Lyon-Melbourne - Our First Host Exchange
are experienced exchangers, and have had a number of exchanges in
Europe and North America (mainly Canada), as well as Aussie. However,
one recent one we decided to organise differently. We decided to
host the Home Exchange couple, and do it non synchronously!
We wanted to go to France for four weeks, in August-September. It
wouldn?t be too hot or cold! We are both in our 80's so don?t
take kindly to extremes of heat and cold. We used HomeLink,
contacting a number of addresses. I speak some French although
not fluently, and with a mix of English and French we reached a number
of families. We were flexible. Anywhere in France would
Finally paydirt! A French couple in Lyon contacted us. Yes,
they wanted to come to Melbourne, where we live, and were happy to
share our house with us. But they wanted to come to Australia in
January-February. That suited us too. We were delighted to
stay in Lyon for four weeks in August-September, and host them in
January-February. Car exchange was fine too. We were happy to
share a rellies car, whilst they explored Victoria in ours.
We met them at the airport, took them home, introduced them to bedroom,
lounge dining room, kitchen, garden etc and gave them their first
Aussie meal, with wine. We lived in the rear portion of our home,
with patio, garden etc and we shared the kitchen. We managed very
well, particularly as we were able to direct them the best and quickest
way to reach the CBD, and local shops.
Jean Claude and Marguerite, were 15 or so years younger than us,
married with grandchildren, and Marguerite spoke English well, although
Jean Claude spoke very little. Lola (my wife) doesn?t speak any
French either. So we were good for each other, as they practiced
their English, and I practiced my French! It was a very
successful visit. Marguerite insisted in cooking for us an
evening meal (we set out our best linen, cutlery, crystal for the
occasion), and she cooked and served lamb, veges, sauces, which would
have done justice to Paul Bocuse himself, or Gabriel Gateau!
It was with reluctance that we finally drove them back to the airport,
for their trip home.
Then later in the year, our turn came to visit them in Lyon. We
have often been asked, "How could you possibly spend four weeks in
Lyon?" No one asks that question if they have ever been there.
The second largest city in France is packed with history from before
Roman days. The quaint restored villages, the ancient walkways,
theatres, silk factories, not to mention the parks, gardens, lakes, and
of course the fabulous bistros, cafes, and restaurants. We shared
their compartment several kilometers out of Lyon in the Blaise
district, and thoroughly enjoyed it all.
Herb and Lola Suttie