Well, if the last entry to Danube Dispatches was dispatched from Lyon, then it would only make sense for the first Rhone Rambling to be rambled from that great metropolis that straddles the Rhone... Vienna. So I'm back on my old stomping grounds for a few days to tie up a few loose ends, get some stuff I wasn't able to carry with me last time, and most importantly, investigate an outrageous genealogical claim that my great-great-great-great grandfather Franz Kohlberger was run out of town by none other than Franz Ferdinand (you know, the guy whose assassination kind of ruined the 20th century...). I'll see what I can find and will report back next week.
First though, a few notes about living in Lyon. Oddly, I had never visited Lyon before first visiting the apartment where Nolwenn and I now live back in December. However, it must be said that Lyon is an absolutely gorgeous city, with many wonderful restaurants and bakeries, great proximity to the Alps, the south of France, Paris, airports served by budget airlines, and Geneva, where my friend Xavier lives. Not that Vienna's location is bad either, but I've already spent quite a bit of time in the nearby cities and countries there, so I'm happy for the change of pace for that reason.
Furthermore, Lyon is neither as cold as Vienna (though it has been rather chilly of late), nor as dark, being farther west and south in the same time zone. Additionally, the internet cafes are cheaper, the kebabs are better, and it's fun to be learning French each day too. As far as our apartment goes, the location is extremely central in a nice neighborhood with a small park right in front of our house door. We're up on the fourth floor and have 3 square meters to call our own, though it feels like more. In any case, we have a nice loft for the bed, a great desk set up, a comfortable couch, a spacious bathroom, and a bright kitchen. On top of that, I've already added a bench press, a good tv, and an exercise bike is on the way.
When not busy arranging the apartment, I've been spending lots of time tracing cousins on ancestry.com, to get as complete a record as possible for my upcoming book on my family's history.
So that's life, so far. Next week, in additon to my report on my findings in Vienna, we'll take a closer look at French stereotypes and see what my initial impressions have to say about them. Au revoir!