Back in Lyon and Elsewhere

After about two months with family in Germany I was eager to return back to campus. Despite the lockdown lasting several weeks, life in France did not stop and after a few weeks I felt like I was missing out on student life and the opportunity to make more friends and travel. I returned to Lyon just in time for New Years Eve and was able to have a great start into the new year. Here's to 2021!

Suffice it to say that this year is already way more enjoyable than the last one. In just seven weeks, and coming off of our winter break, I made a ton of new friends among the other international students (only to say goodbye to many of them as the first semester came to an end), and took trips to Montpellier, Aix-les-Bains & Chambéry, as well as an excursion to nearby Vienne. The weather has been truly amazing, and so I am able to enjoy the city once again.

The next picture shows us running into the Mediterranean Sea in the beginning of February - a favorite memory from our trip to Montpellier. I should note at this point, that I cannot show some of my favorite pictures of my time in France, as my choices of photos reflect my desire to respect the privacy of my friends.

The 26.5 hours I had to spend in the city and on the beach reflect my need to balance classes and the research projects I am working on here and remotely in the US with fun like the above. As always, a bit of both seems healthiest to me - I try to work as much as possible when nothing is going on, so that I have time to join the fun when somebody proposes an activity. Below, I have included another picture of little me in Montpellier and maybe the best picture ever taken through the window of a moving train (of the Lac du Bourget, on which lies Aix-les-Bains).

Lyon and the surrounding region is not without cold winters, however, and so the picture below on the left shows the town of nearby Vienne on one of the coldest days here. It stands in contrast with the next (middle) photo taken on January 29th, on which it was warm enough to take a bike trip down to the Confluence (the point where the two rivers of Lyon meet). Finally, another cold day where I was able to capture the few golden rays of the day reflecting off the Rhône while on a jog.

I was also able to witness an amazing phenomenon while in Lyon. On the morning of February 6th, I woke up to orange light coming through my shades. I opened the window to find the sky orange-brown. After a brief panic, a quick Google search led me to discover that sometimes wind will scatter sand from the Sahara desert through a large a part of Southern Europe. This picture does not capture it well, but you can find better attempts online if interested.

Finally, enjoy these pictures of me enjoying a crêpe from a pop-up stand downtown and the beautiful (> 60 degrees Fahrenheit) weather in mid-February from my "balcony". Hope you're also enjoying the weather wherever you're at!

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