Lyon

This past week I met up with my sister and her friend in Lyon. The third largest city in France, Lyon was the capital of the silk industry during the 16th century. It is also known to some as the Food Capital of France ( though it really depends who you talk to). I was lucky enough to get tickets to the SIHDA a huge food expo that also holds the World Cup Pastry competition. But that is a different story.

This particular visit was a nice rounded balance of walking, museums and food. S’s friend isn’t much of a foodie so we had fun introducing her to some local classics. Including Brioche Praline, a rich sweet bread with pink candied almonds called ‘praline’; Saussison, a dried sausage; regional cheeses like comte, abondance, and Tomme; eclairs; and of course, Macaron. I also managed to get my sister, a hater of coffee to try a noisette, espresso with a tiny bit of milk and foam! She didn’t really like it but could understand how it cuts the too sweet taste after so many yummy desserts! I arrived by train at noon.

The nice thing about any big european city is that they are so easy to get around in via public transport. We met at the hostel Cool and Bed, where I have stayed in a previous visit.

Lunch was at a restaurant called Riva. We were a bit out of place as most other patrons were dressed in suits and skirts. Sort of business casual whereas we were dressed nice, but practically for walking. Service was okay, the food was very good was nothing special. They specialized in burgers and when you are from well anywhere in North America I’m sorry but I have yet to have a burger in Europe that stands up to the juicy goodness that we have.

Truth!

Plus they eat their burgers with a fork and knife. Isn’t that illegal? I’m pretty sure if you tried to do that in McDonalds you’d be thrown out…

I digress

There is a free zoo and botanical garden in the north of the city. We walked through that. Being the middle of February there wasn’t too much happening. There were some lions, and moneys. And carnivorous plants. But I am looking forward to visiting again when it’s spring to see what it looks like in all it’s glory We tried walking the Croix Rousse but ended up taking a wrong turn and ended up back at the hostel. S also got way laid by this old Lyonnais who spit in her face explaniing some history of the city. His information was interesting but didn’t get the polite cues that were were trying to leave. We did get a really nice picture of Lyon with Mont-Blanc in the back ground.

Since eating out too much is expensive we decided to make tartiflette back at the hostel. Tartiflette a mixture of all the best things in life: Bacon, cheese, and potatoes. Really simple and cheap ( in france) this recipe will make enough for 4. You need:

2 onions

a package of lardons

creme fraiche

roblauchon ( or tartiflette cheese)

a pound of potatoes

white wine ( optional)

a casserole dish

Peel and slice the potatoes. Boil until cooked ( they are soft when you stab them with a fork or knife). Strain. Sweat the onions until they’re translucent. add the lardons. Once cooked turn off the heat. Add the creme fraiche and a splash or white wine. Mix. Put the potatos and creme fraiche mix into a casserole dish, mixing it all together.

Cut the roblauchon in half to make two disks. Put them skin side up in the casserole dish on top of the potatoes. Bake at 180C(350F) or 6 on a gas oven, until a little golden. ( it took a while to learn french oven temperatures…) Bon appetit!

First ever attempt at tartiflette!
First ever attempt at tartiflette!

Day 2 in Lyon we went to the Museum of Cinema and Miniatures ( if you have a youth/student card it’s 6.50). This museum is a must see! In Vieux Lyon you’ll definitely notice the I-Robot mannequin. It is basically a collection of movie memorabilia with explanations on the movie making process and how they use miniature sets for scenes. It was so interesting and brought out some nostalgia. The owner is also a miniaturist and had some of his creations on display at the end. It explained his process as well which was very interesting as well.

Harry Potter's wand from the first movie!
Harry Potter’s wand from the first movie!

We wandered Vieux Lyon for a bit, caught the tail end of an outdoor market where we sampled some local goodies I mentioned above. Then to a pastry shop. It’s cheaper to take sweets to go so we did and sat looking up to the Notre-Dame de Fourviere Basilica.I got to try a new dessert made with so much chantilly. It was delicious but I forget the name.

After crepes and coffee we made our way to the Musee des Beaux-Arts. This museum is free to students or under 26. S and I don’t really know art but we know and appreciate what we like. It’s not the Louvre but they have some really nice pieces by Rodin and some from the impressionist era. we spent a good 3 hours there.

Two other Canadian’s had checked into the hostel that night so we had fun chatting with them. While it’s fun to travel sometimes it’s nice to see something you’re familiar with. Which is why I bought some Skippy’s peanut butter to bring home with me. I’m going through peanut butter withdrawl!

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A day in the Life

Why is it that i can think of many things I’d like to write about when I am no where near my computer, but the moment i sit to write all coherent thought leaves me? I have been in France for over 2 months now. I have a stable job, a place to live, and friends. My French is no longer the rusty garble of words but a charming frenchisnotmyfirstlanguage flow ( or so I’m told). I’ve now developped a bit of a routine. Breakfast consists of porridge, jam, fromage blanc( a mild plain yogurt) and museli.

I bus to work. The bus quickly fills with skiers and snowboards as we get closer to centreville. Other seasonal workers eye sympathetically as more and more people cram in. To leave the bus i yell ‘excuse me!’ In french and English as i push my way free.

I work at a french pastry shop, my french is good enough to work with regular costumers and my english gor the tourists. It is the perfect job for people watching, plus all the free baguettes! Lunch is usually 2 hours. Not enough time to go home, so i bring my lunch then hole up in a cafe roam wordpress and people watch. One of the servers is cute and puts smiley faces on my coffee. The great thing about where i live is that every direction has a gorgeous view of the mountains! image

Back to work for the evening crowd. We always get a bunch if people at the end of the day looking for their breakfast croissant or baguette. Other people come in looking for a dessert to go with dinner. Today we are celebrating a collegue’s birthday. I look forward to the red wine and eating out, the atmophere of enjoyment and comraderie. I am still learning what french wines i like so I’ll take pictures if the label, but rarely of the food because i’ve always eaten half of it by the time I remember my phone!

At about 11 I’ll hitch a ride home with coworker, talk to my roomies for a bit then bed. Rinse. Repeat.

Step Two

They say ‘all journeys begin with a single step’ but I don’t believe that’s true. The journey begins with an idea,a decision, an intangible thing that makes you Move.

I love to try new things. My parents instilled that in me. With all the traveling we did  and the food we’d eat, how can you not want to explore what’s out there?!

I knew I wanted to leave my job. The job itself was fine but the atmosphere was poisonous. I had a plan, a dream, I wanted to travel Europe.An idea I had ever since we went as a family when I was 15.

A few people have commented on how brave I am to travel by myself with little to no plan. I never really thought of that. I do what I want to do because I want to. Because I feel it will open me up to new things and teach me and make me, not necessarily a better person, but a more well-rounded one.

Dream!

Get ideas!

If you think it’s worthy of an attempt, try it. Know the risk and that things won’t go as planned – they never do. But if it’s something you really want you’ll make it work!

Because the First Step is actually Step Two.

PS Pintrest is a great way to inspire;)

An Introduction

Welcome Bloggers, Blog Readers and other random people who have stumble here,

My pen name is Dee. I am from eastern Canada and have lived in 4 different towns in the last 6 years including a brief stint in Eastern BC.

I love to try new things ( food! books! hobbies!) and push myself out of my comfort zone.

I am a traveler, and I’ve been lucky enough with my work to be able to go to new places and stay for at least a year. I like to get a better sense of the place I’m living than a brief hi-bye.

All my traveling in Canada has been the stepping stone to France and the rest of Europe!

Because I am not settled I want to be a part of a community that is a little more static than I am, which is what pushed me to make a blog. Also I love to read and the chance of writing something that people would enjoy as much as I have enjoyed others works is a great motivator.Out of blogging I hope to:

  • Improve my writing skills
  • Connect with the blogging community
  • Inspire other people to try new things

On this blog I will have travel tips, advice for twenty-somethings ( and really anyone who wants it), quotes, recipes, books and random little blurbs about my day.

I look forward to this new adventure, being a part of blogging 101, new limits to explore and hopefully you will come along too.

Cheers!

Dee