Day 420 Milano - Lyon, France
I never intended to come to Lyon but when I met Ella in Zadar she told me about Fête des lumières and I couldn't not visit. A three day festival of light, not unlike Vivid Sydney, the city is dazzled by dozens of installations, projections and animations - it's a sight to behold. Fête des lumières is based around and celebrates the Christian mother, Mary. The city centre closes to vehicles at night and the people wander as if in a post apocalyptic reality.
After a quick stop at a service station near Mont Blanc, where the vending machines sell naughty movies, I entered France. Immediately after crossing the border my the car-share was stopped by the police; apparently they're easy pickings. Thirty minutes later we were on our way again.
I met Ella at the central station with a big hug and a smile. Now heading south we were going to Lara's mother's apartment. Ella met Lara and her companion Rebbeca in Croatia where the duo were cycling from Lyon to Bosnia & Herzegovina. Lara kindly offered her room to Ella, and her mother, Corrine, would host us.
Upon arrival, Corrine welcomed us into her home and prepared a baked Vacherin cheese, Mont d'Or. My, oh my, I was in heaven. A heavy stroke from a spoon was required to perforate the brown crust to gain access to the delightfully rich jewel.
During the festival it is traditional for everyone to line their windows with lit candles; it's a beautiful tradition and wonderful to see everyone coming together.
On our first outing we saw the city's ferris wheel painted with ever changing projections of three dimensional landscapes and a roller coaster giving the sensation of depth and falling into the animation. If you ever find yourself in a large crowd focused on one thing, turn around and look at their faces; look to see them in a content state holding their loved ones whilst being completely at ease. See people in their natural condition without a care in the world.
Packed in the Metro, like sardines in a can, it was time to go home. Can you believe that for this event the city's Metro was free!?