I thought I might start each day off sharing a little bit about the French culture, the differences between what we are used to and what is the French way of life.
Lets start with how they live, the French are great examples of minimalism. The apartment I am renting is basic, I have everything I need and no more. The appliances and the furniture are on the old side, they see no reason to be continually updating with the latest in technology. What they have works and is fine.
There is just enough cutlery, cooking utensils, crockery etc, there may even be something missing that I need, thats ok, you learn to improvise.
This fits in with my current interest in and move to a more minimalist life myself, something I’ve been working on for quite some time. Living like this actually motivates me to keep along this same path when I return.
So, the day begins, and it begins very early again. Managed a solid few hours of work, finally got all caught up with my accounting even.
Mid morning I decided it was time to get back on the bike and search for the correct route to the climb I had tried to find yesterday. I set about researching the route on Google maps, determined to get it right this time. Off I went, starting off as I did yesterday, across the bridge and then turn right…………ahhhh, that was my mistake, this time I actually realised it early. U turn to turn left and all became familiar, this is where I had walked with Lionel, I’m on track.
Aha, a signpost that said “Saint Nizier du Moucherotte”, that was my destination, I’m definitely on track.
Turning off the main road and onto the climb, looks okay, 14kms to the top, that should be ok. Nice climb, nice road, hmmm thats right the climbs here only go up, no rest, no little down hills, just up and more up. I’ve not been too much on the bike of late so it was tough, tougher than yesterdays climb and tougher than expected.
I held onto the thought that there would be coffee and cake at the top (I hope), and there was. Found a nice little cafe, coffee and a “Vercors” tart, always tastes so good after a tough climb.
Had a bit of a look around the village and then headed back down, yes downhill all the way home. The roads are smooth, the car drivers are respectful of cyclists and the scenery is spectacular. I took a little diversion on the way down (I’m claiming I did this on purpose), stopping to take photos on the way. Even made it all the way home without getting lost.
The afternoon’s adventure was a practice run for getting to the university by tram (more on why the university in tomorrows update). 30 minute walk to the tram station, didn’t get lost, validate my tram pass, yep that worked, check I’m getting on the right one, there is only 2 options so I have a 50/50 chance, off we go.
Pretty easy really I was at the start of the route and my stop was at the end, what could possibly go wrong…………………nothing, I made it. Now to find the CUEF building, more good news it was literally a 2 minute walk from the station. Happy days, straight back to the station and did the reverse to get home.
Beer, cheese, baguette and relax time, another day in the French Alps done and dusted.