Monday, March 17, 2008

Where every street ends with a mountain

I'm not entirely sure where this phrase stems from but it's a pretty fitting description for Grenoble also called the 'Capital of the Alps'. Here are some shots taken from our hotel window. Whilst strolling through the city, I'd look up and see a majestic mountain presiding in the horizon promising much goodness and lifting my spirits.

With wide boulevards flanked with ornate buildings and slim, elegant french windows - I was quite charmed by Grenoble. Although much larger in size, it reminded me of Canterbury in Kent where I spent my formative, university days.

Home of Godard and Rousseau, I was eager to discover the yarn merchants and stumbled upon one within the first 30 minutes. Great!... except that it was shut for their 2 hour lunch break. I later found this place which stocked some Amy Blatt and was thrilled with their window decoration for easter.

Gruff was extremely impressed though not entirely surprised that I could sniff out the yarn so quickly.

We took off early to catch the bus to Chamrousse the next day - a 70 minutes bus journey away, Bliss! In fact, 11 other ski fields are readily accessible from Grenoble so the good people of the city are entirely spoilt for choice in terms of snow which is some compensation for the lack of yarn shops.

Chamrousse was the site of the 1968 Winter Olympics which is reflected in much of its architecture, many of the modernist buildings had a certain retro chic to them. Day 1 was sunny which was slightly unnerving but at least better than Day 2 where we were beset with gale force winds closing off most of the chair-lifts. On Day 3 though, the heavens opened and we had a generous dumping of the white stuff. I was squealing with delight and trying to persuade poor Gruff to come off-piste with me. Later in the afternoon, amidst the bad light of a blizzard, I stacked it big time and apparently turned a funny colour. That'll teach me to go too fast! After that, we had a day of rain then 2 further days of sunshine. Sweeeeeeeet!

When I told Flib where we were going, she made a passing comment that Chamrousse sounded like a place that would have lots of cheese. She was almost right. On our last night back in Grenoble, Gruff and I shared a raclette.

there was a river of melted fromage oozing over the bowl of potatoes they give you. It was a complete galore and sinfully delicious. We had hysterics half-way through when we couldn't stop giggling at the whole situation. It was the cheese that kept on giving and I think my arse has doubled in size because of it. Gruff had to concede defeat after a while whereas I just could not leave it be and tried gainfully to get through more. We had to leave a quarter of it unfinished which seemed like such a terrible waste of gorgeousness. The dreams I had later that night were certainly vivid and surreal!

Before leaving, I found another yarn shop tucked at the back of a boutique. The nasty proprietor wouldn't let me take a photograph when I asked him for permission, instead he muttered some grumpy (maybe it's just a language thing who knows) unintelligible words and shrugged so I had to sneak in this furtive shot.

It was a very nice display but I don't know why he was being so bloody snotty when most of it was acrylic! Tosser... anyway, will put in all the details of the 3 shops on knitmap

On the Eurostar back, whilst the posh couple sitting across the aisle was quaffing wine and delicately eating strawberries, Gruff and I had pikey cobbled together cheese baguettes and beer. Our journey was devoid of stimulating conversation except to bicker about whose turn it was to go to the refreshment carriage. Gruff did lots of napping...

and I got lots of knitting done. But this has been a long enough post so i'll save the knitting to when I next check back in. Have a great Easter hols in the meantime!


Jox said...

hey there,
looks like a good time was had by all.
i think it is a wonderful gift to be able to by able to find yarn and craft shops in any country. my parents can do it, they can also sniff out model railway shops too!

I'm lovin' the hand spun yarn!

KnittingJenny said...

Sounds like a great trip, la. What's there not to like about mountains and skiing, la. You crack me up about the cheese that keeps on giving, la!

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