Thursday, December 9, 2010

Day 22 - Fête des Lumières

Weather is a little miserable here at the moment. No snow, and some drizzly rain which is honestly rather depressing hahaha. But there is good stories to tell!

Went to the Fête des Lumières in Lyon tonight.  Quite a nice night for it too, wasn’t freezing cold like last week.

As we were getting onto the bus I heard a voice say ‘Is that an Aussie accent I hear?’ Another Aussie! And that makes three hahaha. We spent the bus ride teaching some of the others some Aussie slang – Maccas (known as McDo here, how strange) and bogan, among other things.

We arrived in Lyon around 7:30pm and grabbed a quick bite for dinner before heading out to explore the sights. Fête des Lumières is a celebration of the Virgin Mary and her protection of the city. It started in 1853, when a statue of the Virgin Mary was due to be unveiled on 8 December, but due to bad weather, the official lighting of the city was postponed. The people of Lyon, however, spontaneously began putting candles in their windows to pay homage to the Virgin Mary, and so the ‘festival’ began. Still today, they residents of Lyon light their candles on December 8, and it is a really beautiful sight.

Alongside the candles, each year the city organises many landmarks to be lit up, including the Ferris wheel in Place Bellacour and the churches around the city.

Tonight we spent some time wandering the city, eating Pommes d’amour (Literally apples of love, known to us as toffee apples) and Barbapapa (fairy floss). Many many people turn out each year to see the lights, but despite the crowds it was incredibly beautiful, and in the Cathedral Saint-Jean I lit a candle for Mary. We also discovered a Christmas market (so many stalls, not enough time) where they sold these hot chocolates, you choose your type of chocolate, milk, dark or white, and your flavour, and you get a cube of chocolate on a spoon, and a cup of hot milk, and as the chocolate melts you get to enjoy a DELICIOUS hot chocolate. I had milk chocolate with caramel, and it was amazing!

A late bus ride back home puts it at around 3am now, but it was a really lovely evening with some wonderful new friends.

Bonne nuit!

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