We stayed in a high rise flat with an awesome view of the city. Our couchsurfing host was an English expat. He was obsessed with marmite, tea and an assortment of other things quintessentially British. We checked out the town, walked up to the basilica and around the old town, survived on baguette, dark chocolate and tropical fruit juice, hung out with a Brazilian guy I first met in Manaus over 3 years ago, checked out the cathedral, the opera house and watched the Doctor who special in the guy's flat. Before leaving on Sunday we browsed a shopping mall which was surprisingly full considering all the shops were closed, people seemed to be walking around without direction, unperturbed by the music reminiscent of the relaxing music you hear in a massage parlour.
A lot has changed for me since then. I won't go into the details here. Last weekend the first snow settled, albeit for only a couple of hours, after which it left no trace in the city centre. In an attempt to chase it, I went up to the bastille with a bunch of friends and we found a few patches of snow, with which we did manage a little snow ball fight. I found some mistletoe on a tree, which amused me for a short while at the Christmas market. We went there after the walk to indulge in some freshly baked pretzels. On Sunday Michaela and I made vegan banana bread in my mini oven and drank an entire bottle of mulled wine on our own whilst listening to cheesy Christmas music. I had a mini day out with her a few days after in Ikea, where we bought bowls, cutlery and less useful stuff, in my case cinnamon buns and mulled wine... I got treated later in the week to a German dish, schupfnudeln (potato noodles) with sauerkraut. The next day I was treated to lebkuchen by a friend from Berlin and some sweeties from the generous hands of St Nicholas.
This weekend would have been thoroughly lazy (spent sleeping, watching the walking dead and eating yummy food) had I not gone to la fete des lumières in Lyon yesterday with 4 friends...It was cold, crowded, but also quite pretty. Good thing it was free or I would have felt conned due to the crowds, but it comes out quite well in the photos. The company was rather pleasant too. :)