tiistai 19. heinäkuuta 2011

14 juillet

Okay, I’m back on a much better mood - and some photos! Yay for me, the ultimate IT geek :D

Last Thursday was the French national day, le 14 juillet, and we had a day off from work. Wednesday we went to a bar in Grenoble with my Finnish collegue, Eveliina. It was just the two of us to start with and we had decided to have a glass of wine all civilised. But in the end we were almost ten persons around the table and even though I went home very civilised around 1.30am, E had stayed until 6am… She apparently missed out on most of the celebrations the next day.

We had made plans with another collegue to go hiking Thursday and even though the weather was pretty depressing in the morning (the French word grisaille describes it well - greyish, wettish and sad) I managed to talk my Frenchie into it. I guess it helped that I got out of bed at 8am to go buy some croissants to monsieur. He can’t resist ;)

We had rendez-vous at the parking of the 7 laux skiing center and all the way up (while not being preoccupied by the thought that I might throw up any minute - I really hate the mountain roads!) I hoped the sky would clear up with the wind. But no. We actually entered into the clouds when arriving… And stayed there all day long, wet and cold.

We walked almost literally into some horses. Pretty intimidating, especially the male who wanted to protect his herd…

Everything went well despite the conditions - until the friend to my colleague who came also with us started to worry about the direction we had taken. Without a map it was impossible to decide whether we were still on the right path. Then Maxime had the best idea ever… If we just followed the small stream that fell on the slope we would forcément arrive at the lake we were looking for. After half an hour of creeping up in the middle of the stream, breathless and soaked up to thighs we found ourselves in the middle of nothing. We had lost the stream and we were so far up that there were no more trees. And with the clouds (that remind mostly a very thick fog when you are inside them) we couldn’t see much where we were going. Such an adventure…

I was starting to get pretty anxious but then, luckily, Maxime happened to look in the right direction at the right moment during the few seconds when the clouds scattered a bit and saw some fences indicating that we were near the ski slopes. It too us a good half an hour to climb up the few hundred metres because the slope was very steep. I was hanging on to the few bushes and twigs that grew there and was so afraid of dying I didn’t actually even realize how physically hard it was.

My hiking company from Thursday. We managed to find a lake - not the one we looked for but who cares!
Väsyneet ja märät mutta onnelliset (ja helpottuneet) vaeltajat. Laskettelukeskuksen kylttien näkyessä joku taisi huokaista “takaisin sivistyksen keskellä!”. Ei nyt ehkä ihan kuitenkaan, parin kilsan korkeudessa :D

Finally we entered the ski slopes and from there on it was like “walking on a highway” as Maxime said. We even found a lake and though it was not the one we were looking for, the sight of it made us laugh, so relieved we were to be back on marked paths!

In the evening - after a hot shower and two hours of sleep - we went to watch the fireworks of the national day at one of Maxime’s friends’ place. He lives in the cité I’ve told you about, in the building where someone was killed last year during the riots of 14th of July. Great, as if I was looking for to be killed that day… But the apartment was on the 18th floor with a view over all the city and the valley and we saw at least three different firework shows! It was freezing cold though, I was wearing two sweaters and winter coat and was still cold :(

Joyeux 14 juillet :) Or whatever you are supposed to say…
Friday there were some more fireworks and an apéro at friends’ place in the small town of Rives a bit further away from Grenoble. It was really nice and for a change I actually new beforehand (most of) the people we were hanging out with. That’s good every now and then :) I’m feeling a bit homesick at the moment and sometimes I really feel I need to be with people to whom I don’t need to explain who I am and what I’m doing. If you know what I mean.

Saturday there was the wedding but I think I’ll tell you more about it later, it’s starting to get a giant entry here. Congrats to all those who made it all the way to the end :)

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