was at the airport, I needed to take light rail into the city center.

View from inside a train with a window sticker reminding passengers to collect their luggage, featuring the logo “Vigipirate,” the French national security alert system. Beyond the window are train tracks, green fields, and a blue sky with clouds.

After this, I took a street tram further into the city toward my hotel. A short walk later and I’m at my hotel. I’m staying at Hotel Globe et Cecil which is charming and centrally located.

A wide river flanked by embankments with walking paths, trees, and buildings under a clear sky with scattered clouds. A distinctive building with a dome is on the left.

Because of the length of my trip and the limited packing space I have (if you have interest in how I packed for this trip, let me know and I can post about it!), I needed to get some laundry done. I thought my hotel had laundry service, but turns out they do, just not on weekends. So I decided to try a coin op. Can you believe this is my walk to the laundromat, which is in Vieux Lyon (the old city):

A narrow city street lined with a mix of modern and traditional buildings, featuring cobblestone pavement with rectangular bollards, under a partly cloudy sky. A single person is walking down the sidewalk in the distance.

A river flows through an urban landscape with a bridge crossing over, and a boat on the water. City buildings sit in the background under a blue sky with clouds.

I returned later to Vieux Lyon for dinner at a bouchon (a restaurant serving classic French dishes). I had a boudin noir and apple pie which I really enjoyed. Dessert was a dish called île flottante which means floating island. I needed to look this one up before ordering, I’ve never heard of the dish in English or French. It’s a block of meringue floating in a pool of crème anglaise. It’s really great!

A slice of meringue in a pool of custard with caramel sauce and powdered sugar on a black plate with a spoon, on a wooden table.

After dinner, I walked a little out of the way around Vieux Lyon to take in the scenery at night.

A narrow cobblestone street lined with old buildings and illuminated by street lamps at twilight, signs for businesses hang on walls, and a few people are visible in the distance.

A clock shop window display at night featuring a large overhead wall clock with the brand “CRIVET” and “LYON 1852” and various clock mechanisms and artistic objects inside.

Tomorrow, another day in Lyon. Goodnight!