A little Alpine story from Grenoble

Another weekend away saw me exploring Grenoble and the culinary delicacies of the Rhône-Alpes region.

It was also my birthday and I’m sadly now closer to 30 than 20. Since I’ve suffered from a yearly age crisis since I was 21 I always dread this day, but with a weekend of tough mountain climbing I proved that I don’t have to worry about turning into a lil’ ol’ lady just yet. However, I bought eye cream at the airport just in case.

We were meant to go cross country skiing, but since J had hurt his foot this was mission impossible. Instead, he suggested we climbed some mountaints. Yours truly has never done anything of the sort, but agreed enthusiastically – how hard can it be?

Turns out, quite challenging. The weather wasn’t fantastic and when driving up to the ski resort Chamrousse we found ourselves stuck in thick, viscous clouds. It also started snowing and we soon feared we would have to eat our haute picnic in the car.

Luckily we didn’t cave in and started walking in the snow shoe trails, making our way up the 2200m peak. I’m certainly not used to high altitudes so the higher we got, the more lethargic I felt. In some places the trail was icy and as we didn’t have snow shoes, we slipped and fell.

As I despaired if I ever was going to see the sun, we suddenly found ourselves above the clouds. The view was, and I don’t use this word often, mind-blowing.

Then came the best part. Food. Lunch. Picnic.

If I lived in France I would most certainly be overweight. The French Women Don’t Get Fat concept would not apply to me. How do they do it? My diet would no doubt consist of saucisson, cured meats, cheeses (for breakfast, lunch and dinner) and of course fresh bread and pastries. And I would shop at food markets like this.

Having climbed for 4.5 hours and 650m up, our bodies were in a state of shock (I say our bodies, but it was mostly mine) and there was no way I could muster up the strength to go out at night. Instead, we spent our evening eating baked camembert with cloudberry jam. Heavenly.

The following day, my birthday, can be described like this.

More climbing (Les 7 Laux this time).

More food.

More baking. Ditiching the traditional birthday cake for birthday semla.

Next time I’m back in Grenoble I’ll conquer the fondues, raclettes and tartiflettes. And will work it off with some spring hiking.

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