Friday, December 9, 2011

I want to go to Lyon... [leeeeee-on]


I have a 43 Things account. Basically, it's an online space where you can create goals. It allows you to document your steps to fulfilling these goals and it also allows you to motivate others to complete goals that you have already completed. If you look at my 43 Things list, you will see

"Travel the world"

"learn French"

AND

"GO TO FRANCE"

I have always wanted to go to France and am slowly saving money so that I can spend time in France. It's kind of an obsession. I really want to go and have to settle with speaking to the French residents at the property I work at. 


So, I have decided to start "planning" my trip to France! I will research and start talking to people for suggestions.

Yesterday, I mentioned that I would have one of my friend's write up something for my blog. He was so nervous to write something. But, I think it came out great! H


Here it goes...


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I am really happy to have the opportunity to tell you about what I like the most in France. For this very special occasion I decided to talk about my city, Lyon, and more precisely about a unique tradition that happens every year on the 8th of December and gives to the city this specific atmosphere that I love so much.

Indeed every year on the 8th of December the city of Lyon pays a tribute to the Virgin Mary for having protected the city against the plague a few centuries ago. To explain shortly the context, the region was struck by plague in 1643 and the city council promised to pay a tribute to Mary if the city was spared, which happened. That is why since 1643 the majority of the inhabitants put candles on their windowsills on the 8th of December to pay a tribute to Mary. This is actually the old tradition but since a few years in addition to this old tradition the city council decided to light on the most beautiful buildings of the city and to organize light shows on the façades of these buildings. This is called the Festival of lights (Fête des lumières) and it’s really fantastic !!

During 4 days around the 8th of December the city is just amazing! You have the traditional Christmas decorations plus the different light shows and on the 8th of December all the candles on the windowsills. About 4 million of tourists are coming to visit the city during these days. I feel so proud that so many foreign people are coming to visit my city! The streets are crowded but it is great because I have the feeling that all the inhabitants are outside their house or apartment and it is the only time where you can meet all the people who are living in the city ! We are usually going out with friends on the different days to watch all the light shows all around the city and on the 8th of December we are going out with our family and you can really feel a friendly atmosphere with a huge smile on people’s face because they are simply happy to be all together enjoying this beautiful city !

I love the Christmas period but the Festival of lights in Lyon makes it even better and as a catholic it has a special meaning for me. During these few days there is a huge message on the top Fourvière hill, the highest hill of the city, which says “MERCI MARIE” (Thank you Mary) in light letters. It can be seen from almost all the town. So I like to use these days to go to the Basilica on the top of the hill, spend a calm moment inside and just say thank you to Mary for everything that I have in my wonderful life !!

Unfortunately this year I’ll miss this amazing event but I give you some pictures of the previous years so that you can have a better understanding of how beautiful the city is during this period! 


Fourvière Basilica with statue of Mary and “MERCI MARIE” message on the top of the hill.
This picture was found on Google Image search


Rhône river with St Jean Cathedral and Fourvière Basilica on the top of the hill.
  
Sun on the façade of the Fine Arts Museum on city hall square !


Fontain on Terreau square and city hall.
Fontain on Jacobins square.

***All of the pictures were found here unless otherwise indicated*** 

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I think he did very well! He certainly convinced me to go see Lyon! Lyon is definitely on my France travel list!


I cannot wait until I can go!

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