November 20, 2010 chartreusian

La Grande Chartreuse {pt. II}

We continued on, along the winding road that shadowed the river at the bottom of the gorge until we got to the grounds of the museum and had our pic-nic. It should be noted that a French grocery store is a great palce to get everything that you need to get a real pic-nic going. [I assume that’s what the small wine bottles were made for]

We found a bench at the end of a tree-lined path, right between some high-alpine pastures and had our lunch.  A well balanced meal that had representation from each of the major (french) food groups: bread, cheese, wine & chocolate.

When we finished our lunch we wandered over to the museum.  The museum had of course been one of the two main sites of the day – but since the distillary was closed – was now more the main point of the day trip.

Ferme pour l’hiver

Closed for the winter.

hmm.

“This seems like a great time to go for a hike up and around the actual monastery.”

The walk was quite a bit of uphill – especially for the kids – and especially since we had already hiked around the gorge  just before lunch.  They were great – for the most part – and kept on going.  We walked up to the massive walled compound, then up above the monastery – in order to get a bit of a view down into it.  Then we took a hiking trail through the forrest that wrapped around and eventually headed back down to the car.  It was a nice day out, the views fantastic, and it was a great day of  hiking.

The sun was just dropping behind the mountains as we got back to the car and started to head back.  On our way home we took a more direct route over a pass, and directly down to Grenoble, then across the valley, and back up the other side to go home. Near the top of that pass the kids saw what was for them, the most exciting and memorable thing of the day.  Not the 900 year old stone arch bridge, not the rocky peaks of the Massif de la Chartresue, not the massive monastary in a high-alpine valley, not the micro-climate of lush fauna at the bottom of the gorge….Nope – a bit of snow on the side of the road.  hmm