2008 UC Davis Foreign Tour Archive
By Duane Kouba
Sunday, Aug. 31
The morning after thrilling but exhausting visits to the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, window shopping along the Champs Elysees, and a pleasant sunset boat ride on the river Seine past the Cathedral on Notre Dame, we had our last five-star breakfast at the Concorde Saint Lazare at 6:30 a.m. At 7 a.m. Charlie, our friendly Belgian bus driver, began our 470km trip to Lyon, France. Along the way, under sunny skies and temperatures in the 80's, we passed beautiful rolling hills covered with pine, oak, and maple trees and fields of alfalfa, corn and sunflowers. After six hours and mandatory bus stops of 15 and 30 minutes, we arrived in the historic city of Lyon, situated between the Roane and Saone rivers, in the early afternoon.
We had hoped to check into our hotel to unpack and relax a bit before our 4 p.m. game against West Lyon. But most rooms were unavailable, so we shared a few rooms to change clothes, then headed to the game at 2:45 p.m.
Prior to the game, players and coaches for both teams were introduced at center court. After the national anthems were played for both teams, players and coaches exchanged gifts (we gave them basketball t-shirts and Gunrock beanie babies. They gave us West Lyon monogrammed neck scarves.) After closing the gap to three points early in the second half, we lost to an experienced and skilled Lyon team, a division II professional team expected to finish near the top of its 18-team league.
Tired and hungry, we headed back to our hotel to shower and dress for dinner. Another wonderful day in France ended with a late dinner at a nice French restaurant in Lyon, the third largest city in France and known for its highly rated restaurants.