The pretty capital of the Alps
France is a pretty country. I adore visiting and will take any chance to go there so when Hana’s cousin invited us over to stay with him for a few days I couldn’t wait for the chance to go.
Grenoble and Lyon are two very different but equally beautiful cities in southern France. We visited in May 2015 to stay with one of Hana’s cousins who lives in Grenoble. Our plan was five days staying in Grenoble and then three days staying, just the two of us in Lyon. Flights booked, but no hotel for Lyon – you can always get a last minute deal later, we boarded our flight to Lyon.
It had been far too long since we had taken a ‘proper’ holiday, more than a weekend away or a short break. Sure, I had taken Hana to Paris for our engagement last August and we had also had a few days away in Lyme Regis early last year and a weekend to Rome in late 2013 but it had been a good few years since we had taken a longer week’s holiday.
We landed in Lyon after a smooth flight from Luton and after a spot of lunch at the airport found a coach to Grenoble, a hour or so away. Had we known before going that Grenoble has an airport of it’s own we may have flown in there before flying back from Lyon, not sure how we missed a city having its own airport in the age of Google but never mind.
A city surrounded by majestic mountains
Up on first impressions Grenoble is a beautiful city. It sits the Rhône-Alpes region and is capital of the Isère department. It is often known as the capital of the Alps, sitting at the foot of the mountain range. One thing which took my breath away is that Grenoble is encircled by mountains. It’s surrounded by mountain ranges with names like Chartreuse, Vercors and the Belledonne range.
That didn’t mean a huge amount to me. What did, was seeing stunning, beautiful mountains capped with snow and draped with low hanging clouds. The city is totally surrounded by mountains but is basically completely flat as it sits on a plain.
We arrived at Grenoble bus and train station late in the afternoon Wednesday and soon after met up with Hana’s cousin before making our way back to his apartment. We took a tram to where we were staying. I love trams, they seem a really nice way to get about a city. They don’t fit in in every city but in a pretty one like Grenoble they do. Also being electric cuts down on pollution so you can breath more of that lovely mountain air too.
This was the view from the balcony. I think the best thing I saw on this trip were those snow covered mountains. If you don’t go at the start of the summer there’s skiing not to far away from here. But not in May.
After a bit of dinner we went out for the evening to have a wander around Grenoble, sit and have a drink and get a nice ice cream. By night, Grenoble is a pretty city, much as it is by day too!
Grenoble, Annecy and Lyon
Over the next few days we took in the best of Grenoble, visited the gorgeous lake-side town of Annecy and took in a local’s eye view of Lyon before taking a few days for ourselves in Lyon. I’ll be sharing what we got up to in Grenoble, Annecy and Lyon over the next week as well as sharing my top things to do in Grenoble and Lyon.
Featured image by Archangle12