Solo Travel Sunrises

Blair Betik
February 28, 2017

"Le bonheur est parfois caché dans l'inconnu." / "Happiness is often hidden in the unknown." - Victor Hugo

Ah yes, my friends. Revel in my worldliness; I googled a French quote to pepper some color into this blog post. 

Not that this post needs more color, because the sunrise I saw my first two hours in Lyon was so vibrant and effervescent it still saturates my entire opinion of all things French, all things Lyonnaise, and, more specifically, all things I was able to do on my very first solo trip. 

I arrived in Lyon, France, via Flixbus at 6 am on a Friday. I was tired, I was sweating profusely (I accidentally sat right next to the heater) and I really, really wanted to brush my teeth. But after I brushed those teeth, got a coffee, purchased a metro ticket, and sauntered off Line D at Vieux Lyone, it was nearly 7 am, and the world was making power moves, too. 

The first sight I experienced as I climbed out of the metro station was the Cathedrale of St Jean. A lush, feminine, shapely rose window in the center of its facade caught my eye, before the gables thrust my gaze upward, to the sky that was about to transform. 

For an hour I strolled, up through the cobblestone streets, past boulengeries and bars, and gazed down upon the River Saone as I plodded on, parallel to its banks. 

The sky morphed from an incredible indigo to a deep, strange, grayish cerulean, and then again to a foggy cornflower. As this colorful shift occurred, the Lyonnaise began to stir- men and women bundled up, on bikes and scooters and foot, traipsing through this dream of a setting with the steady paces of locals- people whose realities are just like mine, but happen to be on the dreamy banks of the Saone. 

As I walked along, finally, I came across this sculpture. A man, nude, holding a lifeless woman in his arms, devoid of face. I thought to myself, "Wow. That is so, decidedly, French." 

The beauty of that morning was my solitude in this dreamlike place. I made the choice to visit Lyon due to an Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown episode that was chock-full of foodie delight, but I found myself enamored because of the fact that I was alone, free, and special in that I got an undisturbed, front-row seat to the Lyonnaise lifestyle. That first morning, I will never, ever forget. 


Blair Betik

<p>A museum-loving, cappuccino-drinking, Game of Thrones-obsessed sorority girl from Texas, I study art history, anthropology, and Italian at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. If I ever go missing, check the nearest museum for the Mediterranean antiquities gallery.</p>

2017 Spring
Home University:
Southern Methodist University
Art History
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