The Beginning of a Grand Adventure

On the way home from the train station.
Three weeks and one day ago my parents embarked on an adventure. They got on a plane and flew to France to visit me. And an adventure they got, almost from the moment they started.

Two planes, one of which was a near miss due to weather, later they arrived safely at a Paris airport. Much to my dismay the near miss on the plane was only the beginning of travel difficulties as there was a major train strike happening in France during June. After booking tickets on the only train still running between the airport and my city, my parents finally arrived around 10 pm that evening. At that point, I was simply glad they made it.

While we were supposed to spend the next day in Poitiers before taking our first trip, the train strike changed our plans. I'm not complaining though. The first three days of their trip I was able to show them my city. My home. All of my little haunts and favorite places. My school, my favorite bakeries, the places I shop for groceries, and so much more. It was fun. We were together and that was enough.

On Friday afternoon, we were able to exchange the canceled tickets and reschedule our first trip, to Grenoble. After scrambling to book a hotel and pack last minute, we got up the next morning and headed to the Alps.

Enjoying the last leg of our train trip
I have truly fallen in love with the east side of France. That shouldn't surprise this East Coast girl. Grenoble was stunningly beautiful. Warm weather, matched with a view of snow covered mountain peaks. It doesn't get much better than that (well, if I could have played in the snow ...).

After a long day of traveling, we checked into our hotel which it turns out had a pretty view of the Bastille, or fort, on the hill.

By that time, we were all ready for dinner and while we had eaten at a creperie in Poitiers, my parents were all in for trying different French food. An internet search found a pretty little place on the main road and we were off to try the local fare.

Nuts served with an olive and ham bread.
Enjoying the outdoor cafe atmosphere.
Appetizer (called an entree here) of cheese inside a pastry dough.
Very French appetizer of different meats.
The most delicious melt-in-your-mouth fish ever with a side of carrots and potatoes.
A basil and goat cheese pasta with a side salad.
We explored the city a bit that night, just walking around to see what we would see. Grenoble has a vibrant city life, especially as it was Fete de Musique, or the celebrate of music, a national holiday. Bands and preforms were out all over the city.

My view of a bubble car from inside of another.
The next morning we got up and walked over to and along the river until we reached Grenoble's cable cars. The "bubbles", as they are known, are the main form of transportation up to the fort on the hill.

Once we arrived on top of the hill we explored a bit of the fort. We didn't go far however before we sat down for lunch at the snack cafe. My Mom had requested a meal with a view. She got her view eating on top of the hill. In fact, every view we had during the entire trip up to the fort was gorgeous. I have always enjoyed the mountains and the Alps did not disappoint that love. They were different than any mountains I've ever seen, rising up sharply from the plateau below and climbing to incredibly tall heights. Here are just a few of the pictures I snapped.

One of two rivers in Grenoble.
Snapped by a fellow tourist!
Did I say SNOW covered in June?
 It was a spectacular day. And we finished it with a visit to the site of the 1968 Olympics which thrilled my little heart to no end as a huge fan of the Olympics.

The cauldron for the Olympic flame.
Our last morning in Grenoble involved a hunt for souvenirs: collectible spoons for my Mom and I and a lapel pin for my Dad. Sadly, after that we had to catch the first of three trains that would take us back to Poitiers. And on to another adventure. But more about that next time.

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