From Caen, we had to take a train back to Paris to catch a train to Grenoble.
This would probably be a good time to mention how good the pubic transport system is in France. In six days, we travelled from London to Paris to Caen to Paris to Grenoble using only trains, city buses, trams, a coach, and our legs.
The Engineer loved the trains, especially the Eurostar and the TGV we took from Paris to Grenoble. Below is the view we whizzed by at over 200 miles an hour. Yes, those are the Alps.
I loved Grenoble, even though it was a bit of a drama trying to use the tram to our AirBnB. This was partly because the sun was finally shining (Yay!) directly on the screen of the ticket kiosk for the tram (Boo!) and partly because the machine was being cantankerous and not accepting our credit card.
Since it only took cards and coins, and we had only bills, this was a problem. Eventually I thought to try another card, which worked fine.
Note to would-be travelers: If you plan to use credit cards, have a back-up one for situations like this. And if you think such an occurrence unusual, I can tell you the same thing happened at several toll plazas later in the trip. (On a side note, highway tolls were pricier than you might expect, but the roads were incredible. We didn’t see a pothole until we hit Paris.)
The tram ride took less time than the figuring out of the ticket machine, and our host had given detailed directions to the apartment where he greeted us with great — dare I say French? — charm.
Here is a panorama of our lodging, with The Engineer beginning to regret he allowed me to plan a trip involving seven different beds in fourteen nights. It does make the place look larger than it was, but it was just lovely. It was near this church, an extremely busy place with many people coming and going for some kind of festival, so I took a peek.
Our AirBnB in Caen was also very nice. We’ve used AirBnB six times and had excellent experiences every time. Yes, it can save travelers money, but more importantly, it enables us to stay in neighborhoods, rather than the hotel districts. It feels somehow more authentic to be able to dine, walk, ride buses, drink, and shop with people who live in the city we are visiting.
Grocery shopping in a country where you don’t speak the language can be an adventure in itself as we discovered in Germany when the butter I picked for breakfast turned out to be garlic butter, and the sausage The Engineer picked turned out to be be more like pepperoni or salami.
Never mind. We had a nice lunch made from them. 🙂
Grenoble sets at the foot of the French Alps, and the surrounding mountains add to its beauty. If you want, you can (and my dear husband did) ride a cable car for a more far-reaching vista. Not a fan of heights, I kept my feet firmly on the ground and took pictures from there.
We had come to Grenoble to see a football game. This kind of ⚽️ , not this 🏈. You know, the sport actually played with your feet?
The Women’s World Cup had come to town, and we were going to be part of it. In case anyone forgot what was happening, there were markings on sidewalks to remind us. (And in this picture you get the added bonus of seeing my super-cute and extra-comfortable shoes!)
The game was amazing, much better than expected, with Jamaica Reggae Girlz making their debut against Brazil. Although they lost 3-0, I felt they could be proud of their showing this year, especially give the fact that they got there without the support of their country’s football federation. Though Bob Marley’s daughter Cedella has become a major benefactor, these girls have fought for the right to be here. Their coach is a volunteer. One of their star players lost three brothers to gang violence and another to a car accident within a short time. The team was unrated as late as 2017. (More info on their journey here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2019/05/31/reggae-girlz-jamaica-backed-by-cedella-marley-make-world-cup/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.22d92066f5c1.)
Yet, here they were, in the Women’s World Cup.
It had rained all day, right up until the game started (and rained again afterwards), but the clouds parted, and we saw the blue sky for the game.
It was wonderful.
Brazil warms up.
The opening ceremonies were, well, ceremonial!
The Alps reappeared partway through the game, which had an attendance of about 17,000.
After attending the game, I have a new goal. I’d like to volunteer at the 2026 Men’s World Cup, when it’s shared by the US, Canada, and Mexico. Wouldn’t that be a cool thing to be a part of?