Day 11 – Saturday 18 June 1994 – Grenoble and Orange!

Didn’t sleep too bad all up.  Toilet was good.  Shower was terrible.  Hand held as usual and went everywhere.  Slipped over and knocked my leg and broke my thong.  Glad to get out.

Had trouble finding Grenoble again (hotel was about 15km from it).  Drove around for about half an hour then finally found it.  Weather looking great as usual this morning.  Went into Brasserie Les Archer for coffee.  Ordered deux cafe and got 2 petite blacks for 14F.  Much more reasonable price and went down well.  Even managed to order un croissant which was only 5.50F.  Could have had 2 lots of all of this for as much as 2 large white coffees have been costing us.  Felt better after that.

Best bit of each day is getting out of our accommodation and on the road, then having a coffee!

Scenery is incredibly spectacular here.  Hills are rough and rocky and cut sharply into the sky.  Coffee was so good we had another one.

Walked around town a bit.  Quite nice.  Found a good bookshop that sold travel books in English!  Bought a Lonely Planet – France and Lets Go Italy.  More detail than general Europe.  They are excellent.  Cover all cities, have maps of towns that we have had difficulty getting to date or were too expensive.  Now we can find out what we have been missing out on in all towns for lack of information.

Read about de la Bastille which we could see on the hill above Grenoble.  Decided to go up.  Couldn’t find a road (although at least we could find the site using the map in the Lonely Planet), so we walked up.  About 1000 or more steps straight up a hill.  Great exercise.  Lucky not too hot on the way up (about 10.45am).  Huge walk up.  Spectacular view from the top.  There was a cable car.  Took track some of the way back.

Grenoble – Site de la Bastille
Grenoble – 1000 steps to Site de la Bastille – we climbed them!
Grenoble – cable car to Site de la Bastille
From Site de la Bastille – overlooking the alps including Mt Blanc (4 810m high).
Site de la Bastille – view over Grenoble
Site de la Bastille – view over Grenoble and to the alps
Site de la Bastille – view over Grenoble and the Isére River.

Headed off for Avignon and Arles, travelling through the French Alps.  Spectacular scenery.  Missed stopping at some lovely places to have a drink with great views.  Accommodation would have been wonderful here.  Heaps of B&Bs.  Probably ski resorts.

Grenoble – views from the alpine road heading away from Grenoble
Grenoble – views from the alpine road heading away from Grenoble.
Grenoble – views from the alpine road heading away from Grenoble.

Finally stopped at Serres for a wine.

Serres – rock formations
Serres – rock formations

Had trouble ordering as usual despite just asking for deux vin.  Ended up with nice cool red.  Scenery changed to rocky hills after that.  Very dry.  Some parts of the road had dropped away from a creek running beside it.  Probably flooded.

Went through a few tunnels through hills.  Only stopped about 4 times looking for accommodation.  Once was guest room in a nice house with a pool.  It was full up for the night though.

Ended up in Orange.  Not a bad little town.  Followed Lonely Planet and ended up staying at St Florent.  Very central.  Host was friendly.  Room bearable.  Almost pleasant.  Nice wallpaper.  Noisy.  Saturday night.  Right near Theatre Antique.  Supposed to be all night concerts there but we didn’t hear any over the other noise.

Orange postcard

Went out to eat.  Chose Cafe Provencal.  3 courses for 85F.  Cost 250F all up with a bottle of wine, Perrier and coffee.  Not bad.  Mediocre but the closest to real Provencal food yet.  Certainly better than last night.  Sat out on the footpath.

Orange Le Provencal dinner receipt

Walked around Orange a bit.  Down to Arc D Triomphe which was built in 20BC.  Old and dirty. The Roman Theatre was impressive.

Grenoble to Orange original map
Grenoble to Orange Google maps 2017

Day 12 – Sunday 19 June 1994 – Chateauneuf du Pape, Avignon, Arles, St Remy and Les Baux