Thursday, January 11, 2007


A famous landmark in Grenoble is La Bastille ,a ruined 16th century fort perched on a cliff overlooking the town. It is a popular spot for healthy types who are able to walk one and a half thousand feet up a moderately steep incline without stopping every five minutes to double over and bray like a donkey. There are several other methods to reach the top. If you’re slightly eccentric, you can climb the four hundred or so stone steps; if you’re insane, you can climb the cliff face by the only urban via ferrata in France - a route with climbing aids such as wire ropes, rungs, pegs, ladders and bridges fixed into the rock, to make things easier (well, of course); and if you’re a couch potato, you can take the téléphérique, the first urban cable car to be inaugurated in France (in 1934) and otherwise known as les bulles (the bubbles). Five (yes, I know there are only four in the photos - perhaps one dropped off) round transparent ‘bubbles’, seating six persons, will take you to the top in six minutes and you won’t even get your hair messed up. Occasionally, the idea that you might at any moment plunge a thousand feet into the tumultuous river Isère below does cross your mind but you can always close your eyes if it bothers you…

1 comment:

angela said...

"Braying like a donkey" You've obviously met me!
Still laughing.
Went on one of those bubble things at a ski resort and had a power cut. They're not heated.