Trip to Lyon

Rob Halligan 03/11/2017 4comments  |  Jump to last

So the trip to the third largest city in France panned out pretty much as we all expected it to.

Once again an early morning alarm set for 4.15. Check in at Liverpool JLA was 5.30 for a flight scheduled to leave at 7.30. The missus dropped me off at 5.20, I'd checked in and cleared security by 5.45. Once again I could have had another hour in bed!!

Anyway, this time there was only John Raftery that I was meeting for this trip, my other mates had gone over to Lyon on Tuesday. Upon arriving into the departure lounge, I found myself heading towards a bar. I couldn't help it, the temptation too great as I handed over £4.55 for a pint of Amstel.


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There were a few people I know also having an early morning pint so I sat with them. The now familiar topic of conversation being "who do we think will be the next manager" to "how many will we lose by" against Lyon? This led to a second Amstel, which nearly became a third as a 15 minute delay on our departure time went up on the board. However I decided against this, thinking of how much would be consumed later on in the day!

We finally boarded and took off for the 90 minute flight down to Lyon. We were served a "hot breakfast" of sausage, bacon, baked beans and potato croquet. should be sued under the trades description act as it was a "cold breakfast", but WTF, it done a job.

We landed at Lyon pretty much on time, about 10.20 local time. We made our way to the coaches for the 45 minute journey to Lyon centre, which turned into over an hour due to heavy traffic. We finally arrived at Place Bellacour at about 12.30.

John went off with two of his mates also on our flight, for a look around, so I headed off with the lads I knew up to the old town. €20's was thrown into the kitty, which got us four pints each. We were asked to be back to the coach for 4.30 PM for the journey to the stadium. By 3.30 two of us decided to find an offy and get a couple of cans and head back to the coach. The square at Place Bellacour was full of blues and the usual footballs flying around, but somehow the whole day felt very low key.

The journey to the stadium took about an hour, and it literally is in the middle of nowhere. It did look really impressive as we approached it though. We were located in the upper tier in the stand opposite the players tunnel. For those who have been to Newcastle, the walk up to the top is on a par with that!! The most annoying thing was the net installed in front of our section, which made viewing, particularly the far end where Lyon scored their goals, difficult.

For an hour I thought we done ok, nothing special, but done ok. We could, and probably should have been ahead early in the second half, oh for a decent striker, but once they scored, that was it, we all knew the game was over.

At the end we were kept in for about 20 minutes or so, before boarding our coach back to the airport, only 20 minutes away. The return flight was scheduled to leave at 10.30 p.m. but no way was that happening. We cleared security and headed straight to the gate. We boarded one of those shuttle buses that takes you from the gate to your plane. As we approached our plane, the dopey French driver drove straight past and towards the two sports options flights, two Thomson aircraft flying back to Manchester. He stopped at the first one. Everyone shouted wrong plane, so the daft git drove to the second one!! "Knobhead, it's still the wrong plane" we all shouted. He finally got us to the right plane, which left Lyon at about 11.40.

We arrived back at Liverpool JLA at quarter past midnight. A phone call to the missus to pick me up and I was home by quarter to one.

So four European aways done, and one to go. The only problem being I've shown my interest to go with the club to Cyprus. There could be a problem though, if this trip is pulled due to sudden lack of interest.

We shall wait and see!

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Reader Comments (4)

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Ian Hollingworth
2 Posted 05/11/2017 at 10:08:53
Thanks Rob, nice little break from all crap going on.
Paul Kelly
3 Posted 05/11/2017 at 13:34:33
"Knobhead, it's still the wrong plane" we all shouted.

Love that line. Can just picture it.

Bill Watson
4 Posted 05/11/2017 at 21:17:41
I had a great 2 days in Lyon which really is a beautiful city and has a first class transport system with integrated metro, buses, trams and trolley buses. Once you get your head around the travel map it really is easy to get around.
Already in Calais I decided to make the long drive down to Lyon as it was much cheaper than the alternatives. 477 miles with not a road works in sight and well able to maintain an average 64mph. Nice BnB, too, with fresh baked pear sponge and a cuppa on arrival. The tram to town was 2 mins away.
Rob was right in that the atmosphere was very subdued around the huge square but, then, I suppose we're all a bit down at the moment.
The ground really is out in the sticks and does look impressive from the outside but inside it's grey and soulless with just bare breeze blocks and concrete up the 210 steps to the top (I counted them on the way down)! It was a very poor view through the safety net which was very thick unlike Wolfburg's which is very fine and easy to see through.
We were actually kept back for over 40 minutes by the fully tooled up CRS (the French riot police). They really are bastards who appear to be able to do as they want. I've come across them before, whilst doing volunteer work in Calais, and was tear gassed last year. This time they thought it fun to pepper spray us as we were just waiting for them to open the door and let us through. Absolutely uncalled for and this stuff really does sting your eyes etc. We were then herded onto a fleet of bendybuses and taken to the local tram/metro interchange for an easy trip back to town.
On the way home I decided to meander through the deserted French country back roads and to cap off my piss poor opinion of the French police was pulled by the gendarmerie for (allegedly) speeding through a village. None of the three could speak English and although I can speak German I can't string a French sentence together but I think I managed to persuade them I was just a confused senior citizen because they actually let me go.
My thanks also to the unknown French woman who flashed a warning of another speed trap 20 miles further on. I trundled through that village at 15 mph lol
Darren Hind
5 Posted 05/11/2017 at 21:31:55
Didn't see this post Rob (had me head up me arse lately) but thanks for taking the time.
Its always good to hear how the trips have gone.

Give your missus a 10/10 too. You landed on your feet there lad

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