We caught up with former nsw waratahs player Damien Fitzpatrick, who relocated from Sydney to France
In 2013 to play for Lyon until 2016. He shares some highlights of his time there.
On France: It’s the best country at offering something to entertain anyone. Cheese, wine, bread, restaurants, history… Go anywhere, and 40 minutes down the road is entirely different, with its own distinctive culture and heritage. Ninety minutes from Lyon, you’re in the French Alps.
On small town welcome: The French are among the world’s most welcoming people, taking pride in their history and culture. Small towns will welcome you and want to share the origins of their customs and traditions with you.
Vieux Lyon Fourviere copyright Marie Perrin
On Bordeaux: If you love wine, go to the Bordeaux region. While there, Saint-Emilion is an unmissable medieval town that’s a joy to tour on foot.
Lyon’s cuisine is renowned throughout France (photo © Cité Internationale de la Gastronomie de Lyon)
On the Côte D’azur: If you catch a game in Nice, you’ll be in the middle of the Côte d’Azur in no time. Be sure to spend time in smaller towns. I love Beaulieu-sur-Mer, a seaside village on the French Riviera between Nice and Monaco.
Say bonjour: For the French, the store or shop is like an extension of home. Be sure to say ‘bonjour’. The gesture goes a long way each time you enter a restaurant, hotel or boutique - see the response you’ll get!