After spending a decade in Corporate China, and another decade in Corporate Canada, I’m going to pack my bag and move on to the next stop in Jan, 2020: FRANCE. 🇫🇷
Life is a journey, not a destination.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Last month the hubby and I conducted a pre-assignment trip to Lyon (the 2nd largest city in France) for us to find a new “home”, and for me to meet and greet with my new colleagues – the locals from France and the expats from other parts of the world.
It was a magical encounter to say the least, as we completely fell in love with the city and her people at our first sights, and of course the good always comes with the bad… we also experienced the tear-gas first time in life as we passed by the yellow-jacket crowds on a chilly yet beautiful Saturday at the place Bellecour.
To keep the blog post on a positive note (a philosophy and approach I generally take towards life), I’m going to share with you the three things that I like the most about Lyon:
1. The beauty of the city. In Lyon, everything is remarkably clean. The two main shopping streets, the Rue de la République and the Rue Victor Hugo, are both pedestrianised. They’re wide and spacious and the shop fronts are discreet so they don’t interfere with the architecture. Cars ruin cities – but Lyon, which has an excellent metro system, has been given back to the people. The city also has both the historical and modern sides. The magnificent Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière and the artistically designed musée des confluences could easily take your breath away, let alone the gorgeous Hôtel Dieu. For 800 years, Hôtel Dieu was the main hospital of Lyon. Renovated many times over the centuries, it is one of the most commanding historic buildings on the peninsula, with its long 375-meter façade along the Rhône, topped with a dome built in 1764.
2. The food and wine. This city is known to be the gastronomic center of France. Every single bite of the food and every single sip of wine is worthy of a note. In GQ’s article in 2018, the editors wrote: “Long ignored by tourists but adored by chefs as a mecca, Lyon remains France’s great gastronomic secret.” ( click https://www.gq.com/story/lyon-french-food-travel-guide for the article).
3. The people. They are friendly and open-minded. As a visitor who only know how to say Bonjour and Merci at this point, I was terribly nervous when arriving in Lyon to start our housing hunting tour. To our surprise, the locals are very accommodating. They try their best to converse in English with us. When certain words become challenging, the waiter in the restaurant even pulled out his iPhone to google the translation. One more point to Lyon.
Oh, wait… did I mention that I will have easy access now to my favorite brands such as Chanel, Chloe, Sandro and Sezane now that I’ll live in a country that is known for her taste for fashion and style? The effortless, the classic and yet very feminine design, is definitely the path to every woman’s heart. ❤️
In the coming months, you can find me to be Lost in Translation in the chic stores, in the little Cafes around the street corners, and in the river cruise along the Rhône and the Saône, and of course in the cooperate world that has a deep root and connection to its French originality. More on that later.
To appreciate the beautiful scenes of the city, check out “Slow Summer – Lyon” from Hamza Benkirane on Vimeo.
See you soon, France.