The Latter Parts of August 2
I did indeed stroll around old town and city centre Grenoble last night, to see what there is to see and grab a bite to eat. Quick impressions on the city: the city is nestled by two rivers, the Drac and Isere, and seemingly surrounded on all sides by mountains. My early and limited impressions are that it’s a decent city with some nice architecture here and there, but for the most part, uninspiring. As far as I can tell, the city doesn’t have that one cathedral or building in the heart of it that “anchors” the city. It does have a fort nestled high on a hillside across the one river that is imposing (and I plan to visit it tomorrow) but I haven’t seen one thing that makes me go “Wow!” One factor that is also keeping me from raving about the city is the graffiti… there’s a lot of it, and sadly on many nice looking sites and buildings. It is a very walkable city, though, with a couple of pedestrian only areas, and I found those tonight and enjoyed exploring them a bit.
As for dinner, while I’m sure there are many fine examples of both French and regional cuisine here in Grenoble, the place I chose isn’t one of them. Thankfully, I was seated outside on a beautiful evening, and they had Hoegaarden on tap. (I’ll do some research and ask at the hotel front desk for suggestions for tomorrow night.) After choking down dinner, I decided – and needed – to stroll around some more, and took a good 40 minute walk to get back to my hotel. Once there, the fatigue from the last couple of days hit me. I got ready for bed, nodded off some, and finally did lights-out at 11:30.
Up Through Late Afternoon of August 3
How fatigued was I? I got up just before 10:00 this morning! I didn’t even make it down for the hotel’s breakfast. (Not to harp on it, but I think I was still digesting that dinner from last night, so wasn’t very hungry anyway.) Once I got my itinerary for today put together, I headed out shortly after 11 and headed for the Bastille (the aforementioned fort.) It probably took me a little over an hour to walk to it… it’s not that far as the crow flies, but it is about 800 feet above the city. There is a cable car that connects it to town, but I thought the walk/climb would be more interesting and enjoyable. (If you’re interested in reading about the Bastille, follow this link and/or this link.)
After strolling around the Bastille for a while and taking in those displays that were in English, I made my way back down to town to grab some lunch at an outdoor café and decide on my next stop. And that next stop was The Museum of the Resistance and of the Deportation. (My other choice was one of the art museums, but this one seemed pretty unique in it that focused on both the region’s role in the French Resistance of World War II and commemorate those locals who took part in it, and memorialize those inhabitants deported to Nazi camps. Most informational panels had English translations, so it was very easy – at least physically – to read about this region in the 1930s-1940s era; emotionally, it wasn’t as easy a read.
After the museum, I headed back to the hotel to rest my legs a bit, type up this update, and shower before heading out for dinner. Tomorrow at 1:30p, I meet up with my group, head on down to Bourg d'Oisans at some point, and maybe go out for a short "get the legs moving again" ride.
In case you are wondering, yes, I am taking pictures over here, but will upload them when my trip is over.