“G” in #AtoZChallenge
Even though my initial urge was to write about Genova for G, since past few days we have been roaming around the cities in Italy, I thought its good time to jump to France.
So our next destination in this challenge is about Grenoble in France, the land of Innovation.
Why call it a land of Innovation? Well, it deserves the title.
Grenoble is better known as a leading scientific research center and is the home of a series of laboratories in both the public and private sectors, including the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility. Especially notable research in the fields of nuclear physics and microelectronics happen here in.
Grenoble also became famous for hosting one of the winter Olympics exactly half a century back.
Grenoble’s iconic location is the La Bastille and the cable car that connects the mountain from the city.
Also, Grenoble is known for the environmentally friendly initiatives. Few initiatives are cycling days, electric tram etc. I think cycle-day is on Wednesday when most people visit the office on the bicycle. The city is also very bicycle friendly with dedicated bicycle lanes almost everywhere.
Although it is an interesting destination to spend a day, I am not going to take you there now.
Disappointed? Don’t be. Today we are going to do some adventure – trekking – on the nearby mountain called Le Moucheratte.
I have been visiting Grenoble since 2000, and have never heard about this mountain until 2010. Talking with the locals, it seemed that hiking to the Le Moucheratte mountain would be a great adventure.
It’s 1901m height. But we can drive till 1100m. From there is a tough trail to climb the rest of the 800m.
But then, there was also a warning that it’s a difficult one and would take 2.5 hrs to just reach the top.
So, I was really thinking if I should do it or not. Anyway, decided to drive till there and take the call.
Started @ 10 am from Hotel. It was a less than 30minutes drive to the Saint Neizer town. One thing I liked in most European town is almost every town has an office of tourism when you enter the town/village.
The drive was awesome, with those hairpin bends, and view of Grenoble town from the roads. I did stop a couple of times to enjoy the scenic beauty.
Finally, when I reached the village, I parked my car and got into the Tourism office. Had small chat with the office people and decided that I am not doing the climb on that day. The reason was, it hot and gonna be tough.
So, just walked around the town, got usual pictures and enjoying the site seeing. I was casually walking across the old church and saw a board indicating the direction of the mountain.
An evil thought from my inside said, why not try to climb as much as you can? And then stop if you cant. Nothing to lose. Right?
Ok, so decided to give it a try, started to climb. Initial 10-15 minutes was ok. So, I was just walking/climbing and after a while, I felt very thirsty. It was just then I remember that I did not get anything from the car. Since I had no intention of climbing, I left all things in the car itself.
So, even if I want to have something, I need to go back at least 30-40min of walking and then get the water. So, decided to forget about water and continue.
I see a couple who also were walking in front of me. Had a casual talk and the first thing they said was, if you don’t have water, better not to try anymore. Wow, that was the worst I can listen to at that time. But they were kind enough to add that I can request them if needed. Thanks for their hospitality.
And after about 1 hour of the climb, I was exhausted and can’t move an inch. They both continued with the same phase and I sat around the trees and rocks. I waited for 2-3 minutes before doing the attempt and finally was almost near the top. It should be like 40min to the top. I see 3 “young” ladies walking with their mountaineering sticks. I say young because they should be just 60 years old. Yes.
Seeing them, I got boosted and continue to climb and finally reach the top. On the way, I did see a stream of water flowing out of nowhere. Initially thought if it may not be sage to try those water. But then the situation I was, made to try it out. And it was not a bad idea. The water was refreshingly cold and re-ignited my spirit.
And finally, after like 3 hours, I reach the top.
I go to the edge of the hill and see the ground below.
Wow, it was WORTH the pain. The whole city of Grenoble was viewable from there. The highways, CEA center, and other buildings were clearly visible. Also, the Alps surrounded by snow (snow was just starting to melt due to summer) was a beautiful view.
Heard that on a clear day, we can view the Mount Blanc from there. But I was not lucky enough.
And suddenly I hear a greeting from behind. I turn, and I see the same couple.
They were surprised to see me there. They have decided that I would have returned back. Can’t blame them, because that was my situation when they crossed me.
Then moved around and a couple of pictures and started to decent. The decent was comparatively easy.
The couple also joined with me while climbing down. We were talking about both India and French cultures, studies etc and to our surprise, we made the descent in 1:30min. You may be wondering if I am good in French. No, not at all. Then how did I interact with them? Ya, she is an English teacher in one of the French school. So, got it?
Said a goodbye and thanks for the couple and started to my hotel. And yes, it was a lovely hiking on a Saturday.
Tips: Do not worry, the trails are well marked with white & red stripes on rocks and trees for the trekking.
My theme for the April 2018 #AtoZChallenge is blogging about the places I have been to. Let me see if I can make it through all alphabets. You can find all my #AtoZChallenge posts here.
Interested to know my next destination starting with letter H? Do write your guesses in the comment.
Are you participating too? Comment your themes here. Good luck.