This past weekend, I met up with my twin sister Olivia in Lyon, France. It was the perfect weekend and certainly one that we both needed. However, while it took her 2 hours by train to get there, since Lyon is closer to Geneva (where she is studying this semester), I had to endure a 16 hour bus ride. To be honest, it wasn’t as bad since the bus company was nice enough to not book someone in the seat next to me so I had a bit more room to stretch. It was also an overnight bus so I slept for most of the ride.
Both of us arrived at the same station at the same time, so neither of us had to wait too long to see the other. Initially, we had planned to walk around a bit and then have a picnic lunch. Instead, we ended up eating inside the train station and walking to our AirBnB, which was an hour walking from the station. So, while our first day didn’t go quite as planned, we still were able to see the city. And, in between the bites of tortillas españolas and the gawking at the beautiful city, we talked nonstop — it felt like there wasn’t enough sidewalk to walk to catch each other up on our experiences of the past month. While I have loved seeing old friends and making new friends — my chosen family while abroad — there is something quite different about being in the company of my sister.
After arriving at the AirBnB, we both crashed on the bed and slept for about 2 hours before waking up around dinner time. Half-awake, half-asleep, and with everything in French, the supermarket felt incredibly overwhelming. That being said, I was excited to have crepes for dinner. It was one of the best Valentine’s day since I got to spend it with someone I love and eating good food.
On Saturday, we hiked to the top of Fourvière Basilica. It was accidental though because we didn’t realize that we could have taken a cable car to the top but the day was beautiful and neither of us complained too much. The view from Fourvière was absolutely beautiful. We could see all of Lyon and primarily Vieux Lyon; the orange brick roofs and the faded colored walls of the old buildings were even more striking against the blue sky of the day. After walking around the top and going inside the Basilica, we took the cable car to Vieux Lyon and visited the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Cathedral, then walked around the windy streets. As we walked around, we also explored the famous, long traboule, which are long passageways that connected streets together in between apartments so that canuts, Lyon’s silk merchants, could quickly get to and from the river and their workshops. Many of these traboules exist throughout Lyon and many are still accessible to the public.
At lunch, we had a picnic of leftover crepes by the steps of the Musée des beaux-arts, which we then visited. I don’t know if there was an event at the museum but every 30 minutes in different parts of the museum, there would be a small concert to accompany the paintings and artwork. The music was based off of music that would have been popular at the time the paintings were made. We ended our day by walking along the Rhone River and enjoying the sunny day.
Although it was a quick weekend, the both of us enjoyed being in each other’s company again. Last semester, we both studied in different continents, me in Australia and she in Argentina. However, this semester, home is just a little closer since we are both studying abroad in the same continent.
Giovanna Sabini-Leite, student blogger primavera 2020