Europe Day 13: Grenoble
28 Sep 2012
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Day 13 Menton to Grenoble, 370km
Our first stop of the day is around 9am, at Eze where a perfume factory tour has been arranged. Tony doesn’t think Cynthea will cope with the strong smell, but she decides to go and look anyway. Tony is not interested at all, and heads off up the hill to the chateau. As he leaves the car park a chap in a red Ferrari parks up, and Tony asks if he can sit in the drivers’ seat, or at least in the passenger seat. The guy is a bit rude, and Tony figures he is just annoyed at being asked that all the time. So it is a bit of a surprise when Tony comes back to find a sign offering rides at EUR60 for a 15 minute blat about town.
It is a stunning day for a walk up the hill to the Chateau, but we won’t be dining at the restaurant here. It is a whopping EUR50 just for the starters, Tony was too shocked to read the rest of the menu. Tony heads down the hill wanders around the village for about forty minutes before returning to the perfume factory.
We leave Eze and soon we are in Nice, taking about thirty minutes. Nice is very pretty, very expensive, and there are dozens of super-expensive super yachts in the harbour.
Soon after we leave Nice we are in the mountains (or is that alps?), the roads are narrow and winding, there are fewer tunnels than in Italy, but we can see that the wonderful scenery is lot like home. Road works hold us up for about half an hour at a small town built beside the river. The architecture here is very pretty to look at. An hour later we have a pit stop at a small town, though there is not enough time for anyone to get anything to eat, even though it is nearly 1pm. We are told our lunch stop is down the road, another hour away. It has been a long drive since leaving Eze around 10am, and this nonsense of keeping the bus toilet locked unless needed “in an emergency” is getting to everyone.
The stop is short, but we have time for a wander around the town in glorious sunshine, and we watch several hang gliders. Around 3pm we arrive at Sisteron for lunch, again the delay is blamed on road works and a slow bus in front of us, the bus was operated by the same tour company! Many restaurants are closed by now, but we eventually find a café with outdoor seating. Nick and Steve order poulet and get served moulet (mussels), Tony is pleased he didn’t order try to order chicken, and Cynthea gets Nick’s meal as he doesn’t like shellfish.
We arrive in Grenoble around 5.30pm, we are staying at the Europole. This would have to be the best hotel for meal and service. Our tour guide, Mariella, said that now we have left Italy that the meals won’t be as good. We shudder at the thought the food could get any worse! In fact we were pleasantly surprised. The food, the table service, everything was so much better. The waiter a hoot at our table was a laugh, he had a good sense of humour. We had a fish meal tonight, but Tony is not that fussed on seafood, mainly due to his shellfish allergy. He is offered a different meal, and the waiter tells him he cannot have any dessert now. There is a crab tank beside our table, but none got chosen for a meal while we were there. We spent a lot of time watching the crabs in the tank, they were a source of much amusement to us.
It is a mild night, even though we up in the mountains and it is autumn. After tea we sat outside and enjoyed a few drinks, but we have a long drive tomorrow so it is not a late night. Bus tickets booked from London to Cardiff for when we return to the UK on the 1st, £16.50 for the two of us.