I had been wanting to go on a city break to Lyon for while, but was also thinking of going to France to do a French course to brush up on my A level French that I left behind a few years ago. That’s when I found FrenchToGo with apha.b, a weekend city-break in one of 4 cities but with the twist that your personal tour guide is a qualified French teacher, so that you and the others can get the best of both worlds of a private city tour and private on-the-go lessons.
I so wanted to share with you one of the visits that we did on my FrenchToGo weekend in Lyon. On Saturday morning (the trip started on Friday), we visited le Le Parc de la Tête d’Or, one of the biggest urban parks in France at 117 hectares, in the north of Lyon. It was a lovely start to the day as there really was something for everyone there.
First, I explored the internationally famous rose garden as I have always be particularly fond of roses. With its 320 varities, I really lost myself in the sweet and delicate perfume of the trailing arbours and gorgeous rose bushes of the garden. My teacher later told me that there are around 60,000 roses in the garden there!
We then all regrouped and went to explore the Botanical garden, one of the leading Botanical gardens in France. We had an unusual experience getting lost amongst the cacti and getting hot in the large glass house. My teacher told us that there are 20,000 different species in the Botanical garden! I don’t think we saw all of them but we certainly saw a lot of very exotic plants.
It was then off to the Zoo in le Parc de la Tête d’Or (I was starting to understand how big 117 hectares was) to see the animals. We got to put our feet up for a bit and watch the beautiful animals run free whilst chatting about the zoo and the park with our teacher. Apparently, the zoo is 150 years old and there are 9 hectares of open space for their 450 animals to enjoy in liberty.
It was soon time to go, but not before we learnt about the origin of the park’s name -when the park opened in 1856, apparnetly a gold head of Jesus buried somewhere in the garden (la Tête d’Or). They say that this is still used to motivate the park’s gardeners as they might be the ones to find it.
Unfortunatrly (but not really), we had to leave to continue with the rest of our FrenchToGo weekend. I will definitely return to le Parc de la Tête d’Or, but this time to relax on the vast lawns by the lake and maybe read a book, or play a ball game with some friends- I can really understand why it’s called “the park of the people” in Lyon, as everyone loves going there.
Why don’t you visit le Parc de la Tête d’Or whilst doing a FrenchToGo weekend with alpha.b in Lyon? I had a great time and definitely improved my French too – a win-win!