Part 8/Leon

I wasn’t really sure I should do a section for Leon, since I am in town for less than 24 hours. Leon was certainly on the list of places I would like to visit, but I decided I wanted to visit Montpellier more. However, most of the transit between Zurich, where I was at the time, and Montpelier required a layover and a 7 to 10 hour train ride. Having done the nine hour Vienna to Zurich train previously, I decided I have had enough of these long train rides, and would instead break the journey up, with a layover in a hotel. Since most of the options I saw involved a transfer in Lyon, I decided Lyon is where I should go.

Even though I have less than 24 hours in Leon, I decided I had gotten out and explored the town enough that it does warrant a post, even if it is a short one.

Getting off the train, the hotel was close by. I intentionally chose the Radisson Blu hotel at the Leon Part Dieu train station because of its convenience to the station I would be coming into from Zurich, and leaving out of to Montpelier. This isn’t in the midst of the towns attractions, however, with a quick tram ride, I can easily get to the center of town.

I started off by going for a walk, setting my destination as the Hotel de Ville, which I figured would be where I would want to be for people watching, town attractions, dinner and whatnot. Needless to say, I never made it. Instead I ended up in the pedestrian zone of central Leon. After some people and dog watching around that, I made my way to a bar in the pedestrian zone for a drink.

After that, I decided to take the tram back to the hotel, and just go to the hotel restaurant for dinner. However, along the way, I noticed an area with quite a few restaurants open in it, and decided to get off the tram and check that out.

I ultimately ended up at the Grand Cafe de la Prefecture, and despite the language gap, managed to order a burger and beer, with some sort of local cheese on it, which I am always a fan of, even if the cheese doesn’t agree with me.

Local cheeseburger

After that, it was time to get back on the tram back to the hotel. There were some fare enforcement people who were pretty aggressive with their fines for people who couldn’t show a proper ticket, taking peoples credit cards to pay the fine on the spot. Seems like this could be a useful policy for Sound Transit to implement back home, just saying.

Finally getting back to the hotel, I went to the check in desk to get a train ticket printed for the next day. My Eurail pass requires reservations for the next day’s trip to Montpelier, and sadly, they don’t take tickets off your phone. Hey Eurail, figured that stuff out, we don’t always have printers available, particularly if we’re just hotel surfing for six weeks the way I am.

Lyon hotel room view

I had actually signed up for hotel breakfast at this hotel, so the following morning, I went down to the lobby for that followed by a trip to Starbucks, where I was informed that Pumpkin Spice Late season was over, and they were now using the Christmas cups, so I guess as of November 1, we have officially transitioned from Pumpkin Spice season to Christmas Cup season. Though, I didn’t see the Christmas drinks, such as the Peppermint Late on the menu. I guess that could just be a French thing.

Finally, it was time for me to head next door to the train station and head down to Montpelier, my next destination. I believe I actually was in the wrong train car, but they all went to the same place so, all was good, and that began the next chapter of my sabbatical, in Montpelier.

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