We are always trying to spotlight Grenoble because it is so under the radar, but such an exceptional place to live and study. Have you heard too many horror stories of rude Parisians? Are you not interested in the sleepy beach town that is Cannes for most of the year (not during the film festival!)? Then Grenoble might be the place for you. Amanda studied there and has the inside scoop so read on:
Grenoble is an absolutely beautiful city. Though surrounded by three mountain ranges (the Chartreuse, the Belledonne, and the Vercors), Grenoble is one of the flattest cities in Europe. It grew up between two rivers, the Drac and the Isère, and grew to fill in the y-shaped valley surrounded by mountains.
I live in the centre-ville, the old part of town that still has cobbled streets, open-air markets, and cafés about every other corner (trading off with boulangeries). It’s been fun to accustom myself to the life of the city here. When I leave to take the tram to campus, the centre-ville is just waking up. Shopkeepers are organizing for the day, and the open-air market in the square outside my building isn’t quite set up yet. The later it gets, the more crowded the streets become. You always know when lunch is because everyone and their dog (literally) are out getting something to eat, including the young students. After class and especially around five o’clock in the evening, the streets are very busy with the Grenoblois out running errands to prepare the evening meal. On Sundays nearly everything in Grenoble shuts down. It is truly still a day of rest and a chance to escape the city and visit the country where some people keep country houses. It is a comfortable pattern of life that I have fallen into easily.
My words could never do justice to the natural beauty of this region or the charm of life in Grenoble but I hope with this short description I have managed to paint a good background to build upon.