|Nice view, but not quite like the Alps|
I'm convinced being surrounded by mountains on all sides does something to a person's sense of adventure. This has certainly been true for me in the last couple weeks here in Grenoble. Having the opportunity to go hiking here is something I was really looking forward to, but now that I'm here I realize just how much there is to explore and discover. With mountainous paths starting sometimes just minutes from certain tram stops, it's easy to get away from the noise of the city and enjoy the quiet of the Alps.
On what started as a rainy and gloomy Thursday, a friend and I hiked up to the Bastille, a former fortress and popular tourist site. We took a break and ate our packed lunches while taking a good look at the city. The sun started to make an appearance, so we continued past the Bastille, where we saw the Grottes Mandrins, caves that have some strange and apparently false stories associated with them. Buried treasure? Maybe not, but they were fun to explore nonetheless.
We eventually made our way over muddy, rocky, and sometimes steep trails to a large area dedicated to a monument honoring soldiers who had fought and died. The vantage point from there was even clearer, and the sun finally fought its out from the clouds, so we went a bit further before turning back.
After hiking for a total of four hours, we consulted our map to see how far we'd gone. Despite our amateur hiker's confidence, we had only made it a fraction of the way into the Chartreuse regional park that lies north of Grenoble. I think it's safe to say that there is more than enough exploration left to fill a semester's worth of time, and I can't wait to see how much more beautiful everything is when springtime finally arrives.