Most of my route today was along the cycle-path beside the Isere river. It was great to be away from all the traffic, especially on the approach road into Grenoble.
Total today – 55 km. Total so far – 1550 km. It was so much cooler today after all the thunderstorms the day before so it made for a pleasant day’s cycling .
Camping Chateau in Beauvoir-en-Royans. I was up about 6 to get a shower as it was too wet the evening before to leave the tent. The campsite at Chateau Beauvoir-en-Royans is lovely but there is only a small area for camping and it only has a few toilets and showers. If it was any busier, there would be queues to use the facilities but i guess it rarely gets crowded as it is off the beaten track.
Football pitch beside the campsite in Beauvoir-en-Royans. A lot of campsites in France have swimming pools and some even have bouncy castles but very few have a full size football pitch. Camping Chateau has only a small area for tents but it is beautifully maintained and is very well laid out with loads of trees for shade.
Balcony road through the Gorges du Nan. My route today took me through the village of Cognin-les-Gorges and past the Gorges du Nan. The road through the Gorges de Nan between Cognin-les-Gorges and Malleval-en-Vercors is only 9 km long but is said to be the most scenic road in France.The road is what the French call a balcony road and is cut into the side of a cliff with numerous tunnels and arches along it. If only I had known about it, I would have taken a detour to see it as I had plenty of time this morning.
Wild animal radar system along the D1532. Near St. Quentin-sur-Isere, I passed a sign for a wild animal warning system. In 2012, the French installed a radar system along this road to warn motorists about wild animals. Apparently, these radar systems are quite common in Switzerland but this was the first trial in France. The radar was powered by a solar panel and the local newspaper, Le Dauphine, had an article in June 2012 all about it. However, there was no trace of the radar when I went past 3 years later; just this sign about the trial
Cycle path between Veurey-Voroise and Grenoble. At Veurey-Voroise, I left the main road and joined the cycle path for 14 km to Grenoble. There are over 300 km of cycle paths or greenways in Grenoble and this one was very popular with cyclists and hikers and even a few people with roller skates. For the first 5 km, there were a lot of tree branches and sticks on the path but after that the route was clear of any debris.
Telepherique up to the Bastille in Grenoble. After a total of only 3 hours cycling today, I made it to the centre of Grenoble. At roughly the same time, Noel was boarding his flight at Dublin Airport. He had booked the 12.00 Aer Lingus flight from Dublin to Lyon and also the 15.45 return flight from Lyon back to Dublin for Monday the 27th July. That gave us 2 days to see the Tour de France and 2 days to go sight-seeing.
Marie Curie aparthotel in Grenoble. It was now time to check into the hotel. I had booked a one-bedroom apartment at the Marie – Curie aparthotel which is run by Sejours et Affaires for 4 nights from Thursday 23rd to Monday 27th July. The main reason for booking the hotel was its location beside Grenoble bus station. It also had an underground car-park for the hire car. The receptionist was great and let me check-in an hour early no problem. I was given a room on the fourth floor but there was a big lift so it was easy getting the bike and Travoy into the apartment.
Kitchen and toilet in the apartment. The apartment was massive with 2 big bedrooms, a small kitchen and a huge en-suite toilet. We never used the cooker or microwave in the kitchen but the fridge was great for keeping everything cool.
Tram Line A ran along the back of hotel in Grenoble. The room also had a big balcony, which was ideal for drying clothes. There is an extensive tram system in Grenoble and Line A went right past the hotel. However, there was a tram on average only every 10 minutes and only a slight noise when it went past.
Airport shuttle bus from Lyon airport. Noel’s flight left on time at 12.00 and and after a 2 hour flight, he arrived in Lyon at 3.00 local time. He then got the 3.30 shuttle bus (navette) from Lyon to Grenoble bus station. You can get the TGV from Lyon Airport to Grenoble but there are only 5 trains a day and next train wasn’t until 5.30, whereas there is a bus every hour.
Peugeot 305 rental car. It was great to meet up with Noel when his bus arrived in Grenoble at about 4.30. We first went back to the hotel to drop off his luggage, then went out looking for something to eat. However, it was only about 6 o’clock and we soon discovered that most restaurants don’t start serving dinner until 7. So we decided to go collect the hire-car from the Avis office at the train station. Hiring a car in France is so much easier than hiring one in Ireland. Noel only had to show his credit card and driving licence and we were issued with the key for a Peugeot 305 without having to sign any paperwork. I even got added as a named driver for no extra cost.
Dinner at the Presto Comptoir restaurant in Grenoble. We collected the car from basement level no 3 of the train station car-park, drove it about 500m to the hotel car-park and then went back into Grenoble to get our dinner. We found a restaurant on Avenue Alsace Lorraine called Presto Comptoir, with seats and tables outside alongside the tram tracks. Noel had hardly anything to eat since leaving Dublin and was really hungry, so ordered a sirloin steak.
Tartare de Boeuf. I thought i would get a traditional French meal, so ordered Tartare de boeuf. I thought it would be similar to roast beef but it is actually raw meat served with a tartar sauce. It tasted like corned beef mixed with tomato ketchup and was to be honest, a bit yuk. However, it came with loads of chips and some salad so somehow, I managed to eat the lot. I can’t fault the restaurant as both the setting and the service was great but I will never be ordering tartare de boeuf again. It was by now after 10 so we headed back to the hotel to get some sleep as we had to get up early the next morning to go to St. Jean de Maurienne to see the Tour de France.