|Inside the Gare de Lyon train station|
We left from Gare de Lyon station, one of the main train stations in Paris. This was appropriate given that the trip to Saint-Etienne had only one stop: Lyon.
Gar de Lyon is located on the edge of Paris-looking Paris and generic modern-building Paris. Out of respect for Paris, I cut this picture off so that only the Paris-looking architecture is visible.
The TGV trains look appropriately tech:
Soon it was time to board:
And in a matter of minutes (180 of them to be exact), we were in Saint-Etienne, much farther south in France (although not, technically, "the South of France"):
Gare de Saint-Etienne Chateaucreux station. The hotel is on the outskirts of Saint-Etienne. It was the last hotel room available in town when I booked six months ago.
Dinner was at a very rustic-looking fondue restaurant in Central Saint-Etienne, Chez les Fondus. We're not all that far from the Alps here, so why not?
Saint-Etienne is, far and away, the smallest city in France hosting Euro games. Its local team has more championships than any other. It's sort of the Green Bay of French football.
This street at night really shows that we are not in Paris anymore.