September 12, 2015

After swimming against the tide of French incompetence, Carly and I decided to get away for the day on Saturday to visit our friend Matt who is studying in Grenoble. After making our way to the train station for around 10am, we found electronic ticket machines and decided to buy a day-return. You had to choose what time to return, so after choosing 21h23 we went to the platform to board our train. Unlike the UK, in France they have double-decker trains which I still find so cool so we went to the top deck and grabbed a table. The journey was beautiful. Grenoble is situated in the Alps so the journey there goes through some picturesque small towns and villages, with huge churches and big village markets. During the journey I looked at our train tickets out of pure boredom and I noticed that the ticket to Grenoble said 'train' but the ticket back to Lyon said 'autocar' and took over an hour longer. "How strange" I thought, but I put it down to more French incompetence and didn't think much of it. We eventually arrived in Grenoble and met up with Matt who took us on the tram into the town centre to grab some lunch where we decided upon a Galette restaurant. A Galette is a savoury crêpe and it was pretty sublime. After lunch, we thought it would be a good idea to get the cable-car up to the Bastille. The Bastille in Grenoble is an old military fort that stands up high, with a breathtaking view over the town and the mountains that surround it. Literally breathtaking.

After the Bastille, we all bought some cider and sat in Matt's flat chatting but throughout the day, the 'autocar' on our ticket home kept bothering me until I realised 'car' in French means coach/bus, so we had a 2,5h bus journey at 21h23 to look forward to. Fantastic. The rest of the day flew in as we were just chilling out and chatting, and at 21h00 we headed towards the bus station. A 2+ hour bus journey was the last thing I wanted. I just wanted my bed but if i'm honest, the bus journey was mostly uneventful apart from some weird guy who sat across the aisle from Carly and I and stared at us the whole way. We're just too beautiful, clearly. *insert sassy emoji*

The next day (Sunday), there was an ERASMUS and International Students Picnic planned near the Stade de Gerland (which is Lyon football team's stadium, Olympique Lyonnais). It was such a nice day but I had underestimated just how nice and forgot to put on the sunscreen. Rookie error. We met up with some of our ERASMUS friends (who are all British or American, lol) and found a spot at the park. There was over 300 people there, but everybody seemed to be sitting in their own little groups so it wasn't a great integration event. We had bought some cider and wine and loads of food so the day was spent chatting and eating - two of my favourite past times. We were at the park for several hours until someone suggested we headed to Parc de la Tête D'Or which is a huge park at the other side of Lyon which has a free zoo - the only one in Europe, apparently. We got 2 metros there and walked round the zoo. It was amazing. The weather was great, as was the company, and we saw some cool animals. 

After a nice weekend exploring Grenoble and the Zoo, it was time to get back to some more exciting French administration.. Such fun.


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