How 17th Century Lyon History – got me in trouble

Last Friday morning we visited the History of Lyon Museum.

General view of Lyon Airport - courtesy of Lyon Airport

General view of Lyon Airport – courtesy of Lyon Airport

As I worked my way up the museum floors from Roman times to 14th, 15th 16th century, Nuala kept saying we need to leave for the airport. I kept saying there is plenty of time it’s only 20 minutes away. You can guess the rest….

At 1.30 pm, we left the museum for the 3.55 pm flight. I confidently turned on the Sat Nav, put in Lyon Airport and drove out of the city centre car park. After all, we have now been driving Nuala’s car in France for two months finding our way around without any problems.

Heavy traffic in Lyon City Centre

Heavy traffic in Lyon City Centre

So we headed for the airport with the Sat Nav saying it would take 20 minutes. Then we came into heavy traffic and the route out of the city was the most complicated we have come across ( I had forgotten Lyon is the second most prosperous city after Paris and the third largest city in France)! The Sat Nav started to say 30 minutes to the airport, then 35 minutes- you get the picture…

We finally arrived at the airport. I did not recognise the building.  Nuala went to ask and it turned out that where we were was a cargo terminal and miles from the passenger terminal. I took a closer look at the Sat Nav and realised there were five different Lyon Airports on the list and I had obviously put in the wrong one. Nuala asked a lady for directions. I reconfigured the Sat Nav to Terminal One and we set off again. Itwas now 2.50 pm, one hour and five minutes to take off. Nuala went very quiet in car. We knew if we missed this flight we would not get to Lorna Kee’s wedding the next day as flights are only every two days. The silence in car was deafening!

Adrian and Nuala at Airport

Adrian and Nuala at Airport

When we got to the  roundabout the Sat Nav said to turn onto the motorway. I was not sure as I saw a road sign pointing in the other direction for the airport. We went around the roundabout twice, the Sat Nav had not let me to date but on other hand if I went back on motorway and it was not correct we might not get off the motorway for miles. I could not afford to make a mistake at this stage as we had no time to spare. So I made an executive decision and followed the road sign (my second that day as I did not leave the museum in time). This was another bad decision as we were now stuck in heavy traffic again. The silence in the car was even more intense.

Eventually after an agonising twenty minutes we arrived at the airport. I needed to park the car but could not see the long term car park. Then Nuala made an executive decision and said to put the car in short term car park beside airport terminal or we wouldn’t make the flight. I pointed out that it will cost a fortune (then quickly did the sums in my head and worked out the cost of missing the flight) and agreed.  We had a lot of further hassle getting through security checks as with the rushing we did not have time to repack our overnight bags correctly and in the end we walked onto the flight with 2 minutes to spare.

Now I have a parking ticket in my pocket which by the time I get back to France it will cost at least € 150 to reclaim the car. Moral of the story – don’t get overconfident- keep paying attention to detail and continue to plan properly in advance like we have done for all other trips on the gap year. Readers will understand why there are only a few photos with this blog!

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