20 May 2014
|Another 0730hrs start to feed the parking meter with enough coins to cover our 0930 hrs departure.
Our first objective was to visit the Palazzina Stupinigi, the 16th century hunting lodge of the Savoy's; 10km in a direct line with the family Palace in Turin.
The self directed tour with audio took an hour and a half and reflected the work undertaken to restore this heritage listing. Whilst ornately decorated it does not challenge the Turin Palace, however, it's story is intertwined with the families reign of the region. The commentary was detailed and interesting. We were happy we visited and to learn more of the family's reign
The drive to Grenoble ( 237km) was via the freeway and included quite a few tunnels, bridges and toll stations. The smallest of these tunnels made the Sydney M5 look very average. The value of tolls was unexpected with one through the tunnel in the area of the French/ Italian border costing 45€. At the end of the day, the saving in time and fuel made it quite worthwhile. We made two stops, one for drinks and a second to visit a garden at the Chateau de Touvet, 30km from Grenoble, Unfortunately, the gardens were closed; open on Sunday's only.
We arrived at out hotel at 1540 hrs and were promptly told we were too early for our 1600 hrs check in. It was not a good start but we were soon settled and out walking the area. A refreshment break in the central gardens of the city was an early diversion.
Grenoble lies upon the fast flowing river Drac and Isere and is surrounded by lofty mountains with quite a few still claiming snow on their summits. The middle age defensive fortification, La Bastille overlooks the river and the city. The immediate impression is an Arrondissement/ suburb of Paris with its symmetrical blocks of five story buildings with richly decorated facades and balconies of decorative steel in many different and interesting styles. Trams run regular in this compact city of 700k people and puts challenge to the logic of the planned service for the small dispersed population of Canberra. The shopping areas are extensive and the variety and high quality of clothing stores in particular is readily evident.
As the evening diners appeared and having found mainly Italian styled restaurants, we back tracked to a French restaurant that our apartment host had recommended. The service was good and decor nice ,however, the quality of meat for two of our meals left us less than impressed.
We were in bed by 2250 hrs.
On reflection Turin was a good adventure. Memories of the City Palace, the caffe's, the buildings, architecture and monuments, as well as the Eataly, the Metro, Stupinigi, the unseen car museum and the quality shopping are the strongest.
Weather today required a jumper early in the day and while it was not needed later in the day it was kept nearby.