Shearwin's in Europe 2014 travel blog

The closest supermarket to our apartment

Grenoble old town from La Bastille

Looking down at Grenoble from La Bastille

Lunch under the tree

Excavations of 1500 bodies from St Laurent

We were on the move at 0930 hrs looking for a breakfast snack while heading for the funicular to take us to La Bastille. It all seemed simple,however, no cafe served coffee with fresh milk, and very few offered a selection of pastries. We had been spoilt with fresh milk in Italy with coffee made from a good espresso machine. Cafe's with croissants on the counter in Grenoble seem to be rare.

Expecting to find our morning coffee fix at the Bastille, we took the 10 min ride on the funicular to the historic fort. The location was great with panoramic views of the snow covered mountains in the south east, the valley's and the interconnecting rivers. The haze limited a crystal clear view but it was still spectacular scenery. Grenoble, has an older area in which we are staying and it is clearly delineated with it's red terracotta roofs. The Cours Jean Jaures, a newly renovated avenue that runs for 9km in a straight line South from the river is a prominent feature.

The fortifications were disappointing in that they must have been very significant in their day and many structural sections are still in place, however, their story is not well preserved or presented. We wandered the heights before walking back to the river. We did observe many locals making use of the site for physical activities; running, walking and bike riding.

Before reaching the river, the girls returned to the old town while I visited the Archaeology Museum of Saint Laurent. This was a stumble upon visit which I was pleased that happened. The museum is the site of a 4th century mausoleum that overtime had a church and priory built upon it. Archaeological research was started 20 years ago and has unearthed many significant finds. A most impressive aspect of this museum is the presentation of the subterranean excavations with audio visual effects. I was more than impressed.

We had agreed to meet in the city park, Place Victor Hugo from which we walked to lunch under a lovely tree at the Le Saxo restaurant in Place Des Gordes. The setting was great, the insalades were good and the service from our young vivacious waitress pleasant. We didn't rush lunch and were in need of a rest after as a result of our morning walk.

It was late afternoon before we set off to explore other areas of the city. This included taking an hour long tram ride through the suburbs including the former site of the 1968 Winter Olympic Games. We also wandered the Parc Mistral, stopping briefly to watch a group of 6 guys playing boche - it appears a good game for building comraderie.

It was getting late at this time so we retired to our favourite city park at the Place Victor Hugo, for refreshments and a light snack that in turn became dinner. Our waiter was a jovial english speaker and looked after us well.

It was still very light when we returned to the apartment and we were in bed by 2200hrs.

Weather was comfortable all day with light winds on the Bastille - nothing a traveller could complain about.

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