Tuesday, December 05, 2006


The trams here are brilliant – when they’re not on strike. When they are on strike my car usually breaks down in sympathy – as it did last week – and I can’t get to work.

Grenoble was the second town in France (Nantes was the first) to reintroduce the tram in 1987, having abandoned the system in 1952. It glides through the city like an electric snake – in fact, it’s almost as dangerous because it is so silent. You are forever having to cross tramlines as you walk through town and the tram has a habit of creeping up on you. The driver will eventually ring his bell – if he can be bothered - but only at the last minute when (in my case) a hundred bored passengers will be treated to the spectacle of a plump, middle-aged Englishwoman suddenly taking on the expression of a Japanese cartoon character and leaping either to safety or into the path of the tram coming in the other direction. For some reason, motorists and cyclists are allowed to use these routes too, so crossing the road is like trying to weave a path through a Dodgem ride in full swing.

Anyway, they’re not on strike at the moment. The buses are. Well – it’s nearly Christmas, isn’t it? And what would Christmas in France be without a strike or two, eh?


Han said...

I love the trams in Nantes! I used to live near there...thanks for reminding me!

Gigi said...

Trams are great, aren't they? And they're usually on time, too...