At first glance, Allix, as residents call it, is impressive. Sitting at the top of a formidable hill, it has been built into an old military fortress from 1831. From between stone walls and behind a “danger: do not enter” sign rise the tall remains of Lyon’s main aqueduct – a hint of Lyon’s ancient Roman history. Now though, André Allix is a student residence complex with several new buildings set among the old.
In the letter I received from informing me that a room had been reserved for me, it was indicated quite clearly that the residence reception would be open from 8am-noon and 2:30-4pm for sign in, and that was it. For the first half of the year I lived in fear of misplacing my keys outside of those hours, sure that I would be left to fend for myself outside, where it was cold… and there’s wolves!* It wasn’t until about January that a friend informed me that this is not indeed the case: there is a 24-hour reception area that deals with issues such as noise complaints and missing keys. Upon hearing this, a great burden was lifted from me… and I promptly lost mine.
If you can manage to navigate your way through the residence complex in spite of the utterly useless signs, here are a few of the amenities you will find:
On the ground floor of the Arches d’Agrippa building is a weight room with a couple of stationary bikes and a rowing machine. 26€ will buy you a year-long membership, but it only opens in the evenings and is closed Sundays, so plan accordingly.
Resto’U is the culinary arm of CROUS Lyon, the organization that runs student services at all of Lyon’s public universities. They have cafeterias at every university campus and at a few of the residences. The cafeteria on the residence grounds is open for lunch from 11:45 – 1pm Monday-Friday. Meals are 3€ and include your choice of fish or chicken and vegetables, a salad or other appetizer, a yogurt or piece of fruit and a dinner roll. The food is your run-of-the-meal cafeteria fare for the most part, but it’s quite a lot of food for the price and although I avoided it for the most part, it was nice to have tho option when I returned from a trip and hadn’t yet had time to fill the fridge.
L’Entracte is a student-run common room with a couple of Foosball (mini-foot in French) tables, a couple of small pool tables, a television and a sound system. Its opening hours depend on the students who run it, but this fall it was generally open on weeknights from 8-10:30pm. As a bonus, they serve free pop and juice. Yay!
A Party Room
The residence’s security guards are not a particularly imposing crew, but they do hold the power to write up residents for noise complaints, after three of which you will have to find somewhere else to live. To avoid this, a party room is available in Batîment G on weekends to anyone who books it in advance. Also, as non of the studios are shared apartments are equipped with an oven, this is the place to go if you just can’t go another day without baking cookies!