Mix-and-Match Lyon

As I said in my last post, Lyon is my favorite French city by far, and seriously underrated. A few years ago, an important world leader was visiting the city, and I remember hearing people express their delight and surprise at the honor. I wasn't surprised at all, but I was impressed by the Lyonnais pride without arrogance. If you get... Continue Reading →


Art Pilgrimage: Cave of Niaux

By the sound of it, the woman behind me was somehow managing to fall in every single puddle as we hurried after our guide, a physically nimble but socially awkward guy in his late twenties who'd warned us that if we didn't rush we'd risk an abridged tour. The CO2 in our breath threatened the existence of the very thing... Continue Reading →

Time Travel: May, 2014 – Slowing Down in Split

I was very unpopular in beautiful Croatia. Despite my best efforts to abide by all spoken and unspoken rules and to be apologetic for my ignorance as I navigated the country's unpredictable off-season transportation and accommodation logistics, the people I came across were impatient and bitchy with me. I was almost tossed off of long-distance... Continue Reading →

Six-Day Wander: London, Again!

Every time I go to London, I love it more. The city is a business hub, but has an enduring reverence for literature, art, and intellectual curiosity. A place of royals, tourists, immigrants, foreign investors, politicians, workers of all kinds, students, and ceremonial cavalry horses "who may bite or kick" (according to actual warning signs), it swarms but accommodates.... Continue Reading →

One-Week Wander: Malta

Desperate to escape Lyon's unrelenting damp and grey, I took advantage of the university break this past week and fled to Malta, a tiny Mediterranean country made up of three islands south of Sicily. January/February is the off-est of seasons for Malta. Visiting felt a little bit like walking in on somebody half-naked in a fitting room, because everything was... Continue Reading →

Secret Passageways

Hundreds of covered alleyways called traboules burrow through Lyon’s older neighborhoods and harbor relics from across the centuries: among them, metalwork, fountains, and sculpture from the Roman Empire onward. Silk workers used them to transport silk in the 19th century, resistance fighters used them to evade Nazis during World War II, and tourists use them to annoy... Continue Reading →

Candy Cushions

A sweet Lyonnais specialty: the Cuisson de Lyon, from Voisin chocolatier. The Cuisson de Lyon is a little candy that looks like a cushion (“cuisson” = “cushion,” en français) and consists of Curaçao-flavored chocolate ganache coated in marzipan. It's very soft and very rich. Originated at Voisin in 1960, the shape meant to echo the... Continue Reading →

Weekend Wander: Turin

Torino (or as we anglophones call it, Turin) is an elegant, manageable city full of life, both in and outdoors. Host of the 2006 Winter Olympics, there’s plenty of Alpine action for skiers and hikers, but for those who hate shivering, there are approximately two million little museums to explore, a good deal of reasonably... Continue Reading →

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