Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Lyon in Lights

After wanting to make it for several years, I was able to see the Lyon Fête des Lumières this last weekend! Check that off the bucket list.

I've had friends recommend this to me over the years as being worth seeing, and this year I got to decide for myself. Spoiler alert: it was worth seeing.

Last year I bought flights to visit David in and out of Lyon so we could go to the festival together... and then the festival was cancelled due to the recent Paris attacks and security concerns.

This year, we went to stay with David's parents for the weekend and drove with his mom on Saturday to the festival. Lyon is a 3 hour drive from Gap, so it was a lot of driving in one day! Merci, Nicole! We left their house at about 4 p.m. and didn't get home until 2:30 a.m. 

We did get rear ended by someone when an ambulance drove by and we stopped suddenly, but thankfully the car wasn't damaged at all, and even MORE thankfully, our driver didn't fall asleep and drive us off an Alpine cliff. There are some pretty steep and curvy roads on this drive. I was super helpful. I slept like a baby the whole ride home. David had the job of keeping his mom awake :)

The driving (and parking) was crazy and the festival was almost claustrophobically crowded. I'm not someone who's bothered by crowds, but if you are this might not be for you. A few times there were traffic jams while walking and you just had to shuffle along and hope you weren't being pick-pocketed. Besides a scary mom with a stroller who kept ramming the stroller into me, we escaped unscathed from the crowds.

For the festival, the city center of Lyon is full of light shows and illuminations. The festival began to thank the Virgin Mary for saving Lyon from the Black Plague. Back then it was more about Lyon residents lighting candles and less about the techno light shows, but that little bit of history explains the "Merci Marie" signs around town.

Without further ado, here are my pictures and videos! Honestly, it was a lot cooler than these made it seem. But I tried.



We didn't come close to seeing all of it, so if I ever have the chance to come back again I'd like to stay in Lyon overnight and go on multiple days. We shall see!

And because I'm in kind of a nostalgic mood, click here to see what the lovely city of Lyon looks like in the daytime (2014 visit with Olimpia), and click here to reminisce with me about the very similar Jerusalem Festival of Lights (summer 2013).

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