05.08.2007 30 °C
Written on August 5...
I arrived in Lyon last night, but despite the absolutely georgeous day today, I've decided to hold off on visiting the town too much until tomorrow, as today is Sunday (combined with the summer holiday) and EVERYTHING is closed. Litterally! So far I had noticed that approx 75% of the shops were closed on Sundays, making it quite the quiet day. But now, approx 60-70% of the shops are closed for the month of August, so Sundays are deader than ever!!! It was even difficult to find this cybercafé!! (which are normally always opened 7/7).
Anyway, Lyon looks quite nice nevertheless, and I was initially delighted to end-up in a famer's market this morning. They were selling everything, from fruits (in large quantities mostly, i.e 3-4lbs of grapes, or peaches, or abricots, or apples for 2€) to cheeses, via bread and meats (raw and cooked). It was great at first, but quickly only further exacerbated my annoyance at not having a place to store this food and inability to bring anything back home. Indeed, I'm flying to London, and the baggage limit is 15kg, but my bag is already at least 17-18kg, so I got to find a way to reduce the weight, and can absolutely NOT increase it (they charge 5€ per extra lbs...), and the hostel has the most ridiculous fridge I've ever seen for a place like this, it's a small fridge that one would normally find in a university residence room, or small studio (5cubic ft or so)!!!! for over 100 beds!!!! I opened it yesterday only to have stuff fall all over, stuff was exploding out of it....how ridiculous!!! So I was faced with endless amounts of reasonably priced, great quality food and could not enjoy it!!! arrgghh I ended up buying a small cheese, some bread and 2lbs of grapes (for 1€!!) as my lunch and had to pass on everything else...oh well, we have farmers market too in Qc, so I'll catch up there I guess...but still
Ok, back to pics from Grenoble!
This is a pretty good angle, as it shows one of the 3 mountain range that surrounds the town, this one is called Vercors...
The little bubbles are gondolas that bring us up to La Bastille, a fort built to protect/prevent access to the town, and which was for a long time the only point of entry/exit fo the town...I unfortunately realise that I forgot to take a pic of the Bastille... oh well, it looks like any other fort...
This gives a bit better image of the size of the town (it's not large, but not tiny either), still with the Vercors.
This is the last one with the Vercors, but the interesting this is the "accélérateur de particules", the oval structure, built to ccelerate electrons...there are only a few in the world, and for some reason, there's one in Grenoble (it helped that it's such a "scientific" town thanks to the U's and research done there.
This is the Alps, with the massif called Chaîne de Belledonne. It's quite impressive in real life. The three towers you see were, for a long time, the highest in Europe (28 stories) and are made of concrete. The region is well known for it's concrete, as it was the second place where it was mass produced...something weird to be proud of, considering how few people like the look of concrete, however, no one can deny it's importance and use in today's society.
This last one is the Massif de la Chartreuse, and although you can currently only see 1 peak, it's quite large. We actually went up the highest peak of this Massif, a mountain called Chamchaude, with an elevation of 2087m.
Pic of the Chamechaude:
Pics from the top:
Maëlle and Julien, who so kindly welcomed me in their respective homes!! and then dragged me up a mountain! hehehe ;-)
We then went to a Monastery, where they -to this day- control the making of an alcohol called La Chartreuse. It's made of over 130herbs and was originally developped to be an Elixir de Vie, and eventually became alcoholic. I tried it and it's very stong (it comes in 40%, 55% and 71%) but quite good. We visited the caves where they make it and I got 2 samples to bring back (yay!!). I would have loved ot buy an actual bottle, but the freaking weight restrictions I mention above prevent it...(that and the eternal budget of course!)
Anyway! Pretty architecture of Grenoble...
And last but no least, pics from the Musée de Grenole, where they have exhibitions of art from the Middle Age, Renaissance, modern art (blablabla, the first two are paintings of religious stuff, interesting but not breathtaking, and I could have done most of the stuff of the thirst category, not exactly impressive), but also ancient Egypt stuff, which I found quite remarkable.
The colours were just so bright that I wonder if they haven't been restaured...it didn't say so on the info stuff, but I should have asked. However, Maëlle told me that she had been awstruck at the colours inside the different pyramids and tombs when she had visited Egypt, so it might still be original. In any case, even if it was re-done, the level of detail was great too.
Well, that's that for that!