Day 7 in France proved to be quite the adventure as we navigated our way to Lyon, France. Reposted from March 30th, 2014.
Well, we started out the day with a bit of miscommunication. I said I wanted to be at the Gare (train) station with an hour to spare before departure and Kate took that as giving ourselves an hour to get there. After two metro connections we arrived at Gare de Lyon station….10 minutes before our train departure. Unbeknownst to us we had to get off the Metro and transfer a good half mile on foot over a bridge and into the train station. We ran, bickered and championed each other along the way until we got across the bridge. We were a living episode of The Amazing Race!
We figured out which entrance to go into and then entered the vast train station. Holy crap and 3 minutes before departure. I’ve learned if you need help understanding French signage, find a young person, which I did. He directed us up the escalator to another vast space with multiple trains. We hustled ourselves down the terminal until we reached one that said Lyon. Fortunately there was an attendant outside the train, Kate showed him the ticket and he nodded his head, we were at the right train. We shuffled through the cars to get to car 5 to locate our seats. We no more than sat down and the train proceeded to leave the station. I swear there wasn’t but 20 seconds from the time we boarded to the time the train departed. Whew!
We were off to discover Lyon. The two hour ride itself was uneventful as was the walk to our hotel upon arrival. We spent the afternoon exploring “Old Lyon”, having a fabulous French lunch of mussels in wine broth, taking pictures and shopping.In the evening we met up with my acquaintance, Ismaël, who I met in a cemetery in Paris two years ago. Free spirits brought together by karma, amazing things happen when you let your spirit guide your actions! We met near the horse at a public square, after all we only had a 30 minute conversation, a beer and a cigarette at Jim Morrison’s grave so where else do you met a perfect stranger? Although two years had passed, conversation immediately came easy as we strolled through the neighborhood to locate a restaurant. We found the perfect place where the waiter was attentive, entertaining…that’s how the circle of free spirits grows!
We ordered traditional Lyonnaise food, sipped French red (rouge) wine, and enjoyed lively conversation. It was a perfectly, perfect evening! At times we struggled with english/french translation so we wrote words down and drew diagrams to help break down the meaning.We said our goodbyes, hugged and wished for each other a good life for we may never see each other again. Ismaël told of the poem he wrote me after our chance meeting in 2011 but he had gotten mugged and the poem was in the backpack that was stolen during the mugging so he was never able to send it to me. He promised to write another and remain in contact.
Kate and I walked away with full tummy’s and happy hearts. We stopped off for a final beer at the bar across from our hotel and reflected on our evening in Lyon. I’ve always parented by example. Tonight I hope I showed my daughter that friendships develop out of experiences. And you never have these kind of experiences if you’re not in tune with your spirit and follow where it leads you. Today, I let my spirit lead me to Lyon, France and my friend Ismaël. It was an experience of a lifetime and tonight my spirit is overflowing with gratitude.