The International Living Podcast

Episode 37: An Expat’s Love Letter to Lyon

August 09, 2023 International Living
Episode 37: An Expat’s Love Letter to Lyon
The International Living Podcast
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The International Living Podcast
Episode 37: An Expat’s Love Letter to Lyon
Aug 09, 2023
International Living

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International Living France Editor Tuula Rampont discusses her recent scouting trip to the southeast of the country and the city of Lyon—France’s gastronomic capital.

And while Lyon is certainly “all about the food,” there’s a lot more to this captivatingly beautiful town that’s proud without being snobby, cultured without being pretentious. You’ll discover a surprising bonhomie... a friendliness that defies all the usual stereotypes about French hospitality.

The city of Lyon serves up a warm mix of bohemian coolness and modern-inspired art de vivre... the French art of living well. What’s more, almost all of central Lyon is easily managed on foot, and it’s an urban voyage you won’t soon forget.

As the gateway city to the French Alps (and onwards to Switzerland and Italy), Lyon is an essential conduit along the north-south transportation axis that cuts through France and extends to other regions around Europe. The main train station, Part Dieu, is among France's best-served rail hubs, and a key reason many expats have chosen to live and retire in the city. They love the ease of living car-free, the friendly locals, and, of course, the food.

In her article for International Living magazine, and in her discussion with podcast host, Jim Santos, Tuula explores the many options for expats in the city of Lyon, from the upper reaches of Fourvriere Hill to the Renaissance town squares of the peninsula district. She paints an alluring picture of Roman ruins, shady alleyways, plaza cafés, riverside parks, and exquisite cuisine in an understated city that’s not nearly so intimidating as Paris.

Read her article here.

Join host, Jim Santos, as he meets Tuula Rampont in the latest episode of Bigger, Better World.

If you’re enjoying the podcast, we would really appreciate it if you could leave us a review on your favorite podcast platform: https://lovethepodcast.com/internationalliving.

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube


Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

International Living France Editor Tuula Rampont discusses her recent scouting trip to the southeast of the country and the city of Lyon—France’s gastronomic capital.

And while Lyon is certainly “all about the food,” there’s a lot more to this captivatingly beautiful town that’s proud without being snobby, cultured without being pretentious. You’ll discover a surprising bonhomie... a friendliness that defies all the usual stereotypes about French hospitality.

The city of Lyon serves up a warm mix of bohemian coolness and modern-inspired art de vivre... the French art of living well. What’s more, almost all of central Lyon is easily managed on foot, and it’s an urban voyage you won’t soon forget.

As the gateway city to the French Alps (and onwards to Switzerland and Italy), Lyon is an essential conduit along the north-south transportation axis that cuts through France and extends to other regions around Europe. The main train station, Part Dieu, is among France's best-served rail hubs, and a key reason many expats have chosen to live and retire in the city. They love the ease of living car-free, the friendly locals, and, of course, the food.

In her article for International Living magazine, and in her discussion with podcast host, Jim Santos, Tuula explores the many options for expats in the city of Lyon, from the upper reaches of Fourvriere Hill to the Renaissance town squares of the peninsula district. She paints an alluring picture of Roman ruins, shady alleyways, plaza cafés, riverside parks, and exquisite cuisine in an understated city that’s not nearly so intimidating as Paris.

Read her article here.

Join host, Jim Santos, as he meets Tuula Rampont in the latest episode of Bigger, Better World.

If you’re enjoying the podcast, we would really appreciate it if you could leave us a review on your favorite podcast platform: https://lovethepodcast.com/internationalliving.

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube


Jim Santos 00:09 
Hello everyone and welcome once again to Bigger, Better World. Today we're going to be talking about Lyon, France's third-largest city. Located in southeastern France, it has attracted expats with its natural beauty, old world charm, and of course, its cuisine. In a country known for its food, Lyon is known by most as the place to go for the absolute best culinary experiences. 

Returning to talk to us once again is International Living's France correspondent Tuula Rampont. She'll be tantalizing us as we discuss her feature article in the August 2023 edition of International Living magazine: ‘French Cuisine and Bonhomie—An Expat's Love Letter to Lyon’. 

Tuula, welcome back to Bigger, Better World.

Tuula Rampont 01:24 
Great to be here. Thanks for having me.

Jim Santos 01:27 
Now, last we talked to you, it was about the Provence area. And your feature article in this month's International Living is about the city of Lyon. Can you give us a little background about know where it is? I know it's at the confluence of two rivers.

Tuula Rampont 01:42 
Yeah, it's kind of what people think of as the just gateway to really the southeastern corner of France. So a lot of people talking about when they pass through Lyon, then they're heading further south. So it's got a mix of this laidback compared to Paris kind of vibe, but not as south. So it's nice because it gives it very comfortable feeling. 

And as I mentioned, it's at the confluence of the two rivers and a really nice transportation system, easy to access. I came over on the train from Toulon and it's been a long time since I've had such a pleasant train ride, I have to say, just to throw it out there, because I thought it was interesting. I went round trip first class because it was just a really small difference, budget-wise, for €99. So I just thought that was great because it was about two hours to get there and some people can continue on and go to Paris, which would be another few hours. 

And as I mentioned in the article, it's quite a central hub for traveling around Western Europe. And that's what really the expats I talk to mentioned as one of the main motivators for moving there.

Historically, it was the capital of Gaul during the Roman Empire, and a lot of the sites are centered obviously around that, and they're still quite tied to that aspect. And it's very much highlighted when you go and do any kind of tours around the city or if you have like a guide with you. So it's really divided into these two parts. 

The old Roman sites are high up on the Fouvriere hill, and there's a nice basilica up there as well. And it was just this strategic point at the time. So it's very high up and overlooking the more modern, more current part of Lyon, meaning even since the Renaissance, which we'd be talking about modern, since we're talking about Roman times. So that was the really first settlement of Lyon. 

And it has a very fascinating history which you could spend just even like a whole weekend or longer just diving into that part of Lyon and coming down the hill you have the Vieux Lyon, which is more getting into the Renaissance period. And these are the really brightly colored village homes that were actually restored and meant to look like Italy, so they weren't brightly colored before.

And there was a whole restoration movement because the Lyon was in a bit of danger of being practically torn down and people came in and they were able to restore it and it's got these really bright colors that will remind you of perhaps like traveling in Tuscany or Florence. And then when you're crossing over the river, which is going to take you to what's called the Presqu’ile, which is the peninsula, and I think it's about a mile and a half wide. You're going into kind of a neoclassical period. 

So it's got just many, many layers to the history of Lyon and also how it became a really center of influence and power due to the silk workers. And then it was the banking and you just learn so much of the history of Lyon and then you've got a whole other, just living the day to day life there, which is just very nice lifestyle centered around They've got commerce. Obviously, it's a working city, but you don't really feel the rush of a bigger city. Lyon just did not feel like a bigger city to me.

It felt like a collection of smaller neighborhoods, each kind of having a story to tell and obviously centered around this whole gastronomy and being the capital, the gastronomic capital of France.

Jim Santos 05:49 
Yeah, I guess you got over 2,000 years of architecture and history kind of layered across the town there.

Tuula Rampont 05:55 
That's exactly right. Yeah, that's exactly right.

Jim Santos 05:57 
I was surprised when I looked up some information on it. One of the things that is currently known for also is the center for development of video games.

Tuula Rampont 06:05 
Oh, yeah. I mean, Lyon is really dynamic. And where I'm at in the south of France, the sectors are heavily focused on tourism. And it was nice to be really in a place with all of these different industries and meeting some people, even some American expats who have been, at one point or another, either come with spouses or were able to get transferred over to the companies themselves. So, yeah, there's a lot of industry in Lyon and it's really a hub for different types of commerce in France.

Jim Santos 06:40 
You mentioned in your article that the people of Lyon also are not really your stereotypical snobbish French.

Tuula Rampont 06:47 
No, not at all. It was a pleasant surprise. The French get a bad rap and I mean, I always say they're just a bit like standoffish. And one of the expats I talked to had a really good quote about the French and said he thought the French were like cats. You had to let them come to you, which I just loved because nobody was fussed about it, nobody was bothered, they were just making French friends slowly, but being this sort of kind of international destination, one for food, of course, and you've got this whole historical background. 

It's a lot of tourists in Lyon. I mean, the weekend I went, as I wrote about, is a really busy travel weekend in France, and it's kind of rubbing elbows with Spanish and Italians. And some of the sites I went to, if you went a bit later, were quite crowded. And I really was so impressed. I mean, the hospitality there was just smiles and you didn't feel like they were overwhelmed or had any kind of bias against all these visitors. And no kind of been there, done that, which you can get in some places. France is such a popular place to visit, even among other French people, you might be in some kind of resort city on French Riviera and there's people kind of like over the number of tourists.

Not always. There's a lot of welcoming places as well. I witnessed that or experienced that all at all, even with the younger people. I thought that was great. I went to the covered food market, which is kind of the place to be if you want to experience the gourmet culture of the city. And you have, like, young ladies in their 20s helping me and I'm kind of speaking in my broken French, and they just took time out and it was just a very pleasant, pleasant experience. It's one of the few French cities that I felt that welcome, like, right off the bat.

Jim Santos 08:48 
Yeah, I wanted to ask you about that market.

Tuula Rampont 08:53 
Yeah, exactly.

Jim Santos 08:55 
Because you wrote that you returned to it four times during your stay there, so I had a feeling it was something special.

Tuula Rampont 09:00 
Yeah, I would have gone, I would have gone back more. I think I would maybe just go back to the market. It's really nice. And again, unpretentious, just you wouldn't really think that. I don't know. I'm fortunate to go maybe once a year to Paris, and I'm not saying Paris is pretentious, but it's a big city and you're not going to get that kind of warmth and feeling at every place you go to in Paris. 

And it kind of just felt like going to the corner grocery store on a larger scale. And you have all of these specialty products from their local kind of salami and charcuterie to all of the pastry section. I didn't even really dive in too much to their specialties that were sold there. There's like a pink, like, rose colored praline tart. There was a whole section just for their kind of local sweets and candies. You have fresh Italian stuff. You had like ravioli of every kind of shape, color and dimension. You got the bakeries, of course. 

And the one thing I didn't mention, I regret not putting in the article, is Lyon is also really good, just as an aside, on food allergies, which is not typical thing to find all over. They're very kind of forward and advanced compared to some of the places in France with different kind of food, like if you're vegan. But there was always something available. And so the one thing that I really noted I took notice of in the food hall was the bakery had a couple different types of fresh baked gluten free food. 

So it was just this whole panoply of everything under the sun that you can imagine. You could just stand in front of one of the deli cases for hours. I must have taken like, I don't know, a couple of hundred photos because these deli cases, you can pick up a stuffed lobster tail, you can make a whole gourmet picnic. You can go around and get your bread at the bakery and go to the deli case. And then I went and picked up a couple of goat cheeses, the ones that are local. And then you've got like fresh prepared salads. Of course you're going to pick up like a pastry for dessert and you can go and make your whole picnic out of it.

And then people are coming after work and doing the same thing. And there's what they call a caviste. So there's a wine merchant there. They also had a couple specialty shops of macarons. So everybody is in a stand. And of course, I didn't mention like, the fresh produce, too, and vegetables. And each stand is more beautiful than the next, so it's a real experience. And then there's a little kind of counter walk up, counter cafés as well, and a couple small restaurants. There's another place that does kind of French style empanadas, which they call chauzon. And they had every flavor under the sun. They had like a Savoyard, which is in the French Alps, cheese filled one with potatoes and ham. And so, honestly, it's just a heaven if you like food. I mean, it's really the place to go.

Jim Santos 12:27 
I take it this is a covered market.

Tuula Rampont 12:29 
Yeah, it's a covered market. And I went back early and just got some stuff for breakfast sometimes. And you can go and some people go and have lunch there. I have to say one thing that I didn't try, and I have to say I'm just not brave enough to try, but I have never seen it anywhere, and this is going to be very stereotypical, but it was just never seen anywhere in France. They had frog's legs, so they had a stand dedicated to just frog's legs, which is quite not, I think, an American thing, but just to say the cultural difference of what you would find there. 

And not everybody's maybe as culinarily adventurous, I'm not myself, but you just have such a diversity of places, and it's just visually beautiful as well. So you can eat there. And there's also seafood places. You can walk up and have a platter of oysters if you like, and have it with a nice sparkling wine. You could make a kind of a whole trip out of the covered market.

Jim Santos 13:28 
Speaking of frog legs, I noticed in a trip to France myself, I was a little surprised in the grocery store that they were proudly advertising a special on ground horse meat.

Tuula Rampont 13:39 
Oh, yeah, somebody asked me about that the other day. That was a thing. It's quite rare. So that might be going back, I'm not sure. But the way the food evolved in Lyon was that these mothers of Lyon, they’re called, were cooking for a lot of working class folks and really trying to stretch the budget. So they use a lot of not often used parts of the animal. And so that's kind of evolved, actually.

Jim Santos 14:13 
You brought up something that was in one of the two breakout pieces on your feature story here, talking about the culinary embrace of the Lyonaisse bouchon.

Tuula Rampont 14:23 
Yes.

Jim Santos 14:24 
You brought up the story of Les Meres there, these women that actually kind of were the basis for this culinary tradition.

Tuula Rampont 14:31 
Yes.

Jim Santos 14:32 
One of the places you mentioned had silkweaver's brain on the menu.

Tuula Rampont 14:36 
Yeah.

Jim Santos 14:37 
The gist of it was that they couldn't afford the brain, so they used cheese instead. Yeah. I have to say I'd prefer cheese to brain myself.

Tuula Rampont 14:45 
Sure. So I didn't put in the article, but I did order it, and it is protein punch. The waiter, when I asked him about it, thought I should try this because even the tour guides talk about it. That's how I learned kind of the background of it. They explained about the silk workers and what they could spend and how this kind of evolved and now that it's been modernized and whatnot. 

So there were some things that, again, with my American palate, I wasn't as adventurous with, like a pate or something like that. But I said, Well, I'll try this because it's cheese. And the waiter actually told me, are you sure about that? And I said, yes. And it's served right before dessert. I can only have like two or three spoonfuls of it, and it is a really thick creamed cheese, and it is full of herbs and some slivered onions, which could maybe work. 

But yeah, I got it. It really was like this protein punch. So it makes the whole, I mean, the link makes sense. And again, it's probably something people aren't ordering all the time, but this idea of traditions, which is obviously very strong, traditions in general, and then traditions around food are taken to a whole ‘nother level.

And doing some research on the Bouchon, I mean, it's an institution, and I mean, you can't talk about Lyon without talking about the Bouchon. And then I would tell other French people, like, I'm going to go where I went when I came back. And everybody was like, oh, the bouchon. The bouchon. And you really get it when you're there. 

There's these things on some of these menus that have been around for decades, and as I mentioned, that they have changed them or modernized or upgraded. But some of the things from back in the day are still there, and a lot of people go in for those dishes, and then a lot of people go for the modern touch.

Jim Santos 16:54 
I would imagine their history of being kind of a crossroads, having a lot of different people, a lot of diversity and cultures coming through. There probably has a lot to do with that cuisines. It seems like when cultures mix, that's when you get some of the most interesting foods.

Tuula Rampont 17:08 
Yeah, yes, for sure. And then just the food experiences there. What I really loved, it was so accessible. Sometimes we were talking about French food. You have these visions of somebody like a waiter standing with a folded napkin over his arm and with a small, thin little mustache or something, and kind of like the gatekeeper. The chef is somewhere in kind of an ivory tower and screaming at people or something, and it just doesn't seem accessible. And I just could not get over how everyday the whole cuisine of Lyon was. 

And again, maybe that goes back to the initial history of it being kind of the fare of, like working class people. And then there's the one bistro I mentioned, the Tetuan, and he's one of the modern chefs. And there's a few know in Lyon of these chefs, and he is mellieur ouvrier de France, which means he's won a competition making him one of the best chefs in France. When you have that, you have like a designated thing you put on your lapel when you have your chef's coat on. So everybody it's a very formalized process. And I'm in the bistro section because he has a Michelin star restaurant.

I'm on the ground floor in the bistro section, and the Michelin star restaurant is right above. So I was lucky to even get a reservation at the bistro. And I'm having this just incredible meal that you're thinking, well, what are they doing in the Michelin star place? Because that's one of the meals I'll be thinking about ten years from now. 

Of course, I researched the place a bit, and I was worried about getting a reservation, and I think I just got in. I think I reserved maybe three weeks in advance. And I was like, oh, my gosh, I should have done sooner. And I'm in the middle of eating, and then I'm like, Is this the chef? All of a sudden, the chef, he's got a big smile on his face. He comes out, and all of a sudden, he's talking to these people who just arrived the table next to me. 
We're in the bistro, and I'm like, that's the guy. I've seen him, I've Googled him, and I just couldn't get over it. And then he's chatting to them, and he's saying, oh, I'm so happy you guys came, and it's great that you're here. And what would you guys like as far as X, Y and Z? And I'm like, to me, I'm like, who are these guys? They were just regular folk. I mean, look like they were a group of retired folk. And I just couldn't get over it. 

And so my waiter came, and I'm like and I just said, Is that the chef? And he's like, yeah, that's the chef. And I said, well, does this kind of happen often? I mean, what's going on with the kitchen? And he's like, oh, he goes up and down. He's here, and then he's upstairs, and he comes back and forth, so he's always around, and he's just smiling. Just the most accessible, down to earth seeming. I couldn't get over it. 

I went to another excellent restaurant, of all the excellent restaurants, in the Hotel Dieu, which is new, it's been remodeled, one of the first hospitals in France, but it's got this amazing dome, and it's after the Duomo, and it's this huge complex and this beautiful courtyard.

Again, you kind of get this Italian feeling, and you walk in there, and they've got a show kitchen, and you can watch the whole thing. I mean, you feel like you're I feel like it was a movie. Yeah, I felt like I mean, it's huge. And they've got all the sous chefs. I think that's what they're called. Maybe they got a couple of apprentices there, but they've got like a team of ten people in there. And then you've got the chef and there's actually another guy above him. 

This is a long story, but I just couldn't believe it. You could just go stand, watch the whole thing and everybody was just like super professional and it kind of was between the dining room and then on the way to the bathroom, you got the show kitchen.

Jim Santos 21:34 
Now, you also met some expats while you were there. So there is an expat presence in Lyon.

Tuula Rampont 21:40 
Yeah, there's definitely an expat presence. And it's one of those cities that kind of begs the question if you could imagine moving from where you are. And I like to see it was a brief stay, but just like right off the bat that I got that really nice welcome and just how friendly everybody was. And so then I thought I would check in with some of the expats. And really what's so nice is people are so great. And I imagine it's the same in anywhere. Spain and Italy, Portugal, all over the world. And so people are super forthcoming. 

I had one really nice evening with Beverly and Tim Christensen, and they answered all my questions. And right off the bat I just said, is this different, what I'm experiencing? People seem to be really friendly here. And then they said no, they said people are friendly. People are definitely very friendly. Unfortunately not everything can has space to go into the article. But they just talked about their landlady, helping them out, how they brought their pets over and their neighbor downstairs has the same type of dog. And then neighbor invited them over and they thought it was really just nice and he said bring the dog. And they just couldn't believe it. Just all of these very one helpful two kind responses they'd had. 

And then the following morning I went to a coffee get together that they have. The American club of Lyon has, every Tuesday, a large group of Americans. I kind of had to skate out halfway through and everybody said the same thing. And some people, which I was really impressed by, when I said what brought you to Lyon and why did you end up staying? And a lot of people, their first response was the people. And it was not the food. No, of course people mentioned the food. And it was people, the friendliness of the people and the ease of transportation that won out over a lot of French cities and then being able to walk really everywhere.

Jim Santos 24:00 
So this is a place where you wouldn't need to have a car.

Tuula Rampont 24:03 
No, you wouldn't need to have a car.

Jim Santos 24:04 
A big city like that I know is not going to be like the ultra-cheap kind of expat getaway like in a French countryside. But what is the cost of living like there?

Tuula Rampont 24:12 
Well, which was good because what's nice, I should say, I got some good feedback for a couple of different people and they gave me about the same figures. So I would say $2800, like on the lower end. And as anywhere in France, you're saving on transportation costs. Everybody mentioned saving on healthcare. We could have written an entire book about that. People love, really spent a lot of time talking about that. 

But there are different housing prices, so you're definitely saving. If there's a wiggle room in the budget, it would be on housing. So the Presqu’ile, which is that peninsula right in the center of Lyon, is quite the most expensive area, as I wrote in the article. It's the low key Paris, and it's just so easy to get around. You're getting all kind of the beauty and the wonder and the good food and some kind of high end chic places and these really modern fun cafés and this whole other kind of foodie district without the busyness and hurriedness and with really nice people of Paris. 

So that area and it's beautiful and you're getting really nice views of the river and whatnot. That's quite a pricey area. If you're going further out, you're doing okay. I met a couple who lives, if you kind of continue on the peninsula, can tell you exactly when there was a point in time that the Presqu’ile stopped after a certain square. So at the square of Belcourt there was no more Lyon. And so they built up this modern neighborhood called the Confluence Neighborhood, which again, I missed out, like I mentioned, didn't really scratch the surface on visiting all the areas of Lyon. 

And the Confluence Neighborhood is an ultra-modern, really cutting edge, revamped neighborhood and it's a lot cheaper. So I talked to a couple that was living there and there's a whole modern section and you're talking about like lower rents, lower prices on apartments. 

And the other thing, just to mention briefly, if people are thinking about making the move to Lyon. If you get connected with the American Club of Lyon, they have really incredible resources to help people find places to live. Because Lyon, it's so amazing that it will be a more difficult place to find a rent or to buy something. But there were several associations and organizations, some free and some with like a minimal fee that the club can get you connected with. If you're interested in looking at housing in Lyon.

Jim Santos 27:05 
Yeah, I'd have to point out, too, that in your article there was another breakout called What to Know Before You Go where you gave a lot of really good information, a lot of links for how to find out about how to get there and what to do once you're there, ways to take tours and things like that. So anyone interested should definitely check out that article.

Tuula Rampont 27:23 
Yeah, that's nice. I learned a lot kind of boots on the ground, and I think some of the information is really helpful, like, reserving early for the restaurants. And again, a lot of these places are really affordable. You're talking, you could have, like, a very nice three course lunch for like, $28. Adding on wine, if you'd like, for maybe like, another €8. 

And then the one thing I didn't mention was, just as an addition, is it's nice to dress in layers. It was not cold, but the weather is changeable because you're in between the two rivers. You can walk everywhere, which is wonderful. I walked across the Rhone River to go all the way to the Saone River through this peninsula area, and I was in a T shirt, and the sun was shining, and we got on the river, and I don't know, I think it dropped like, ten degrees. And that is just one thing. 

And I asked people, too, about the weather and what they thought, and nobody had a problem with it. So it's not Parisian weather and it's not south of France weather. It's a bit of a mix, but since you're in this kind of, I don't know if they're like, river delta is the correct description, but the weather is a bit changeable, so I thought it was really helpful to come dressed, like, in layers.

Jim Santos 28:42 
The healthcare system part of your article was really interesting. After living there three months, you have access to it.

Tuula Rampont 28:48 
Yeah. After living there for three months, you're coming over on a long stay visa, which is another huge part of the article, but the French long stay visa isn't actually not difficult to get compared to some of the other countries, some of our other neighbors, so to speak. And the process has been streamlined, so it's even easier than it was. So you're coming over on the long stay visa, and as long as you're on the visa, you're here. 

France has to be your primary residence for six months of the year. So you're on the healthcare system and doctor’s visits. And this has not changed since I've lived here, since 2010. Doctor's visits are €25, so that's about like $29, $28, depends the exchange rate. And then when you're on the system, you're reimbursed. You get back 70% of that. So it's about $9 a doctor's visit. Specialists are €50, I guess, like $55, and then you reimburse 70% of that. Prescription drugs are reimbursed at up to 100%, and they're already very inexpensive, especially compared to the United States. And hospital stays are reimbursed the first month at 80%. It's about like €100 a day, more or less.

And then after the first month, the stay is reimbursed at 100%. Probably hard to wrap your head around how different it is from what I was used to, or we are used to in the States. It takes a long time. Me personally, I just kind of just like let it go and accept it. The good food and the lifestyle and the pretty places. I mean, come to France for the healthcare. I mean, to be completely honest, it is a golden ticket. I can't say enough about it. You can't really beat the healthcare. 

Another thing is too, they're just very modern in their scheduling system. So I can schedule to see a doctor on my phone and you can mark now if you want an English speaking doctor. So again, you're not going to have that in every French countryside village and whatnot. But that is a very cool thing. And also you don't have long wait times. If you have to have a procedure or something, sure you're not going to go right away, but a lot of times it's a nice thing if you're in Lyon. We just have such a wealth of practitioners.

Sometimes something will happen like I just kind of twisted my ankle and you can go on the doctor libre. And sometimes I get an appointment the next morning because you just see who's available and if I have to drive an extra ten minutes to the next city over, I mean, that's not kind of a big deal either. So France for healthcare is great. I've had a lot of different experiences with the healthcare system. 

And you're saving. I mean, a lot of people think of France as not like an affordable place but if you don't go to Paris or you're maybe not buying something on the French Riviera and you're looking at places maybe just even a little bit outside Lyon, or you're looking at somewhere in the Dordogne, you can come for a very interesting budget to France.

Jim Santos 32:07 
We've been talking with Tuula Rampont about her August 2023 article, ‘French Cuisine and Bonhomie—an Expat's Love Letter to Lyon’. 

Don't forget, Tuula and I will both be at the ultimate overseas boot camp in Denver, Colorado this September 2 through the 4th. You can find out more about the conference and register at Intliving.com/Denver. That's Intliving.com/Denver, but act fast as time is running out. 

Tuula, always a pleasure talking with you and thanks again for sharing with us on Bigger, Better World.

Tuula Rampont 32:37 
You're very welcome. You are very welcome. Thank you so much.

Jim Santos 32:50 
The Bigger, Better World podcast is a production of International Living. If you enjoyed this episode and you'd like to help support the podcast, please share it with others, post about it on social media, or leave a rating and review. If you have an idea for an episode or a question you'd like us to answer, email us at mailbag@internationalliving.com. And don't forget to put podcast in the subject line of your email. That's mailbag@internationalliving.com. 

We created Bigger, Better World to help showcase the ideas we explore at International Living each month and grow our community of travel lovers, expats and experts who believe, as we do, that the world is full of opportunity to create a more interesting, more international life. You don't have to be rich or famous to do that. You just need to know the secrets. And that's what we bring you at International Living. If you haven't become a member yet, you can do it today with a special discount offer for podcast listeners. You'll receive our monthly magazine, plus a bundle of special extras. You'll find the link in our show notes, or you can go to Intliving.com/podcast. That's Intliving.com/podcast.

Join us next week, we'll be talking about food again, this time a culinary tour of Madrid in Spain. Until then, this is Jim Santos for International Living, reminding you there's a bigger, better world out there just waiting for you.


Lyon—Where is it and What's it Like?
Finding Your Way Around Lyon
The Food Market in Lyon
Bouchons—Traditional French Cuisine at Affordable Prices
A Crossroads of Cultures and Cuisine
An American Club, and Lots of Expats to Meet
Districts, Neighborhoods, and Where to Live
Practicalities: Prices, Visas, What to Wear
Excellent, Inexpensive Healthcare—Why France Isn’t as Expensive as People Think