09 September 2017

Day 23 - Chocolate Castles In The Air

8 Sept

A sunny day greeted us. Our planned excursion for today was the Cailler Chocolate factory. It’s part of the Nestle group. We did check if there was a tour of the Lindt factory, but no such luck. We arrived at the factory about an hour too early even after taking the scenic way including a very narrow road.
We took the scenic way because we were chasing balloons.

Then found this road which took us straight to the factory.
So we took a drive into Broc for a coffee and croissant. Back to the factory with a few minutes to spare. We were the only English speaking people there, so we have our own tour guide to introduce us to the tour. After that we were left to follow the English version of the history of chocolate. We had devices that were to interpret other parts of the tour, but for the most they were self evident. Good thing as Clint’s wasn't working. We could share mine for the times we needed the specific information. And then it was into the tasting room. Yum-Oh!  Of course, it wouldn't be a complete experience without some indulgence in the shop, too.
A display of medieval drinkers of chocolate. Who's that in the back?

Eat all you want.  Oh dear.

Next it was on to the Castle of Grueyeres. On the way there were a lot of people in uniforms marking each of the intersections. We had seen hot air balloons earlier in the morning. There appeared to be a festival to do with flight in one of the nearby fields. The uniformed people were making sure there was good traffic flow. For the castle, it’s probably best to let the photos do the talking.
Souvenir, food and wares shops with the castle in the background.

View out from the battlements.

Take that!  Pass the boiling oil.

Charleen on the battlements

Walking up to the castle proper

View down to Grueyeres

Ornate gardens.

Small, as castle gardens go but delightful.

Charleen found....

...a bumlebee.

Postcard stuff.

Tapestries and an interesting ceiling.

The music room

Guys will be guys in tapestries.

Big rooms on mountaintops need a big fireplace.  Makes her look small.

The airshow down below was well under way.

An old WW2 plane demos over the castle

The inevitable selfie.

Back down to the shops.

Our destination for tonight is Grenoble. From the freeway there is some interesting scenery through the smoke haze.

The border crossing was crowded but uneventful. We're back on toll roads again. The first one was take a ticket and pay some kilometres down the road (except we selected the wrong booth - oops). The next was after we left the freeway, there was no ticket just a demand for money. We swiped the traveller card for a toll of €1. With a bit of country road/village driving, we found our way back onto the same freeway we had left. It looks as though the GPS saw there was some sort of road blockage and took us around it. Not sure if there was, though. One more toll booth for the day and then it was a matter of finding our way to our accommodation in the centre of Grenoble. Two things slowed us down, one was some roadworks that weren't in operation, but only buses could use the road. The other was gridlock. In everyone's rush to be elsewhere, it was common to see intersections blocked which then meant when the lights changed for our line of traffic, no one could progress. Finally, we arrived at the Residhotel Grenette and checked in. The lady in reception told us that on street parking was permitted after 7pm. As it was about 6:35pm, we took the chance that the police wouldn't be around to issue a parking ticket. As it turns out our room overlooks the car, so we kept an eye on it until it past 7pm. We then went for a walk around the area and found a gourmet burger shop. Rest easy, it didn't have a big M at the start of its name. A bit more walking and we came across a rather long queue of people waiting to ride the cable car up to Fort de la Bastille. There was also a lovely park where people were gathered, sitting on the grass, playing cards or just chatting. It was a lovely scene. A very pleasant evening by all accounts.
Evening stroll in Grenoble.

At about one third of that queue I would have not bothered.

Lovely city garden scene.
Much of the rest of the city is - umm -untidy.

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