June 21, 2016

We had an early start on our trip to Lyon.

We had elected to fly via the Windsor, Ontario airport, which therefore required us to drive across the USA/Canada airport. On a weekday. During rush hour. With a major construction project happening on one of Detroit’s major freeways.

We left with plenty of time. And got over the border with plenty of time.

So we stopped for breakfast!

Then we headed to the Windsor airport.

Which is tiny. Any time that we might have lost at the border (where our wait really wasn’t long at all), we gained back in our two minute wait at the ticket counter and the 45 seconds it took to breeze through security.

Very painless. Free wifi. Would recommend.

We took a tiny plane for the short flight to Toronto.

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Upon arriving in Toronto, we experienced our first mishap of the trip: we weren’t permitted to use the Air Canada lounge. Why? Because, though we had flown in on Air Canada, our flight to Lyon was via Brussels Airlines.

Damn fine print.

(Spoiler alert: we used the Air Canada lounge passes on our way home.)

Instead, we snagged a table at one of the airport bars and enjoyed Germany/Northern Ireland.

…and a plate of poutine.

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When in Rome AM I RIGHT?

Turkey v. Croatia and Spain v. Czech Republic followed closely thereafter. We packed up, headed towards our terminal and settled in at another bar. And then another.

Thank goodness for the soccer and the alcohol and the poutine for distracting us from realizing exactly how long we were sitting around Pearson International Airport. Eventually, finally, we made it onto the plane.

Let’s pause for a second here and talk about the seats on Brussels Airlines.  Awful.

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Worst. Headrest. Ever.

It was a long flight.

(And we’ve been on much longer!)

 

Love to Nice

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We loved Nice.

We continue to love Nice.

Our thoughts are with the people of Nice in the wake of the horrible Bastille Day attack that killed and wounded so many.

We each left a piece of our hearts on the Promenade des Anglais. And those pieces of our heart are broken.

Lyon Adventures

We are eating and walking our way through Lyon.

And drinking wine along the way.

While getting lost a little more frequently than we would like to admit.

Which may or may not have anything to do with the wine.

Highlights include: shopping for breakfast at the market, taking a pastry class, a traditional Lyonaise dinner that resulted in three new friends and a hike up the side of a damn mountain in Vieux Lyon. 
Our first Euro match, Hungary/Portugal, was fantastically exciting (minus the last 10 minutes) and we’re looking forward to Switzerland/Poland this afternoon. 

It’s been years since a not awesome incident at USA/Poland in Chicago, so we’re hoping that Poland’s traveling supporters are a bit more mellow than the Chicago contingent. We’re going to the stadium as true neutrals — no Swiss or Poland gear for us — so there shouldn’t be any issues. We’ll be cheering on the Swiss; if any country could appreciate our appearance of neutrality, it should be Switzerland!

Current Status

Exhausted.

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Checked into our apartment, which has a view so quaint that we think we’re basically French.


And on our way to Hungary/Portugal!

Where Are We?

Hint: this is our lunch. Hint: it is poutine. 

  

That’s right, our journey has begun and we’re at the airport in Toronto.

Our layover in Toronto is lengthy but we have been saved by (what else?!) soccer on television. Also the airport bar. Also gluten-free brownies.

A few hours (and one additional soccer game from now), we catch our flight to Europe. We’ll arrive in Lyon on Wednesday morning after what is hopefully a decent sleep on the plane. On the agenda for tomorrow: exploring Lyon followed by Portugal/Hungary in the evening.

Special Delivery

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From UEFA headquarters to suburban Detroit: we have tickets.

Rhônexpress

Rame_Rhônexpress_à_la_station_-Aéroport_Lyon_-_Saint_Éxupéry-Lyon to Nice: done.

Lyon to Saint-Étienne: booked.

Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport to downtown Lyon: completed!

Upon our arrival, we will be take the Rhônexpress from the airport to the Lyon-Part-Dieu railway station. Rhônexpress is a fairly new transit line. It’s privately owned, not a government entity, so it’s a bit pricey in comparison to the other train tickets we purchased, but still less than hiring a taxi.

You can buy a Rhônexpress pass online for about $16.75, which is a very modest $1.48 discount over paying full-price in person. You don’t buy a pass for a certain day or time (we’ll appreciate that flexibility if we have any travel disasters) — it’s just good for three months after purchase.

Trains leave every 15 minutes and it takes about a half-hour to get into Lyon. It sounds pretty hard to mess up. Which is exactly what we’ll need after a long day of travel.