I didn’t feel very much like leaving Aix-en-Provence: my next destination was Lyon, towards the center of France. Although I was eager to meet again my former colleagues (6 years ago I took a master course at the University of Nancy and some of my ex-colleagues were now living in Lyon), lots of rain and grey clouds were forecasted for Lyon. And in Aix-en-Provence, the weather was warm and gentle, and a house with roses, cherry trees and good friends was opening to me.
Well, finally here I am, on my ride found on a car-sharing site, 100 km away from Lyon, and the blue sunny sky turns to clouds and rain. I smile: my trip will take me north from so on, so I’d better get used to that!
I am left in one of the main squares of the city, a few hours before the friend who was hosting me comes back from work. So I have plenty of time to take the metro towards her house and find it. But before going into the metro I notice that on the last floor of the building where the metro station is, a “suspended garden” is supposed to be. I take my luggage and go up. Looking at the Ibis Hotel through the fig tree leaves, I think about other fig trees I will see later, in the summer, on the Greek island of Lesbos. Who knows what people and stories wait for me on the way until then…
Arriving close to the house of my friend, something tells me to take a little detour and go towards the riverside. And I find here the weekly local market, with fresh vegetables, fruits, flowers, home-made sweets and local products. I slowly walk through it, enjoying the smells and sounds of the market. It’s been some time since I did not do that… After buying a bouquet of flowers for my friend, I go and sit by the river for a little while. A young boy and a girl are chatting in front of the water. A few rays of sun come out of the clouds and light the surface of the water. I felt good.. I felt like Lyon was saying “welcome” guessing that I was visiting it for the first time.
I spent the next few days meeting my former colleagues, talking about what happened in our lives since we last saw each other, having wine and cheese for dinner, visiting Lyon and hearing its stories, drinking beer on a boat and talking some more about life, politics, philosophy, Romania, France. My heart was full of smiles and ready to set for my next location: Nancy.