After my family left, my sweet boyfriend came to spend Christmas and New Year's with me :) After touring around Nevers for a couple of days, we made some NYE plans: first we were going to go to Lyon for New Year's Eve, and then Dijon for New Year's Day. We found hostels, booked our train tickets, and headed out, completely unaware that New Year's Eve and Day in France are treated like Sundays, and one of them actually was a Sunday, so we were hard pressed to find stores or restaurants that were even open.
|Lyon, still intriguing in the drear of January|
We arrived in Lyon and found our hostel across the river, then went exploring. On our way to the other bank, we saw this GIANT bouquet of flowers, which I just loved :)
We literally walked for hours before finding a McDonald's, where we shame-facedly ate fries and had what we thought was going to be a latté (that turned out to just be ice cream). Then we rode on the Ferris wheel, which gave us incredible views of the city!
Soon after we got off the Ferris wheel, the sun went down and we went to see the remaining lights left over from the Fête des Lumières. I got to show James those birds I loved so much, and gave him free reign of my camera since I'd already seen the lights. Somehow, he took the exact same picture as I did. Great minds ;)
We were starving and roamed around for hours looking for dinner; finally we found a Japanese restaurant near the train station where we had some pretty incredible sushi, then bought some Japanese beers to go and went to see the 11:00 showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
. We set an alarm on my phone and kissed at midnight (just like we did last year); when we left the theater, another year had begun!
|New Year's Eve in Lyon wasn't all it was cracked up to be, but the skyline was certainly breathtaking :) |
We planned to get to sleep early since we had a really early train the next morning, but a certain party in our hostel got busted by the cops and ruined that plan of ours. Still, we made it to the train station (albeit grumpy and exhausted) and caught our train to Dijon.
The hostel that we had booked in Dijon had called earlier in the week to say that they'd actually double-booked our room and were sending us to a hotel across the street, but then we found out that neither hotel was even in Dijon proper, they were about 30 minutes outside the city, so we canceled the reservations and just started from scratch when we got off the train. Luckily, one of the first hotels we tried--Hotel de Paris--was clean, affordable, central, and run by the nicest French woman I've ever met in my life. She set us up in her last available room, and since it wouldn't be ready until 3:00 p.m., we had a delicious lunch of moules frites
--mussels in mustard sauce served with fries--and then we set off to explore.
Remember that one time I told you that nothing was open on Sundays in France, or (apparently) on New Year's? Yeah, I wasn't exaggerating. We walked around for a little more than 3 hours and could count on one hand the shops that were open. I had such grand ideas--I wanted to show James the cathedral and la petite chouette
that you rub and make a wish on, my favorite tea shop that has the most incredible chocolat chaud
in all the land, the world-famous La Maille mustard shop that has all kinds of delicious samples served with homemade pretzels--but NONE of them could come true. Womp womp :P
Finally our hotel room opened up, and we took a much-needed nap, then went downstairs to the welcome desk for some advice on how to spend our remaining hours in Dijon. She was so helpful, giving us maps and circling places that would be open, including a grocery store that had special NYE hours (open till midnight!!) and sold cheap bottles of champagne. We found two restaurants that were open for dinner, so we ended up going to both of them :P
We started at L'Imprimerie, which was right up our alley: the entire restaurant was decorated with books, newspapers, printing presses, woodblock cuts of letters and numbers and symbols; it was SO cool.
|Seriously, I'm going to decorate my personal library like this when I'm rich and famous. |
We had a kir
there--our poison of choice during James' stay--and then headed to Gril Laure, which had more traditional French foods as opposed to L'Imprimerie's burger-and-sandwich fare. Gril Laure was incredible; we had the menu fixe
, which included a ribeye steak with the most delicious potatoes au gratin
that we had ever tasted. And, of course, crème brûlée
for dessert! The best part was that the restaurant served pizza to-go, so they had pizza boxes in stock and they let us take our leftovers home in them.
We spent the rest of the night eating delicious leftovers from a soggy pizza box, drinking champagne, and watching French dating shows.
Not a bad start to the New Year after all! Though I'm still banned from planning next year's celebration :P