Having a hunger for travelling and always on the hunt to see different cities and towns off the beaten path can sometimes leave you feeling unsatisfied because let’s face it, there’s not a lot of areas in the world that is unexplored. But I realised that the trips you plan spontaneously and with no expectations, are the best kind of travelling that will leave your senses tingling!
Yes, I know it’s cliche that France is my favourite country to visit, like every other girl I know, France is like that dream lover you’ve always wanted and never want to let go. For those who didn’t enjoy Paris (yes I know it’s hard to believe not everyone liked Paris!) I can guarantee you that visiting country towns outside of Paris will make you fall in love with the French lifestyle!
My only regret on this trip was not hiring a car and driving around France myself. It’s hard when you’re on your own, because of two things, you have to pay for everything yourself – you can’t split the bill with anyone, this includes car hire, petrol and insurance. Secondly, you can’t bounce ideas off someone else in terms of getting lost like what did the GPS say?
Starting in Paris, I boarded an overnight bus to Lyon. hmmm…seems like a good idea at the time. In hindsight it wasn’t. But hey, when you’re backpacking alone everything seems like a good idea at the time. The overnight bus was roughly a 5 hours drive, I got to Lyon at 5AM!!! Now, if I had accommodation booked that would have been fine, but I didn’t. Being on a budget and doing the overnight bus meant I would be saving money on one night accommodation. That meant I had no choice but to camp out at the bus terminal for another 4 hours.
On a positive note, I got to watch the sun rise in France which I’ve never seen before, plus by 6am the cafe opened and I had my morning coffee, so it wasn’t too bad. By 9am, I went to my hostel and dropped off my bags (check in time was 2pm) and decided to venture out seeing what Lyon has to offer!
Lyon is beautiful and quaint
Weekend food markets in Lyon
There’s a reason why Lyon is the food capital of France. Pretty sure I gained most of my holiday weight here. Whatever, I regret nothing!
Highly recommend hiring the public bikes and exploring all of Lyon, you’ll get through it in a day!
Sunset over Lyon
I based myself in Lyon for two days, on the second day I jumped on a bus to travel an hour outside of Lyon to explore the beautiful town of Annecy.
This is a good time for me to point out that this town is my FAVOURITE PLACE in the world (so far) I know it’s a huge title to claim, even though I’ve only spent one day here, but I completely fell in love with this town!
I think the best thing about travelling is when you don’t have any expectations of an area and you don’t fully research into it other than how to get there, and when you arrive it’s so much better than anything you’ve expected to see and do! – It’s the best feeling!
Annecy is known for its stunning blue Lake. This Lake is known for its strict environmental regulations for being Europe’s cleanest Lake, the water remains blue because it comes from the glaciers from the French Alpines. Surrounded by big mountains on a sunny day, watching people take their row boats out and bike riding around the lake, can you blame me for falling in love with this incredible picturesque place?
Not to mention the town itself is also beautiful and photogenic.
I will definitely make another trip back to Annecy, it is just too beautiful in the summer, and it’s my happy place with fond memories.
After Lyon, I made my way to Strasbourg which I’ve heard was another quaint little town. Strasbourg is on the border of France and Germany. The French here have more of a German characteristic and can come across a little more direct than French people in Paris. But that’s part of their Strasbourg charm.
Unfortunately I was only here for a few hours during the day before going back to Paris, but I spent the day at Colmar which blew me away as to how picturesque and how German it was!
It was like taking a walk into a fairy tale book!
So many sweet memories in France! You can see why I love France so much!