We had a lightning visit to Grenoble during our trip to Lyon over the Bastille Day long weekend. The high-speed trains were amazingly smooth, especially after coming from the bumpy/noisy trains here in Southern UK. The hills got larger and larger until we were looking at large cliffs perched high upon the mountains.
One of the main reasons for the visit was to see some old friends we knew from our days in the Japanese ski resort of Niseko – and I can see some of similarities between the two areas. We started with some great homemade burgers in their newly located restaurant, O’Brother, before wondering around the central streets of town. It was a Sunday night, so even though it’s a student town, there wasn’t much going on.
The next morning, we woke to another sunny day, and after trying and failing to find breakfast for nearly 30-minutes (do French not eat breakfast?) we ended at a small cafe where I ended with a fantastic platter of meat and cheese – as well as fantastic fresh bread.
We wandered along waterfront before catching one of the ‘bubbles’ up to a lookout high above the city. The view was spectacular, and it’s amazing that this city is surrounded by these amazing peaks. They were visible from town, but seeing them free of any obstructing buildings was something quite different. There was something so energising about seeing all of these mountains (including a very hazy/distant Mont Blanc), and I had dreams about living here under this sky, snowboarding all winter, and mountain biking the rest of the year!
We had a short window of free time, and thankfully our friend had the afternoon off work and was able to take us for a quick drive into the start of the mountains – including a wonderful hidden waterfall, and some abandoned buildings from an Olympics held long ago.
It was a very short visit – even for our standards – but Grenoble felt immediately like a place we’d both enjoy to live. Maybe we were both just nostalgic for mountains.