23 July 2011

Rest Days - Colombe and Grenoble

Jerome, Didier and I left Annecy for their "base camp" at the house of Jerome's brother, Matthieu, in Colombe, a pleasant town in the countryside about 30 minutes from Grenoble.
The view behind Chez Bouhet in Colombe

After the obligatory bicycle ride to stretch our legs in the valley nearby -- not to mention the short climb up the Col du Parmenie, with side trip up to the Abbey Parmenie on top of the hill above the Col --  we returned and were taken to dinner with Matthieu, his wife Crystelle, and their son Matthius, at a friend's condominium in Grenoble. 
Once and future Directeur Sportif shows how NOT to ride --
in crocs and with arms constrained
The team wants to go straight to dinner and skip the ride.
But the Directeur is relentless and sends us out.

Once we start, we go further than expected and return 45 minutes late.

Grenoble is significantly larger than Annecy, less a museum piece and more a real city, but it nonetheless has a spectacular physical setting, nestled in a valley between the Alps and the Massif Chartreuse.  We had a delicious meal and much good conversation, some of which I understood.  We watched the fireworks from the condominium balcony, had more food (cheese!), drink and conversation, and then returned to Colombe.  It was well after midnight, but I got the sense that probably if Matthius and I had not been there, the party would have gone even later.
In Grenoble, we saw many signs warning of street closings scheduled for today, July 23, as we drove around town and repeatedly crossed the path of the Tour de France's closing time trial -- last chance to mix up the standings before the final stage in Paris.
Jerome and Didi unwind in Grenoble
Bastille Day Sunset from Bea's condominium
The French helped the Americans in the revolutionary war.
The Americans returned the favor in WWII.

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