So it has been an emotional few days. I left my friends place in Switzerland and took a coach from Geneva airport to Grenoble. Again the scenery on this journey was incredible. It was another summers day with the sun burning through the coach windows and warming my wee cheeks. There was an American man on the bus educating his kids on the region which he clearly loves, I think he is a geographer. But he mentioned we passed the silicon valley where a lot of microelectronics stuff is made and he described how the region was a hub for research and development in electronics technology as well as atomic energy. It was nice to have a completely free tour guide!
My one contact in Grenoble, a woman called Gaelle, met me at the coach station with her 19 month old son Timeo and took me to my halls of residence. Everything is so well laid out in Grenoble that it is quite easy to find your way from one place to another via trams or buses. Arriving at the accommodation was very intimidating. I was sent from one building to another to then find an extremely impolite woman who demanded to see my documents. I was slightly confused because she spoke so fast and had such a cold voice that even the warmest of hearts couldn’t make a difference. Anyway after much persistence that I never received a package of documents she rang the building I had just come from and they said to bring me over to their building…again! I finally sat down with a sane person and filled out all the necessary documents. I just need to set up a french bank account and buy more insurance! Home insurance! I also found out the next day I need to set up civil responsibility insurance in case I cause an accident whilst in France. This seems necessary considering the fact I don’t know which way to look when I crossing the road anymore.
I won’t lie to you, the first night was quite emotional. However I knew that I was in the right place and that everything would be alright. It is a strange feeling to only know one person in a massive town especially for an extrovert like me. God has strengthened me and given me peace of mind despite all these nerves and helped to keep branching out. My flatmates didn’t open their doors when I knocked the first few times but I spoke to the first flatmate last night and he seems really nice. I’m making progress.
The office forgot to give me the key for the post box which has my login details for the internet. So I haven’t had internet this weekend, I did not realise how reliant I am on the internet. Dear me! Okay to round things up the two highlights of my weekend.
1.) I went to a roller hockey match on Saturday night, it was Grenoble vs Paris. The YETSI’s won (Grenoble team)! It was sensational and the crowd was electric. It is much better than football. I went with this Christian organisation called FEU (Foyer Evangelique Universitaire). All the people there were really nice and so patient with me. I got flustered a couple of times mid-conversation but I had a lot of fun. There were a lot of grenoblois in the group but there were also people from Paris, Nimes, Marseille and a family from America.
2.) Sunday I took a tram into the city center and made my way to the river. I walked along the most beautiful river in the world with over 4 bridges along it. I reached les Jardins des Dauphines and it had a sign directing people to la bastille. As I had nothing else to do I went for it. Everyone else had backpacks and trainers but the path started so smoothly I didn’t think anything of it. There were old spiralling stone steps leading you to next part of the journey. Up and Up and up I went. Like this erasmus experience the only way is up as I have nothing to lose but everything to gain. I had no idea what I was aiming for. I reached a large building but that was not the attraction and so I continued on the path. Through the alpine trees you could see mist covering the city, a clear view of the alps and the bizarre bare rock formation. To cut a long story short it was exciting to reach la Bastille and discover all these old fortifications as well as the best view of the city there is. It’s 475m at the top and well worth a full day of exploring. I only spent 2.5 hours exploring however there were many more paths to go along. Geez I sound like a tourism brochure.
Until next time!