Susan’s mom got here last Monday (narrowly escaping sub -30 temperatures and +30cm of snow in Edmonton) so I thought I better let you know what we’ve been up to.
The weather has been quite nice the last week – so we’ve tried to make the most of it (before the imminent cold snap approaches starting tomorrow – predicting overnight lows as cold as -5)
On Saturday we drove down to Grenoble to ride the tram (2€ for parking and 5 return tram). We had a pretty good idea of what we were going to do – as all of the kids have had it in their minds, since before they even knew their Grandma was coming, what they wanted to do with her. They have been talking for weeks about taking here for a ride in Les Boulles up to the Bastille (the cable-car that goes up from Grenoble to a fortress atop a mountain just across the river) So we had fixed Saturday as the day- and boy were the kids excited. We got off the tram – walked over, the kids ran up the steps to the ticket window -and I double-checked the prices …’oh what’s this?’ – “Fermature Annuelle” nice. I suppose it’s good that they do routine maintenance on a cable car first built in 1934 that dangles over the the river…but still.
So we decided to climb up to the top. It’s about 265m up, over a labrynth of trails, thousands of stairs and lots of smaller paths, but it was a beautiful sunny day, we were full from pizza at one of the many tiny Italian pizzaria’s with wood-burning ovens that line the river at the bottom of the hill – so we climbed up.
The 19th century French writer Stendhal said: ”I haven’t the strength to describe the admirable view, which changes every hundred steps, that one enjoys from the Bastille… ” I was thinking that I felt out of strength as my pack seemed to get heavier as everyone else kept shedding clothing, and finally there was a child on my back – but I suppose he has a point.
The view is amazing – you can look up the valley at Mont Blanc, across the valley over Grenoble – and count the helicopters (I think we saw 6) as they land at the hospital bringing yet one more skier who’s day has met an untimely end. (I suppose if there were air-ambulances in the 1800’s – Stendhal would have mentioned them instead)
On Sunday afternoon we walked out from the house, up the road to the equestrian centre, down into the woods, and along a logging road to a creek. It was a beautiful way to spend the day – and enjoy the beauty of the mountains around us. I think one of my favourite aspects of living here is the ability to be able to just walk out of the door, and not drive anywhere, but just start walking or biking, and feel like you are in smack in the middle of the mountains, with no sign of civilisation around in a matter of minutes.