Chez La Dame Nature | Where It All Began

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La Parc de la Tête D'Or

Not too long ago, I realized that when I say that I like a city, it’s just because I like its parks or body of water. It’s dumb that it took me this long to understand that being close to nature was that important to me. It only makes sense- I only spent my teenage years back home in Austin walking through the park behind our house to just go sit at secret beach for hours. But sometimes the most obvious things about ourselves aren’t the easiest to recognize.

Considering that recent revelation, I’m certain that my love for Lyon has everything to do with this labyrinth of a park that has several botanical areas, a zoo, a boating lake, a carousel, walking trails, classical sculptures, greenhouses, and so many picnic areas. It’s like Zilker Park on 2003 Lance Armstrong steroids.

My first visit to both the city and park was an unplanned detour on my trip to France visiting my college suite-mate-turned Burlesque Queen, Arielle. The second I was surrounded by the towering trees, the lush landscape, the massive succulents in the greenhouses and the sound of children's laughter, I feel in love. Hard. For a visual of my reaction, imagine the big reveal scene in every teen movie where the heartthrob falls in love with the girl after she's gotten a makeover.

After spending a couple hours walking around the zoo, watching families on tendem bicycles, and dancing on the lawn, my love had grown and I haven't been able to shake it since. The park being my introduction to the city was an overture like no other, and every other day exploring Lyon has been a symphony.

Ari Jones