Europe 1987

Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan 2018

Europe 1987

We left the Youth Hostel in Dijon at 9:00am, but had to return to retrieve Phil’s “Spot’s First Picnic” book that had been left behind.  Our destination for the day was the city of Lyon, just over 200 kilometres to the south, although our original intention had been more ambitious.  We only made one major stop on the way for lunch and petrol, this being at Mâcon, a pretty town with manicured gardens on the River Saône.

We arrived in Lyon at about 2:30pm.  Although we were booked into the Youth Hostel at Vierzon for the night, it was another 350 kilometres further on with an expected driving time of about four hours.  Therefore, we decided that it would be better to try and stay in Lyon if possible.

We searched for and found Lyon’s Youth Hostel beside the major expressway in the suburb of Vénissieux.  However, the office was closed until 5:00pm.  Therefore, although it was a risk that the Youth Hostel might already be full, we headed off to the city centre and the Part-Dieu district, a commercial hub dominated by Tour du Crédit Lyonnais skyscraper, as well as spending time at a children’s playground.

We returned to the Youth Hostel at 5:00pm, found to our relief that they had accommodation available and checked in, obtaining a nice four-bed room with a view across the freeway.  I needed to cancel our booking for the night at the Youth Hostel in Vierzon while assuring them we would be there tomorrow.  I tried to persuade the young lady on the counter at the Lyon Youth Hostel to do it for me on the grounds that my French was too poor to make a phone call (French telephone lines being notoriously soft and distorted), but she adamantly refused to do so on the basis that my French was fine.  I protested further, but she still insisted I should make the call, saying my French was very good, adding what I think was intended to be an encouragingly affirming comment “Vous parlez comme un pêcheur breton” (which I believe means “You speak like a fisherman from Brittany”).

Anyway, I made the phone call, and it seemed to achieve everything required.  With that trauma behind us (or, more accurately, behind me), we had a good dinner at the Youth Hostel and then managed to get a reasonably early night.  One unexpected bonus of our stay at the Youth Hostel was finding a newspaper with news from Australia, the first we had read since we began our travels six weeks earlier.


Day 48

Dijon to Lyon

Saturday 29 August 1987