Sunday, December 11, 2011

Climbing gym.

The weather has been holding up very long and until about mid November I was still climbing outside.  There are still warm days now in December to go out!  However, when it rains it's time to hit the gym and in Grenoble this means a good quality huge gym for a decent price.  I have a yearly membership (cheaper than crag-x) and I've been going 2x a week.  I've hooked up with some climbers (finally!), mostly international crew mostly Italian and German.  They are a super nice group of people to hang out with and it's easy to always hook up with someone as there are many of us.  There are plenty of routes in the gym and all of them are set up to lead climb so finally I get to practice leading.  There is a bouldering area of course and there is also a nice area upstairs set up for the kids, so we've been taking them climbing once a week. Tommy is now leading a 5c which is equivalent to about 5.9 US. The membership gives you access to two gyms and I have not even gone to the other one yet.  Climbing is rather a national sport here in Grenoble, so if a local tells you that he barely climbs, it means that he/she is a very good climber :)  Even kayakers are very decent climbers here.

EV3 gym

Tommy leading.

The kids climbing area; Anna playing dead.

Anna's New Dress

When my mom came over, we bought a sewing machine and since Anna was really wishing for a new princess dress ever since disneyland, my mom decided to make her wish come true.  Here is the product.  Anna is also wearing a tiara that I made her last year out of Czech glass beads. What a little princess :)) 

Now that my mom is gone, I've started to sew.  Maybe I'll post some pictures of what I've made soon :) that is, if I don't sew my fingers together.

Mom's Visit.

My mom came over to visit us for 2 weeks from Canada and this was her first time in Grenoble.  We were initially thinking of heading somewhere south like Morocco or Crete, but apparently warm weather lasts very long in Grenoble.  It was around 20C and sunny the whole time and we were semi-sick, so there was no need to leave for a trip.  We ended up doing a whole bunch local trips and it was really fun.

Vizille (chateau) is a pretty popular place to visit since it's only half an hour drive from Grenoble.  One can stroll in the park, go to the playground with kids, or admire the swans in the canal.  After a nice walk we went to see "A monster in Paris" as part of a children's film festival that was in Vizille.  This was actually quite a great experience because my French is basic, and watching kid's movies is a perfect way for me to learn.  It was a fun movie to watch and Anna still wants me to play the theme song "La Seine" on youtube....

Feeding swans.

Black and white swans.

On our second trip, we went up to the bastille, a fortress that stands 260m above Grenoble in the Chartreuse mountain range, overlooking the city.  A cable car connects the city with the bastille as this is a popular destination for tourists and I guess some people just can't walk :)  We hiked up of course...  The walk up is really nice as you can go through gardens, winding stairs and tunnels.  A via ferrata also leads up to the bastille (see earlier post).  

Grandma with kids.
Fall colors, looking down from the Bastille.

Another expedition was to the Fort Saint Eynard.  This fort is also located in the Chartreuse mountain range but is considerably higher than the Bastille.  We drove up to the top and hiked along the ridge in the forest for a bit.  Anna wasn't feeling so good, so we couldn't do anything extreme.

Up in the clouds...

Our cultural day trip was to Annecy, (a must-see) where we strolled the picturesque streets, visited local markets, and absorbed the atmosphere of this little jewel of the Savoie.  No wonder it is called the little Venice of France.

Cheese at the street market...we couldn't resist.

Trying on some French berets.

Annecy with canals in the town centre.

The fall here has been incredible.  I don't remember ever seeing such a beautiful display of colors.   Here's a few photos, enjoy!

Fall in Grenoble.

Our favourite picnic area close to our home.

Fall colors in the mountains.